The United States Senate recently passed the FAA Reauthorization Act on Wednesday. This bill grants the government to take control or confiscate any unmanned aerial vehicle that is perceived as a threat, according to Tech Crunch.
Several organizations have voiced concerns regarding the way this bill will give the federal government too much power such as taking control of privately owned UAVs. Currently, the authorities need to acquire a warrant to seize your drone. But, this new bill will let the law enforcement officers shoot the drones down without any roadblock. By labeling UAV as a vague and unspecified threat.
According to an ACLU spokesperson, “These provisions give the government virtually carte blanche to surveil, seize, or even shoot a drone out of the sky—whether owned by journalists or commercial entities—with no oversight or due process.” This bill grants new powers to the Department of Justice and Homeland Security to spy on Americans without any probable reason. Furthermore, it undermines the use of drones by commercial drone operators such as photographers and journalists.
The Department of Homeland Security deputy general counsel Hayley Chang stated in June that their department is hampered with regulations that don’t integrate the rising drone uses in the country. Cathy Lainer also voiced her support for Senate Bill 2836 that says the terroristic drone uses on American soil was a looming threat.
One can say that if lawmakers want to give the government the power to destroy or hack private drones. Then, Congress and the public should have the opportunity to debate how to provide oversight and limit those powers to protect the right to use drones for recreation, journalism, and activism.
While the bill isn’t completely focused on providing the federal government new powers to regulate drones. The FAA Reauthorization Act bill largely revolves renewing the fund for FAA until 2023 to maintain commercial airplane flight quality, expanding tourism policies and including in-cabin restraint systems for individuals who are disabled.
The next thing that the bill will go to the President’s desk. He will likely sign the bill into law. Stay tuned for more updates on current drone-related news.