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Lawmakers Talk Drones

July 20, 2012 by  

Lawmakers Talk Drones
Drones will soon be a fact of life in America, lawmakers say.

In a little more than two years, United States airspace will be “dominated” by unmanned aerial drones, according to one lawmaker.

On Thursday, the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Management held a hearing on the increasing use of drones domestically, raising questions about how the Nation should prepare.

Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) in his opening statements said he believes that the Department of Homeland Security should be more involved in preparing for the drones to become an airborne fixture.

“The Department of Homeland Security mission is to protect the homeland. Unfortunately, DHS seems either disinterested or unprepared to step up to the plate to address the proliferation of Unmanned Aerial Systems in US air space, the potential threats they pose to our national security, and the concerns of our citizens of how drones flying over our cities will be used including protecting civil liberties of individuals under the Constitution,” he said.

McCaul isn’t the only one worried about how drones are going to impact Americans in the next few years. C. Todd Gilbert (R), a Delegate in the Virginia Legislature, has teamed up with the American Civil Liberties Union to draft and introduce a bill to strictly regulate the use of spy drones in his State.

His bill would enact legislation to ban all government and government-sponsored use of drones except where:

there are specific and stated reasons to believe that a drone will collect evidence relating to a specific instance of criminal wrongdoing and where the government has obtained a warrant based on probable cause; or

there is a geographically confined, time-limited emergency situation in which particular people’s lives are at risk, such as a fire, hostage crisis, or land or water-based search and rescue operation; or

the drone is used for reasonable non-law enforcement purposes by non-law enforcement agencies, where privacy will not be substantially affected, such as geological inspections or environmental surveys, and where the surveillance will not be used for secondary law enforcement purposes or enforcement of administrative regulations.

As drones become ever more cheaply produced and stealthy, the ACLU urges lawmakers in other States to take similar action.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • Vicki

    Movie title. “Drone Wars”

    • Robert Smith

      Actually what’s the crime? Is it following bank robbers or exposing a little old lady growing pot for her health?


      • antonio

        Don’t forget about the crime of simply having a gun in your home…Oh and they don’t care about little old ladies either

      • antonio

        I meant to paste this link but forgot…

  • Sirian

    Sure, drones could’ve prevented what just happened in Aurora, CO – my azz!!!

    • Rob

      A law-abiding, gun-carrying citizen could have stopped that real quick

      • Sirian

        Fully agreed! I was wondering the exact same thing when I first heard about it.

      • phideaux

        I read or heard that the theater bans lawful citizens from carrying a weapon into the theater including Concealed carry permit holders.

  • OOOOPPert EEEEpert

    They got ones that see through walls now…BIG BROTHER gonna Love that!!!! When the Repubs. & ACLU team up on something, it ‘s usually a winner!!!

  • chester

    Wonder what that is going to do to the R/C aircraft hobbyist? You can already buy and/or build R/C planes that are the size of most of those drones. Only thing is, you are restricted to line of sight flight and less than three hundred feet in altitude. Funny thing is, you can actually do more with the smaller planes, as most of them fly slower, and can maneuver better, than the bigger stuff. Do know of private hobbyists who are equipping their planes with mini cameras and two way comm gear so they can see real time what is going on around the plane, or under it, if they set the cameras right. And this is private, so where do you think public usage is going to go? Look for news television to have these things up, along with a few of the better papers, along with police and other official agencies any time there is something going on.

  • Fritz

    I am going to build my own drone and shot down there’s. HA HA.

  • LA

    Target practice for my Assault Rifles.. thought it was an alien That’s right they are already here. We don’t have to worry about the neemies of the US they are already hers thank you Mr President, Atty Gen Eric Holder, EPA director, Health and Human Services Czar and so on.

  • SJJolly

    Anyone else read of military drones and robots, and think of the Terminator movies? I.e., “HK’s”, “aerials”, and “infiltrators.” Any chance some company is NOT working on humanoid-type robots, to walk into a group of terrorist suspects and spray them with gunfire?

  • agbjr

    Paint a really BIG middle finger on your roof with the words “To you Obama!” alongside; it will give the nosy SOBs at Homeland Security something to look at.

  • boyscout

    Yes. Of course we need drones. Lots and lots of drones. Drones, drones drones! How else are we to know what brand of TP our citizens are using to wipe with? As a bonus – we can arm them to eliminate any “potential anarchists”. But let’s not foolishly waste our tax dollars on expensive domestic manufacture, not if wewant a drone in EVERY neighborhood.

  • http://peresonallibertydigest.. gottaplenty

    Like Ben Crystal says …… ITS TIME.

  • rightgunner

    Drones can be as simple as remotely controlled aircraft models to very complex and provide both surveillance or a weapon or both. Recently our government has released information that aids people world wide to visualize our President sitting in Washington and “pressing a button” to send a drone to end someone’s life, anywhere in the world.

    While we may feel very safe here in the U.S. it is only arrogance that makes us believe they we are safe from such attacks instigated from abroad. We displayed that same arrogance at the end of WWII when we thought we could contain knowledge of atomic weapons, but that obviously was not possible, and atomic weapons have attained diversity of ownership.

    It appears that this country has exposed to the world our philosophy that our government has the right to extinguish anyone anywhere they are in the world. Consequently every other country likely believes it has the same right. How will we feel when our first government official, and a few innocent bystanders are extinguished from a crude drone. For our enemy it will be easier then 9-11 and even more spectacular because of their chosen target.


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