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Category Archives: Domestic Drones

The Navy’s Scary New Death Ray

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Monday, November 17, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Got a problem with Iranian UAVs threatening your ships? Want to remotely start fires on small boats? The US Navy has just what you need: the 30 kilowatt-class Laser Weapon System (LaWS). Defense News reports that the US Navy debuted the system this past August on the USS Ponce, an amphibious transport ship currently based . . .
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Dronestagram

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Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Stumbling around the internet last night, I found this gem: Dronestagram. It’s exactly what you would think; a free, user-built collection of videos and pictures shot by drones from all around the world. In this great little project you can… Take part in the “Drone de France”: Or, tour the rest of the world with . . .
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Look Who Else Has Drones: ISIS and Al Nusra

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Friday, October 24, 2014 at 10:11 AM

Since the introduction of drone technology to the battlefield, countless academics, policymakers, and military planners have pondered a disturbing question: what happens when other countries or non-state actors have access to them? In Syria, we may be starting to see the effects that the dissemination of drone technology will mean for the future of war. In . . .
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Hawk v. Drone

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Sunday, October 12, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Excellent!

Drone Dance

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Saturday, September 27, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Austrian drone-swarm dance with lights. Very cool.

Drones and Democracy: A Response to Firmin DeBrabander

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Monday, September 15, 2014 at 8:10 AM

The New York Times has an oped this morning by a philosophy professor named Firmin DeBrabander worrying that drone warfare heralds the end of democracy in America. No, I am not making that up or even exaggerating. Here’s its conclusion: Most American citizens are quick to let someone or something else bear the brunt of our . . .
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The US Intervention in Iraq Involves More than the 300: Armed Drones Above, Armed Contractors Below?

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Friday, June 27, 2014 at 9:43 PM

I’m surprised this hasn’t generated more attention: First, an article in the New York Times yesterday mentioned, right at the very end, the possibility that in addition to the 300 special operators headed back to Iraq there might also be more than a 1000 armed contractors accompanying them to pull security detail: Two Iraqi advisers . . .
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Report of the Stimson Center Task Force on Drone Policy

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Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 3:27 PM

The Stimson Center released today the report of its Task Force on US Drone Policy.  The ten-member task force, of which I was a member, was chaired by General John Abizaid and Rosa Brooks.   The report makes eight recommendations for overhauling US drone strategy; improving oversight, accountability, transparency and clarifying the international legal framework applicable . . .
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Drone Almost Collides With Commercial Airliner

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Monday, May 12, 2014 at 1:49 PM

So reports the BBC. The incident apparently happened back in March: A drone almost collided with a US commercial flight in March, an official with America’s flight regulatory agency has revealed. Jim Williams of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) unmanned aircraft systems office said it showed the risks posed by such aircraft. The near collision . . .
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Sophia Yan on Chinese Use of Drones to Control . . . Smog

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Sunday, March 9, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Lawfare readers—and listeners—know Sophia Yan as the pianist who recorded our podcast music. But she’s also, in her other life, a reporter for CNN Money in Hong Kong. Most recently, she authored this piece about Chinese use of drones to control pollution, which opens: China declared a “war on pollution” this week, and is now fortifying its . . .
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Ryan Calo on the FAA’s Setback on Domestic Drones

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Friday, March 7, 2014 at 9:11 AM

“Drones: 1, FAA: 0” is the headline of Ryan Calo’s article in Forbes.com about the overturning of an FAA fine against a domestic drone operator. Those who remember the FAA’s faintly absurd intervention in the Lawfare Drone Smackdown sometime back, won’t find this altogether surprising. Writes Calo: An administrative judge invalidated a fine yesterday against an individual . . .
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FAA Releases Two Key Documents on Domestic Drones

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Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Today, the Federal Aviation Administration released two key documents bearing on the coming integration, on a broad scale, of drones into our national airspace. One is the so-called “Roadmap,” a forward-looking overview of various integration activities over the next several years.  The other is the FAA’s final policy regarding privacy rules that operators of experimental drone . . .
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We Robot 2014 – Call for Presentation Proposals (Including on National Security Topics)

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Monday, October 21, 2013 at 10:30 AM

For reasons that won’t surprise anyone, Lawfare deals a lot with automation and robotic technologies, ranging from cyber to big data to military robotics.  So readers might be interested to learn of next year’s We Robot 2014, the third annual conference devoted to the intersection of law, society, and technologies of robotics and automation.  The . . .
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Readings: FAA v. Pirker (Domestic Drone Flights)

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Although the Federal Aviation Administration has been tasked by Congress to come up with regulations for the use of drones  in domestic airspace, it is running late on that mandate.  Even small, light model-airplane type drones operate under a narrow exemption for non-commercial hobbyists.  (As readers of Lawfare know, even flying the toy Parrot quadracopter . . .
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Domestic UAVs and Ground Safety Concerns

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Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 5:28 PM

The other day, I posted this video of a drone crashing into the stands at a local sporting event. Now a teenager in New York has been killed when his own remotely operated helicopter fell on him and its rotors severed blood vessels in his neck: A New York teenager has been killed when the toy . . .
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A Very Low-Tech Drone Smackdown

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Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 11:59 PM

Courtesy of my old friend Steve Renaker—computer programmer, maker of harpsichords, and menace to toy helicopters everywhere. Steve writes on Facebook about this video, “Office hijinks for the day—shooting down helicopters with rubber bands. A low-tech approach to a problem Ben once faced” (link added).  

One Reason the FAA is Concerned About Domestic Drones…

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Monday, August 26, 2013 at 11:34 AM

. . .  is ground safety. The concern is not wholly without merit. For example, from WTVR.com in Richmond, Va.:

A Novel Local Approach to Drones

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Monday, July 29, 2013 at 6:56 AM

Here’s some legislative action to watch . . . in Deer Trail, CO: DEER TRAIL, Colo. – The small town of Deer Trail, Colorado is considering a bold move. The town board will be voting on an ordinance that would create drone hunting licenses and offer bounties for unmanned aerial vehicles. Deer Trail resident, Phillip . . .
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The FBI Responds to Senator Paul, Who Has More Questions About Drones in U.S. Airspace

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Friday, July 26, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Drones continue to raise Senator Rand Paul’s  (R-KY) hackles—the FBI’s drones especially, these days. Last month, and following drone-related congressional testimony by outgoing FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, Paul wrote to the Bureau and asked a number of follow-up questions: How long has the FBI been using drones without stated privacy protections or operational guidelines? Why is the . . .
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Incredible Footage of Niagara Falls Taken from a Drone

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 6:48 PM

Really stunning. Hat tip: Albert Lukban