Drones: Plausible Deniability

The main obstacle to acknowledging the scope, legality, and oversight of U.S. targeted killings beyond traditional or “hot” battlefields is the division of lead executive authority between the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC)—a sub-unit of the Department of Defense (DOD) Special Operations Command (SOCOM)—and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). In particular, the U.S. government cannot…

FAA should curb its regulatory authority over commercial drone use

Several state legislatures have already enacted drone-related statutes, but states should be doing much more. For more than half a century, the Federal Aviation Administration has piloted the development of sensible aviation regulation in the United States. Unfortunately, when Congress enacted legislation in 2012 directing the FAA to craft rules for small civilian drones, the…

A Drone for Every Small Business

Last June, the Federal Aviation Administration grounded Amazon Prime Air’s plans for a drone delivery system. But two weeks before the Amazon decision, the FAA granted energy corporation BP permission to fly a drone over Alaska’s North Slope to better survey roads and pipelines. That marked the first condoned use of a commercial unmanned aircraft…

The Secret Origins of the Drone Revolution

The Predator Drone, though best known as the CIA’s primary weapon in the war against Al Qaeda, was merely an unarmed, remote-control intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft when the Defense Department first bought it in 1994. As detailed in Richard Whittle‘s Predator: The Secret Origins of the Drone Revolution, the Predator’s configuration was derived from…

Opportunity for Public Input on Drones: The Good, The Bad, and The Amazing!

The League of Women Voters of San Diego will be hosting a luncheon, Drones: “The Good, The Bad, and The Amazing,” on October 16, 2014, to discuss the pros and cons related to the issues on the November ballot. “As you probably know, the League’s mission is to educate ourselves and our communities about important…

California Bill Won’t Nullify Drone Spying

They’re coming. Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), have been cleared to use the public airspace since the Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act passed last year. It is now up to the states to integrate this emerging technology with handouts to pay for them from the Department of Homeland Security. In California, Assembly…