2013 Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Legislation

**** Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones, have a host of applications:  law enforcement, land surveillance, wildlife tracking, search and rescue operations, disaster response, border patrol and photography among others. Many state legislatures are debating if and how UAS technology should be regulated, taking into account privacy concerns, the…

Drone Loans: Customs and Border Protection Records 500 Predator Flights for Other Agencies

EFF Lawsuit Uncovers Abuse Of Surveillance Drones; DHS Files Motion To Suppress Further Transparency Customs & Border Protection released a new list to EFF this week that details the extensive number of times that the agency has flown its Predator drones on behalf of other agencies—500 flights in total over a three-year period. This list…

A New Kind of War Is Being Legalized

There’s a dark side to the flurry of reports and testimony on drones, helpful as they are in many ways. When we read that Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch oppose drone strikes that violate international law, some of us may be inclined to interpret that as a declaration that, in fact, drone strikes violate…

The “Benefits” Of Nuclear UAVs

In March 2012, Sandia National Laboratories released a summary of research it had conducted with Northrop Grumman‘s unmanned systems division concerning an “ultra-persistent propulsion and power system” for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). The conclusion was that UAVs could be built with longer endurance and lower operating cost than with hydrogen or hydrocarbon fuel, creating “unmatched…

The Dangers Of Nuclear Powered Drones, And Plutonium For Spacecraft

The crash of a U.S. drone on the Seychelles Island in 2012  was the second crash of a U.S. drone on Seychelles in four months during a U.S. surveillance missions over Somalia. This underlines the deadly folly of a U.S. collaboration with national laboratory scientists and the Northrop Grumman Corp. for nuclear-powered drones. The use of nuclear power…

U.S. Set to Deploy More Drones Along U.S. Borders, Despite Concerns about Effectiveness and Cost

VIDEO: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials based at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, on the Gulf Coast of Texas, use unmanned aerial systems or “drones” to remotely patrol the U.S.-Mexico border. Video By Trahern Jones and Alex Lancial. CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Despite critical reports saying that the use of drones to patrol the…

Insects Robocop’s: Government Insects Drones

When New York college students attended an antiwar rally in Lafayette Square they were convinced they saw small flying machines that were “definitely not insects” hovering above. Bernard Crane, a Washington Lawyer, saw them too and said he had never seen anything like them in his life. These sightings are among a group of sightings…