A very sensible opinion piece in the Washington Post, which discusses us. A couple small technical errors (most DIY Drones aren't controlled by WiFi), but otherwise one of the best I've seen:
Here's how it starts:
The drone debate we need to have
By Vivek Wadhwa
Last week, a Virginia House panel approved a two-year moratorium on drone use within the state. In December, Berkeley’s City Council debated a similar proposal from its Peace and Justice Commission. The commission wanted to prohibit the city from purchasing, borrowing, testing or using drones, or allowing “drones in transit.” Hobbyists would, however, have been allowed to use drones which didn’t carry cameras or audio surveillance equipment. The legislation was shot down because, as Berkeley Councilman Gordon Wozniak argued, “Berkeley doesn’t have jurisdiction over its airspace and can’t enforce it unless we buy Patriot missiles to shoot things down.” Both of these bills were prompted by law enforcement officials wanting to use drones for surveillance and intelligence gathering.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) calls this “spying.”
These are the harbingers of debates to come as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) moves towards approving the use ofUnmanned Aircraft Systems for law enforcement. Groups such as the ACLU are working to stop this because of concerns over privacy. As M. Ryan Calo, my colleague at Stanford Law School and Director for Privacy and Robotics at theCenter for Internet & Society, has written, U.S. privacy laws don’t address these issues. This means we are in for some significantlegislative battles on Capitol Hill and in the Supreme Court. Calo says these “could be just the visceral jolt society needs to drag privacy law into the twenty-first century.”
No doubt, privacy is an important issue. But this is going to be the least of our concerns as drone technologies advance further. We are entering the “drone age” writes drone-builder Chris Anderson, whose company 3D Robotics sells drone kits to mix and match capabilities. With sensors, optics, and embedded processors advancing exponentially and prices dropping precipitously, do-it-yourself-ers are building even more sophisticated and smaller drones than what the U.S. government had a few years ago.
Read the rest here.