I’ve written a good bit about drones lately, specifically their use domestically. There is growing concern over law enforcement’s use of drones within the U.S., and some well-intentioned lawmakers (here and here) have submitted legislation to prevent the use of drones domestically without warrants (though some exceptions in those bills give cause for concern).
This week Congressman Michael Burgess has submitted legislation (full text here) that I hope we can all get behind. The No Armed Drones Act, or NADA, that would prevent armed drones from being used used in our national airspace. It gives no ridiculous allowances for some bureaucrat to decide it’s necessary; it actually doesn’t give any exceptions.
The bill amends the FAA Modernization and Reform Act to say that “The Secretary of Transportation may not authorize a person to operate an unmanned aircraft system in the national airspace system for the purpose, in whole or in part, of using the unmanned aircraft system as a weapon or to deliver a weapon against a person or property.”
When drones first came on the scene, we thought there would be no way they would be used to spy on citizens. Now we find ourselves in a battle over that very issue. If these drones are armed, you can bet they’ll be used domestically. We should rally behind legislation like Burgess’ bill that proactively works to protect Americans from being subject to armed, unmanned eyes above us.