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.