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Senate Passes Legislation That Could Allow Federal Officers to Shoot Down Civilian UAVs

October 05, 2018  | 

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The United States Senate on Wednesday passed the "FAA Reauthorization Act" which—among other things—could allow federal law enforcement officers to shoot down privately owned drones.

The new provisions permitting police to act against unmanned aerial vehicles comes amid concerns that drones can be weaponized and used by international terror networks.

A more benign reason advocates for the legislation argue for the passage of the bill is that there has been an increase of novice drone pilots crashing their devices into private property.

The American Civil Liberties Union denounced the bill.

An ACLU spokesperson told TechCrunch that the new legislation grants "new powers to the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security to spy on Americans without a warrant" and they "undermine the use of drones by journalists, which have enabled reporting on critical issues like hurricane damage and protests at Standing Rock."

"The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 repeals Section 336, under which currently all hobbyist drone operators fly. Going forward all drone pilots will be required to register their aircraft and take an aeronautical knowledge test," according to DroneDJ.com, a website that reports on news related to UAVs.


Comments (6)

Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

William @ 10/5/2018 1:02 PM

ACLU should go friggin hide after sponsoring those ads that say Javanaugh is compared to convicted rapist and sexual predators like Bill Cosby, as far as shooting down someone’s drone, they better have a real good reason because it’s federal offense

Tom ret @ 10/5/2018 5:27 PM

Its pretty safe to say that if the ACLU is against it I'm for it and vise versa without really knowing what the issue is.

Jon Retired LEO @ 10/5/2018 6:31 PM

Tom ret you got that right!!!

Grey Bear @ 10/6/2018 9:15 AM

Once again the ACLU has to shoot of their collective, and too often uneducated mouths...what is it with those idiots?!?! Gotta side with tom; if the ACLU is against it, it MUST be good for America!

Sherry Thompson @ 10/6/2018 3:12 PM

Are drones allowed to be used by retired military and retired police officers ? If so are their regulations they must abide by too? How do you know if a drone is privately owned and if there are ones being used to torment private citizens is that against the law

MC @ 10/7/2018 4:10 AM

Not seeing this shoot down proclamation anywhere in this bill. Section 346 of the bill requires a review of interagency coordination processes by government agencies that are currently authorized to operate counter UAS systems, but no approvals to "shoot down drones" exists anywhere in this bill. Whoever wrote this article didn't do their research.

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