Day of wide-spread domestic drone use nears
12, June 2012
So far, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration( FAA) has issued 266 active testing permits for civilian-drone applications, but has yet to allow drones wide-scale access to U.S. airspace; law enforcement and industry officials say that it is only a matter of time before the FAA would allow the more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies and departments to begin to use drones for surveillance
If you thought that the use of drones in the war against terrorists is controversial, wait until drones are used more widely in domestic surveillance and law enforcement missions. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has already issued permits to several police departments to use UAVs, but the practice is not yet wide-spread.
The Daily Mail reports that on 23 April, Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley issued a 30-page memorandum discussing the issue of drone use in domestic missions. Donley says that drones may be used to “collect information about U.S. persons,” and that the photos that these drones will collect may be retained, used, or even distributed to other branches of the U.S. government as long as the “recipient is reasonably perceived to have a specific, lawful governmental function” in seeking to have access to the photos (Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, offers a different take on the legality of domestic drone use; see his Washington Times article)....
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