Rise of the Drones
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Rise of the Drones
Investigating the future of unmanned aerial vehicles.
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Would You Shoot Your Neighbor’s Drone? - IEEE Spectrum

Would You Shoot Your Neighbor’s Drone? - IEEE Spectrum | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
“In the past year, it’s become more about privacy than safety,” says Brendan Schulman, special counsel at the law firm Kramer, Levin, Naftalis & Frankel, who is defending a client against the FAA in its first civilian drone case. People just don’t want snoopy robots spying on them.

 

Commentator Charles Krauthammer summed up that sentiment on Fox News in 2012 when he said, “I would predict—I’m not encouraging—but I predict the first guy who uses a Second Amendment weapon to bring a drone down that’s been hovering over his house is going to be a folk hero in this country.” Don’t dismiss such fiery talk as the ravings of a pundit bent on making news. Indeed, there have already been some domestic drone downings: An animal-rights group attempting to document the cruelty of “pigeon shoots” has had a camera-equipped multicopter blown out of the air more than once.

....

Ryan Calo, a professor of law at the University of Washington, in Seattle, calls robotic aircraft a “privacy catalyst” because people have responded to them more strongly than to other kinds of surveillance technology. “You can visualize it, unlike what the [National Security Agency] is doing,” says Calo. “You get this visceral reaction to drones. Drones are part of a larger disconnect between how quickly surveillance technology evolves and how slowly privacy law does.”

ddrrnt's insight:

Ha! This is so true. No doubt, a drone will be shot down.

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Oregon’s drone debate | Legislators introduce bills to restrict their use

Before drones become commonplace in Oregon skies, the state Legislature should take carefully measured steps to protect public privacy and safety from threats posed by both public- and private-sector use of the unmanned aircraft.

 

In Oregon, Sen. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, and Rep. John Huffman, R-The Dalles, have introduced separate bills that would, among other things, make it a crime to use drones to fire bullets or missiles or to spy on people. Prozanski recently explained to The (Portland) Oregonian newspaper that he drafted his legislation, Senate Bill 71, in part because “the last thing I think people want to do is look outside their picture window or their bedroom window and see a drone.”

 

Prozanski’s and Huffman’s concerns about the need to regulate the domestic use of drones by public agencies, private companies and, for that matter, private citizens are valid — especially in the absence of anything resembling comprehensive federal regulations.

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Great images but do drones invade privacy

Great images but do drones invade privacy | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

As drone cameras produce ever-more spectacular footage, there are concerns the remote-controlled mini-aircraft might be used to invade people's privacy.


The BBC's Colin Paterson has been taking a look at some of the images - and finding out why there are calls for legislation.


see video at BBC

06 Dec 2012

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AUVSI: Unmanned aerial vehicles help law-enforcement agencies save money, catch criminals - Avionics Intelligence

AUVSI: Unmanned aerial vehicles help law-enforcement agencies save money, catch criminals - Avionics Intelligence | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

“The Sheriff’s Office in Mesa County, Colo., operates an unmanned aircraft at the cost of $3.36 per hour, compared to $250 to $600 per hour for a manned aircraft,” AUVSI reveals.


The purchase price of a UAS is also significantly less than a manned aircraft, at a cost roughly the same as a patrol car with standard police gear. In fact, agencies are increasingly opting to purchase a compact unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), or drone, in lieu of a new patrol car. This growing trend is spurring privacy debates, talk of and demand for increased legislation, and new court cases.


The vast majority of UAS currently flying in the U.S. are small models that weigh less than 25 pounds and can fit in the trunk of a car, according to AUVSI officials, who cite a recent poll by Monmouth University in West Long Branch, N.J.


“An overwhelming majority of Americans support the idea of using drones to help with search and rescue missions (80%). Two-thirds of the public also support using drones to track down runaway criminals (67%) and control illegal immigration on the nation’s border (64%),” reveals a Monmouth University spokesperson.


September 6, 2012
By Courtney Howard

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Drone journalism takes off

Drone journalism takes off | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

As the media starts to deploy small toy-like drones to cover stories, what ethical and safety issues are arising?


Drone Journalism Lab founder Matt Waite said: "What are the property rights over your home? Am I trespassing by flying over your house? Beyond questions of personal privacy, another issue raised is the free speech issues raised by drones. For instance if there is a bad chemical spill... and police close the area down to keep people away... can I fly a drone over it and get a look? What if police close the airspace? Where is the line between the public's right to know about something versus the state's want for security?" (...)


"I understand people being uncomfortable with the faceless 'capital M' media getting flying robots with cameras. It's a similar concern as police getting the same: eyes in the skies, watching all the time." (...)


The assocation doesn't have a problem with the concept of responsible drone journalism and Ms Mactavish laughs off concerns over the potential for a greater invasion of privacy. "You've got to keep this in perspective - they won't be doing anything new. Google Earth can look right down into your backyard. Satellites have been doing this for 20 years. "They've arrived... Now it's all about safe and ethical deployment."


By Mark Corcoran from Foreign Correspondent

ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Feb 21, 2012



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Mayor Bloomberg says surveillance drones are inevitable in NYC: 'get used to it'

Mayor Bloomberg says surveillance drones are inevitable in NYC: 'get used to it' | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

Governmental use of unmanned surveillance drones has inspired a lot of concern about privacy, but New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks the battle's already over. In a radio interview this week, Bloomberg said essentially that drones are an inevitable part of our future (and maybe our present), comparing them to the thousands of cameras already located around Manhattan. "What's the difference whether the drone is up in the air or on the building?" he asked. "We're going into a different world, uncharted... you can't keep the tide from coming in."


Striking a tone more of resignation than endorsement, Bloomberg said that our future includes more visibility and less privacy. Face recognition will be integrated into the drone surveillance, and he wondered aloud whether a drone is that much more invasive than someone standing outside your home. Bloomberg did say legislation is necessary, but warned against hasty action, saying "these are long-term, serious problems."

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Sheriff’s ‘Crowd Control’ Spy Drone Suspended After Privacy Uproar

Sheriff’s ‘Crowd Control’ Spy Drone Suspended After Privacy Uproar | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

"Despite official assurances that the drone would only be used for:
search and rescue efforts the Sheriff has previously suggested that the drone could be used:


to hunt for marijuana farms, and “track suspects with guns,” referring to such operations as “proactive policing.”


"The device can also be fitted with thermal imaging devices that would allow police to: see inside buildings, as well as license plate readers and laser radar."


"An internal memo from the Sheriff’s Office dated July 20 also indicated that the department identified uses for the drone, including:
monitoring barricaded suspects, investigative and tactical surveillance, intelligence gathering, tracking suspicious persons and overseeing large crowd control disturbances."

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UK leads civilian drones charge

UK leads civilian drones charge | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

The "Pandora's box" of unmanned aircraft in the UK's sky is open, say participants in a project to tackle the technological and social aspects of the craft.


Unmanned aircraft or UAs is something of a new name for drones, which have gained notoriety principally in the theatre of war where remotely operated aircraft are used for surveillance or air strikes.


But the same technology put to use for civilian purposes is already a hot topic of debate in the UK and abroad, most recently surrounding their use by London's Metropolitan Police. (...)


Chris Elliot, an aerospace engineer and barrister, is acting as consultant to the project. He told reporters that the licensing and privacy questions were points "to debate, not to pontificate".


"We have a very robust privacy regime now for aviation, and I don't see much very different. A lot of it comes down to what society thinks is acceptable," he said.


"I find it interesting that Google has got away with its [Streetview] because we love Google and we all use it. If this technology positioned to something that is good for us, that we like, then people will accept that kind of behaviour.

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Domestic drone backers worry about privacy and security

Domestic drone backers worry about privacy and security | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

Within the span of about two weeks in July, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International issued a code of conduct and backed a defense spending bill that would restrict the government’s use of drones for surveillance. Lawmakers who, in February, mandated that the Federal Aviation Administration permit more drones to fly stateside voted in June to ban weaponized ones. (...)


DHS officials declined to appear at Rep. Michael McCaul’s July 19 hearing, which largely focused on the department’s role in protecting citizens from drone abuse. There is bipartisan concern that remotely piloted planes will capture personal information, fall victim to hackers—or worse—when the FAA law takes effect in 2015. (...)


McCaul maintains his concerns about the safety of drones have always existed. “We are less than two and a half years from our skies opening up to widespread use of drones by law enforcement and the private sector and no federal agency has taken the lead to address security and privacy,” he told Government Executive in an email. “This is the responsibility of the Department of Homeland Security, and as chairman of the subcommittee with oversight jurisdiction it is my job to ensure DHS addresses these concerns. The department needs to provide guidance on security and privacy now, in advance of this proliferation, not after the fact.”


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