TMZ: Drones are awesome, but we're not getting one (yet)

From Gawker:

TMZ today responded to a widely circulated report recently published in the San Francisco Chronicle claiming the gossip site was among the myriad public and private entities flooding the Federal Aviation Administration with applications for their own private drones.

"TMZ is NOT getting in the DRONE business," the website exclaimed in its statement. "We don't have a drone; we don't want a drone; we never applied for a drone; despite a bogus report to the contrary."

According to the Chronicle story, which was linked to earlier today by Drudge, a rush by the government to allow domestic use of drones has resulted in the FAA being inundated with applications "from police departments, universities, private corporations and even the celebrity gossip site TMZ."

"Truth is," TMZ says, "while drones are, in fact, awesome, it just ain't true."

Views: 1547

Comment by John Wiseman on November 28, 2012 at 12:46pm

My point was that when given the opportunity to use drones, police find them useful for domestic surveillance.  Even the cops in Grand Forks, pop. 50K.  For now they borrow big drones from agencies that can afford to train pilots to fly a $4M vehicle and deal with the FAA, but since the trend is toward smaller, easier-to-fly drones, with less restrictive regulation, I don't think it's a big stretch to believe that drones will be used by local police more in the future, and that we should consider how we want those drones to be used.

Comment by Gary Mortimer on November 28, 2012 at 1:19pm

The regulation is not yet off the starting blocks. Yes 2015 is being touted but nothing has been done. ASTM F-38 have chosen the biscuits and moved onto selection of coffee. 

The CAA in the UK stepped royally on the Merseyside Police after they touted the first sUAS arrest. It made all the legally licenced operators chuckle I can tell you I was working for one at the time. 

For Merseyside police, the “eye in the sky” arrest was a landmark moment in policing history. The force had managed to track down and apprehend a teenager who had fled from a presumed stolen Renault Clio, senior officers revealed, by using a remote-controlled flying robot equipped with thermal imaging cameras.

But the attempt to claim credit for the UK’s first arrest using a surveillance drone backfired tonight after it emerged the force itself could face prosecution because officers flew the surveillance aircraft without permission – a criminal offence.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which regulates UK airspace, confirmed it was investigating Merseyside police over the apparently unauthorised use of its drone to pursue the 16-year-old after he fled from a suspected stolen car in Bootle. It is one of three UK forces using the drones.

Officials from the regulator’s Aviation Regulation Enforcement Department (ARE), which investigates and prosecutes alleged breaches of airspace, are investigating the incident, and Merseyside police has told regulators the drones have been grounded with immediate effect.

Did you see the Seattle Police Ops manual John?

The other thing that happened in the UK was that folks protesting against a right wing group that were photographed by another quad in a high profile media event to show us how cool UA were, put a freedom of information request for copies of the images. This meant the cheap UA became a mighty expensive exercise as policemen licked stamps and sent off all the requested images.

I just checked, wow that was back in 09, lets put that in context if 2015 happens a cool six years after the UK learnt that lesson.

I do agree John, a close watch should be kept on what the police want to do but I really can't help feeling capability is being vastly overblown.  

Comment by Rory Paul on November 28, 2012 at 2:53pm

Ever wonder why the DHS wants those test sites? I will be anyone a beer they have a lot of grant money tied up with local entities to start unmanned programs and they cannot play because of the COA and Special Airworthiness process.

Comment by Manfred Dickgiesser on November 28, 2012 at 6:00pm

peoples privacy.....ha ha ha

look around where peoples privacy is invaded by the goverment........


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