UAV / UAS

13
mrt

In some instances, the FAA has attempted to regulate UAVs by relying on existing regulations that are stretched and distorted. For instance, it uses regulations governing experimental aircraft and the flight crews of experimental aircraft to justify the current permitting system, which is consistent with Dorr’s acknowledgment that the FAA uses regulations governing manned aircraft to regulate UAVs. Of course the whole point of an unmanned aerial vehicle is that there is no flight crew, but no one seems to have pointed that out to the FAA. In fact, one could argue that it’s voluntary to listen to the FAA about drones. In its literature discussing its governance of UAVs, the FAA often refers to Advisory Circular 91-57, which addresses model airplanes. However, AC 91-57 merely “outlines, and encourages voluntary compliance with” the model airplane standards it states (so I guess paper airplane–slinging third-graders are safe). I think “voluntary” is probably a more honest representation of FAA authority over UAVs as well, absent congressional approval or at least publicly vetted regulations. Similarly, there is reason to think that if you keep your beer-delivery drone flying low, you’ll be in the clear. In its documentation addressing a redesign of the national ...

04
jun

Both the Texas House and Senate have passed a bill that criminalizes the use of drones for surveillance. There are a few exemptions: For example, members of the media can use drones to photograph and record breaking news (although this will no doubt apply only to credentialed, mainstream press). And, of course, the police can use drones. While police are permitted to use drones (with certain restrictions), the Texas bill specifically prohibits citizen drone use to capture images of corporate malfeasance. The legislation was prompted by an incident last year when a hobbyist operating a small drone over public land in Dallas accidentally photographed a meat-packing plant illegally dumping pig blood into the Trinity River, resulting in an EPA indictment. Privacy advocates have praised the bill’s measures that limit both corporate and law enforcement use of drones to surveil the public without limit. However, as mentioned here before, such legislation prefigures the shape of drone proliferation in the use: This is not technology that will be easily democratized. PopSci explained the details of the Texas bill, which is set to be signed into law: It’s unique because it criminalizes taking any data — photos, sound, temperature, even odor — of private property using ...

17
mrt

Secrecy News,March 7, 2013 Congress has directed the Secretary of Defense to report on the handling of surveillance data collected by military unmanned aerial systems operating in domestic airspace. A provision in the 2013 continuing appropriations conference bill approved by the House yesterday explained: “The conferees are aware of concerns that have been raised regarding the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and their sensors in domestic airspace. The conferees understand that the Air Force has policies and procedures in place governing the disposition of UAV collections that may inadvertently capture matters of concern to law enforcement agencies. These policies and procedures are designed to ensure constitutional protections and proper separation between the military and law enforcement. However, it is unclear if other Services and Defense agencies have similar policies and procedures in place, or if these policies and procedures need to be revised or standardized. Therefore, the conferees direct the Secretary of Defense to report to the congressional defense committees on the policies and procedures in place across the Services and Defense agencies governing the use of such collections and to identify any additional steps that need to be taken to ensure that such policies and procedures are adequate and consistent ...

17

March 8, 2013 Filed under Security & Surveillance, More Issues in Security & Surveillance Tags: drones If we're going to put cameras on drones and let just about anyone with a few hundred bucks fly them around our neighborhoods, recording video of anyone in our backyards and doing who-knows-what with them, shouldn't there at least be a way to identify who the drone belongs to? Shouldn't there be something akin to a "license plate" for drones? We think so. Drones — also known as “unmanned aerial vehicles” or “unmanned aircraft systems” — have captured the media spotlight, thanks in no small part to Kentucky Senator Rand Paul's withering 13-hour filibuster of President Obama’s nomination of John Brennan to head the CIA. Paul's marathon rant was in opposition to the Administration’s legal position on potential uses of militarized drones within U.S. borders. Weaponized drones in US airspace pose several concerns; however, at CDT we’ve focused lately on the more mundane, civilian uses of drones. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently issued a Request for Comment on safety and privacy issues of civilian uses of drones. As part of a longer FAA imperative to carefully integrate drone operations into civilian airspace, the FAA will establish six drone ...

17

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said Tuesday it is investigating an unidentified black drone an Alitalia pilot said he encountered while approaching John F. Kennedy International Airport. The Flight #608 pilot said he saw the 3-foot-wide drone, with four propellers, at about 1,750 feet Monday, three miles before touching down. Whether it was a hobbyist breaking the Federal Aviation Administration’s 400-foot-altitude rule or a real spy vessel from the Evil Empire is unknown. Either way, there’s a UFO out there and it came within 200 feet of the plane, the FBI said. “The FBI is asking anyone with information about the unmanned aircraft or the operator to contact us,” said John Giacalone, the special agent in charge of the bureau’s New York field office. “Our paramount concern is the safety of aircraft passengers and crew.” A Government Accountability Office report warned Congress last year that its push for drones to become commonplace in U.S. airspace fails to take into account privacy, security and even GPS jamming and spoofing. The GAO, Congress’ research arm, was responding to the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, signed by President Barack Obama in February, which among other things requires the Federal Aviation Administration to accelerate drone flights ...