On Aug. 4, as Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro gave a speech in front of the ranks of the Venezuelan National Guard, two DJI Matrice M600 drones took to the sky. Each drone was armed with a little less than a kilogram of explosives, their operators seemingly intent on assassinating Maduro.
Latest in Drones: Domestic Use
Early last year on Lawfare, Ashley discussed the 2015 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) interim rule “establishing registration and marking requirements for small unmanned aircraft used recreationally—i.e., drones.” The post predicted that state and local laws as well as strong private forces all but guaranteed imminent litigation:
This is interesting for folks interested in The Future of Violence—a new report on "Hostile Drones: The Hostile Use of Drones By Non-State Actors Against British Targets." Published by something called the Remote Control Project, its Executive Summary reads as follows:
In mid-December, the FAA issued an interim final rule establishing registration and marking requirements for small unmanned aircraft used recreationally – i.e., drones. Like other drone owners, owners of drones that weigh between .55 pounds and 55 pounds (Ben Wittes, this means you!) must register their drones before operating them in the national airspace.
On October 22, 2015, the Department of Transportation and the FAA created a task force to propose a process and rules for small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) registration. sUAS are commonly referred to as drones, though they potentially include the less intuitively threatening model aircraft familiar to many childhoods. The Task Force issued its report on November 21.
According to NBC News (October 16, 2015), the U.S. Department of Transportation is about to announce a plan to require every purchaser of a drone to register it with the U.S. government. The plan is apparently driven by concerns about close calls between drones and aircraft nearby airports, though there are many other public safety issues associated with drones as well.
So reports the Guardian:
Japanese authorities have launched an investigation after a small drone reportedly containing traces of radiation was found on the roof of the prime minister’s office, sparking concerns about drones and their possible use for terrorist attacks.
No injuries or damage was reported from the incident on Wednesday.
It seems Chesterbrook Elementary, of Fairfax County, Virginia, has lost its drone---and now wishes to enlist the help of the community in locating it.
Such is the gist of the below email, sent by a school official earlier today. (I have embedded the video and pictures, which are linked in the original.) Chesterbrook isn't that far away from Langley...
Missing Drone - we need your help! :)
Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) has announced that she plans to introduce new legislation aimed to "significantly strengthen drone safety laws to protect U.S. airline passengers and U.S.
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 be described as the left flank of the Democratic party and the right flank of the Republican party almost halted passage of the FY2012 National Defense Authorization Act.