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Drone Association Says Privacy Advocates Putting Industry at Risk

But ACLU counters that it's the people prerogative to watch the government, not the other way around.

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

August 13, 2013 - 6:22 pm
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“I’m shocked when I walk the trade show floor here by the lack of attention to this issue mostly because it’s a business opportunity,” McNeal said, stressing that the first company to sell drone technology with built-in auditing including logs and date/time stamps would be “two to three years ahead of the privacy curve” and able to sell it to states facing anti-drone legislative action.

“Unmanned systems can be more accountable than manned systems,” McNeal said.

He echoed Gielow’s concerns about legislation not taking a “technology-neutral stance.”

“If we’re concerned about always being watched, then we should be concerned about being watched by a camera on the telephone pole as well as the unmanned system,” continued McNeal. The bills just focused on drones, he said, tap into “dystopian fears of robotics and unmanned systems.”

Stanley argued that that drone surveillance will go 24/7, 365 sooner than later, so “good protections” need to be enacted now.

“If you had a police officer following you 24/7 you’d freak out,” he said. “…There is a wave of concern in the country about drones… they are a very powerful surveillance technology and they do need to be regulated.”

Doug Marshall, division manager of the UAS regulatory and standards development program at New Mexico State University, said six states have some sort of law on the books regarding drone use and 41 others have legislation up for consideration, resulting in the risk of “a jigsaw puzzle of conflicting regulations.” Ultimately, airspace is a federal issue and states can just control use by their agencies.

Marshall predicted the privacy implications of drone use will make it to the Supreme Court within the next two or three years — “a scary thing for all of us to have in this industry.”

Stanley, though, said once privacy protections are spelled out by law — federal law being the ACLU’s first choice, with state laws their second choice — “that will be good for the drone industry.”

He stressed that they don’t have the same objections to private drone use, which carries First Amendment implications, as they do to government use. “We think photography is something that people should use to watch over the government,” Stanley said, adding later they support an “individual with the ability to watch the government but not government watching the individual.”

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Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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In a related news report, the Home Invaders Association says Second Amendment advocates putting their industry at risk.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Too bad, so sad.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
“…There are probably a lot of good uses for drones…we’re focused on mass suspicionless surveillance.”
------------------------------------------------------

Did he really say that? Suspicion-less surveillance?

What an oxymoron - what a moron!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Paleo, I think the intended meaning was that the public is too worried about surveillance for mass data gathering without suspicion or a warrant, while these drones have so many other nifty uses. The comment is trying to pooh-pooh public concerns. "Relax. We don't really mean to use drones for the purposes you're thinking of."

Of course, we have a right to be worried, especially when a shill for the industry tries to downplay everyone's obviously valid fear.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Aside from very rare circumstances whereby drones are needed, the fact of the matter is that they are not necessary for domestic use. The reasons are manifestly clear - http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/08/14/u-s-law-enforcement-running-wild-military-powers-incrementally-bestowed-where-is-this-headed-commentary-by-adina-kutnicki/

As to manufacturing for overseas missions, well, that is another matter. However, it is MORE than prudent to watch the industry like a hawk, and this is no paranoia-talk!!

Adina kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
In a related news report, the Home Invaders Association says Second Amendment advocates putting their industry at risk.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
a modified secret agent in one of those matt lite movies already shot a drone down w/ a h.p. rifle. took a couple shots. seriously doubt they will see a 30-06 round coming too many times. if it don't belong, imagine it will become target practice, especially in hunting season. about 41 million annual hunters out there. if this becomes a problem it can be remedied. need moving target practice anyway for bird season.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Have you ever tried shooting at something flying at low level? I don't mean skeet, where it's all very predictable, and shotguns are used.

I have. We got training using RC planes in the Army. It's extraordinarily difficult to hit something like that with a rifle. The doctrine (at that time) was to basically make a wall of lead going up and hope we got lucky.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
'police departments are going to want them everywhere'? as long as I can have one too. just like theirs. we already have how many hundreds of domestic armored cars being delivered/on order for use in this country? wtf could those possibly be for? wink wink

'we are focused on mass suspicionless surveillance'. yep, so is every American patriot. but we already have a government nobody but a blind idiot would trust.

I just heard a rumor that somebody's lawyer said we have 'lost' a bunch of missiles. part of benghazi mess? bet they work on drones.

and people actually go on talking head news shows and feign surprise that anyone would question their holie-won's intentions. I mean seriously, who would sell assault arms to Mexican drug dealers but a clown? and then go hide behind executive privilege to claim a get-outta-jail-free card.? sounds like clown material if I ever heard it. where is s.n.l.? personally I would rather he had slept through benghazi. using tax payer $$ for just about everything but helping this country.

did he have something w/ screwing up the writing format on this board as well? it really suks.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I guess if I saw one hovering over my back yard they would have a very good picture of the person who shot the son-of-a-beast down. Several years ago (yes I said several YEARS) one was shot down over Palisade Colorado by some redneck with a 30-06. It crashed in a city park and it didn't take very long for the black Suburbans to show up to gather it up. Funny how it never showed up in the local news! We just figured the DEA had some new toys!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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