Part 2 of 2: Breaking down thepoliticalnotebook’s ‘This Week In War’

Part 2 is of course (if you follow me), from thepoliticalnotebook’s post on drones.

Here’s what interested me enough to break down the article:

Legislation: ‘H.R. 658, the “FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012,” which authorizes budget resources for the Federal Aviation Administration through FY 2015 and encourages acceleration of the Next Generation Air Transportation System and air traffic control modernization.’ Signed by President Obama on, awww, Valentines’ Day, 14 February 2012.

The Why: ‘Congress is demanding drones in the air over the United States – without considering the civil liberties issues. Within the span of three days last week, the House and then the Senate passed a law – H.R. 658 – requiring the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to speed up, within 90 days, its current licensing process for government use of drones domestically and to open the national airspace to drone aircraft for commercial and private use by October 2015. While the law requires the FAA to develop guidance on drone safety, the law says absolutely nothing about the privacy or transparency implications of filling the sky with flying robots.’

The Issues:(Source: all quotes below pulled from ‘on drones’ link above)

  • 'The FAA has issued more than 300 temporary licenses - mostly to law enforcement agencies and research institutions.’
  • 'The agreements must allow law enforcement and other public safety agencies to operate drones under certain restrictions (i.e., within the line of sight of the operator, under 400ft., during daylight conditions).’
  • 'The Secretary must determine if certain types of drones (government and non-government) can operate in the national airspace before completion of the comprehensive plan, rulemakings, or guidance required… The Secretary must base this determination on whether the drone can perform without hazard to the public or national security.’
  • The Secretary must issue guidance regarding the operation of government drones. The guidance must include ways to expedite the issuance of FAA authorizations to use drones.
  • The Secretary must develop a “comprehensive plan” to integrate non-government drones into the national airspace system by Sep. 30, 2015. The plan is required to contain several elements, including recommendations on acceptable standards for operation, certification, and licensing of non-government drones. The recommendations in this plan will influence subsequent rulemakings.
  • 'Feb. 14, 2013: Deadline for the comprehensive plan'
  • 'Sep. 30, 2015: Integration of non-government drones'
  • 'Dec. 14, 2015: Final rule to implement the comprehensive plan'

Here is some TERRIBLE guidance for use of non-government drone use (from previous post).

And finally, here is some advice from the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems Association (UAVSA), ‘a trade group that represents the drone industry to the UK government,’ (Source: the Guardian) on how to get civilian populations to accept drones in their daily lives…

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?

*excuse me*

…the thing is, there’s nothing a citizen can do. Private contractors/corporations have been successfully marketing drones to all levels of government.  These things have been in flight for several months. They lobby; they’ve got money; they’ve got the ear… as you and me go… we’re pretty much powerless to voice our concern and dissent against the domestic use of drones. 

In case you didn’t know… other than the whole privacy issue… here’s why drones are bad for your psyche.

That’s about all the linkingiest rantingiest I’ve got in me.

Who needs a drink?