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Category Archives: Domestic Drones

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

DHS’s Use of Domestic Drones

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Thursday, July 11, 2013 at 2:32 PM

A friend of mine at the Homeland Security Institute recently called my attention to this fascinating article in the Atlantic.  The article reveals nascent plans by CBP and the Border Patrol to equip domestic drones with non-lethal weapons designed to immobilize targets.  One can, of course, readily imagine the use case scenarios for that type . . .
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House Judiciary Hearing on Domestic Drones

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Friday, May 17, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Earlier today, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing entitled “Eyes in the Sky: the Domestic Use of Unmanned Aerial Systems.”  The four-witness panel included two experts familiar to Lawfare readers: UCLA professor and Brookings Non-Resident Fellow John Villasenor, and Pepperdine Law’s Greg McNeal. You can find an archived webcast (memo to Congress: please, please make embeddable . . .
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Loopcast Interview on Drones

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Friday, May 3, 2013 at 4:37 PM

This morning, a gentleman named Sina Kashefipour, who tweets on national security-related matters under the improbable moniker @rejectionking, came by my office to interview me for a podcast he runs on national security called the Loopcast. He just posted the wide-ranging discussion, which dealt with drones—domestic and overseas. Here it is. Your browser does not . . .
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Readings: John Villasenor on “Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Privacy”

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Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 1:00 PM

John Villasenor has new law review article out taking a systematic look at drones and privacy. Entitled “Observations from Above: Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Privacy” and published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, it contains a substantial historical overview, as well as discussions of the privacy implications of both government and non-governmental . . .
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Jeh Johnson Speech on “A ‘Drone Court’: Some Pros and Cons”

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Monday, March 18, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Former Pentagon General Counsel Jeh Johnson is, at this hour, giving this speech at Fordham Law School in New York: Keynote address at the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School:  A “Drone Court”: Some Pros and Cons by Jeh Charles Johnson[1] March 18, 2013 [preliminary extemporaneous remarks] Thank you for this invitation.  Today I . . .
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Another Newspaper Does a Completely Trite Drone Video

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Friday, March 15, 2013 at 4:21 PM

What a useful contribution to the debate! From the Washington Post.

Drones, Domestic Detention, and the Costs of Libertarian Hijacking

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Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 4:28 PM

The more I reflect on last week’s drone contretemps–and what effect the efforts of Senator Paul and his followers has had / may still have on U.S. policy–the more I have a profound and distressing sense of déjà vu. After all, it was barely 15 months ago that a hitherto-unheard-of coalition between what can safely . . .
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