Colin McEnroe Show: Domestic Drones

They'll be watching you!

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AR.Drone quadrotor helicopter.
Photo:Yutaka Tsutano
Colin McEnroe Show: Domestic Drones
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Colin McEnroe Show: Domestic Drones
When I talk to you about drones, I'm mostly likely to evoke a mental picture of a fairly large unmanned aircraft, carefully guided by a crew on the ground, perhaps able to launch missiles, and operating in a foreign theater of war. 
 
That's way out of date.
 
First of all drones are here already. The FAA has 295 active drone licenses in the U.S., although for some reason it won't give anybody a list of what they are. Local law enforcement has some of them.  The first known drone-assisted arrests came last year in Fargo N.D. where the police force got a grant to use old-fashioned Predator drones.
 
U.S. customs and Border Patrol uses them too.
 
But big old clunky drones will soon have agile competition from a new generation of drones the size of a hummingbird or smaller. They can be used for surveillance, journalism, real state photos...well, he very low sky is the limit. More after the news. 
 
Leave you comments below or email colin@wnpr.org or tweet us @wnprcolin.

***This show originally aired March 8, 2012***

  

Comments

EMAIL FROM TERRY:

I find this very alarming!!

How do we, as law abiding citizens, protect our privacy. What about our rights not to be stalked?

Why do we think that the US will have a monopoly over drone technology? How will we feel when foreign drones (or swarms of drones) enter our air space?

Are the Europeans, who are much more concerned about privacy, having discussions about the future of private drones? What is their point of view?

E-mail from Terry

The privacy implications of these developments scare me tremendously.

But a second question comes to mind:

Why do we think that private drones will remain the domain of the U.S.? What is to prevent al Quaida, white supremacists, or other criminals from using them against us?

Terry

E-mail from Hank

It requires a warrant today to place cameras or listening devices in my home or on my property. Is my back yard now public property where I can expect to be photographed? What if the drone flies into my house? Can it take pictures as long as it doesn't land?

The rules need to be considered by groups beyond the FAA.