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Congressman Releases Draft of Legislation On Domestic Drones and Privacy

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the eye-in-the-sky dept.

Privacy 70

An anonymous reader writes "Police would be required to get a warrant to use drones for certain types of surveillance under legislation introduced on Capitol Hill. The proposed bill would also tighten regulations on what kind of data can be collected by the government and private companies and how it can be used. To safeguard against abuses, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), co-chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Privacy Caucus and a longtime member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, released a draft of the Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act of 2012 on Wednesday." In related news, garymortimer points out that a North Dakota court has preliminarily upheld the first-ever use of an unmanned drone to assist in the arrest of an American citizen.

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Suck it! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40861511)

Suck my gold-plated dick, goyim faggots!

-Your Jewish Overlords.

Simple Idea: (4, Insightful)

jxander (2605655) | more than 2 years ago | (#40861565)

How about we just treat drones like Military Hardware, because that's exactly what they are.

I don't expect to see police officers in Tanks, or wearing flack jackets and kevlar helmets, wielding M-16s. At least not on a day to day basis. So what makes it even remotely ok to use the same level of tech/hardware in the skies? Just because we can't see it??

Maybe for emergency use. "Call the National Guard" type stuff, then sure, bust out whatever hardware is required to get the job done. But for day to day business, make the cops walk their beat.

Re:Simple Idea: (2)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#40861677)

Nah, the easy solution is an umbrella hat. []

Re:Simple Idea: (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40861699)

Better idea: As long as they're unarmed how about treating drones the same way as police helicopters used for surveillance currently are, since they do the same thing except for Medevac missions? (Not to mention a higher-flying and undectable drone might be better in pursuit surveillance in terms of not panicking the pursued?)

And many police departments do indeed employ armored personnel carriers for SWAT or riot control duties. They do wear Flack Jackets and carry AR-15s, MP-5s, etc. as needed for their duties. In fact, there was a major felony bust at our complex where the entry team did indeed have everything you reference above.

Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful that in most day-to-day activities that gear stays stowed and out of the way, as opposed to countries whose beat police carry automatic rifles or subs. But if it's possibly trading fire with druggies, I'd still rather see the officers protected with everything possible short of heavy weapons.

Re:Simple Idea: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862235)

Because it is MILITARY EQUIPMENT being used AGAINST US Citizens, thats why... Constitution? Bill of rights?

Re:Simple Idea: (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862287)

..Constitution? Bill of rights?...

What about it? The Constitution allows the military to be used against civilians. Spells out the process and everything.

Re:Simple Idea: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862563)

Absolutely correct, when basically a war has been declared of the National Guard is involved. Neither is true in this case.

Re:Simple Idea: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862325)

Should have added a little to that.... As long as it is still operated by the military, it would be VERY hard to not call it a military device....

Re:Simple Idea: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862467)

So, you're advocating that the police buy these directly from the manufacturer, so it ceases to be military hardware?

Re:Simple Idea: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862625)

Nope. I vote they stop spying on American citizens, repeal the unPATRIOT Act... oh...blah.... why waste the time, it will make no difference.

Re:Simple Idea: (2)

PyroMosh (287149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40864065)

What makes it military equipment? The fact that the military has used it?

The military uses helicopters too. What about helicopters? Ban police use of them?

And underwear The military wears underwear. Should police be prohibited from wearing underwear too?

I get it. Drones are the scary thing de jure lately and the Slashdot crowd is particularly paranoid about privacy issues. But seriously, they can observe. So long as any non-public observation continues to require a warrant, I really don't care.

Re:Simple Idea: (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 2 years ago | (#40864791)

And underwear The military wears underwear.

Then why is not wearing any referred to as "going commando"?

Re:Simple Idea: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40865225)

Because beyond 10 days in the same set of clothing, it's actually more hygenic to not wear underwear. Units expecting those kind of conditions do indeed go commando sometimes.

what's a drone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40861713)

How about we just treat drones like Military Hardware, because that's exactly what they are.

They only are if you define them to be. i.e. you exclude from the legal definition of "drone", all of the drones (layman definition) which don't have a military feel to them, such as children's radio-controlled toys (among many other things).

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Re:Simple Idea: (1)

The Rizz (1319) | more than 2 years ago | (#40861771)

How about we just treat drones like Military Hardware, because that's exactly what they are.

I'd say that it depends on what the drone does - if it's just a spy drone, then if they got the appropriate warrant for surveillance, I'd have no problem with it.

Is your problem just that it's a military robot? I'm perfectly happy to have military-grade bomb disposal units in the hands of the local bomb squad, and don't see why anyone wouldn't be (cost notwithstanding).

I'd even say armed drones are OK as long as they're being remote controlled, and only deployed in situations where SWAT would be sent, anyway - in fact, I'd probably prefer the drone over a SWAT team. Would you rather have a guy there personally who needs to make a split-second "him or me" decision, or someone who can afford to give a few extra seconds time (in which the robot might get shot at) to determine if someone is really a threat before killing them?

Re:Simple Idea: (2)

snorris01 (571733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40861875)

Just because something starts out as military hardware, doesn't mean it doesn't have valid, peaceful uses.

The helicopter is a great example. Some military hardware has uses other than killing people and breaking things.

I could see something like an RQ-1 being used in much the same way as traffic and police helicopters are used today. They should have the hell regulated out of them, of course. Not just for privacy, but for safety.

Re:Simple Idea: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40861955)

I don't expect to see police officers in Tanks, or wearing flack jackets and kevlar helmets, wielding M-16s.

You obviously don't live in a city. The Constitution prohibits using the military as a civilian police force, so the police are now armed as if the military (yes, tanks, flack jackets, M-16s all of it). They regularly use this equipment to terrorize the population.

Authoritarians win.

From comments, past and present, there seems to be a lot of pro-authoritarian folks here on /. Either that, or folks who don't really think things through beyond, OMG think of the children. I expect the general population is even worse, so at current trajectory, expect jack booted thugs marching our streets within a decade or two.

Re:Simple Idea: (1, Interesting)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862121)

I don't think /. has many overt authoritarians.

What /. has is lots and lots of pro-government power full idiots. They don't grasp that giving the government a large slice of GDP is a guarantee of abuse. Starve the beast, don't give it credit ether.

They will be along shortly.

Re:Simple Idea: (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862549)

Apparently one has mod points.

Re:Simple Idea: (1)

jahudabudy (714731) | more than 2 years ago | (#40869793)

When it comes to managing government abuse, size is a bit of a red herring. Sure, a smaller government means smaller scope for abuse by government. But now, with a neutered government, you open the door to abuse by any entity powerful enough to get away with it. Which is lots of them, without someone preventing them. I'm not saying government (at least in the US) shouldn't be shrunk; I'm saying doing so won't do much to make our systems fairer. It will just allow different actors to get away with slightly different, not fewer, abuses.

What we actually need, and our system was designed to provide, is actual oversight of government. While it's true that we have let government get too big, a much larger problem is that WE THE PEOPLE have abdicated our responsibility to oversee our government and hold it accountable. We could put an end to a very large chunk of government abuse without any budget cuts whatsoever, simply by holding the people in government responsible for their actions. Vote them out of office; if they're appointed, make getting them fired a central issue for their bosses' re-election. The main benefit of shrinking government (in size/complexity, not necessarily power) would come in the form of making that task easier.

Of course, that requires a majority of the populace to be informed and engaged. Not to mention in agreement with what constitutes abuses of government authority. It's a democracy - we get the government we deserve.

Re:Simple Idea: (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862071)

How about we just treat drones like Military Hardware, because that's exactly what they are.

So what you're saying is that the military should surplus them and make them available to police (and fire departments, which have on occasion gotten involved in spying on the citizenry, with the result that they have been shot at while operating in the Emerald Triangle) through the existing Federal Excess Personal Property (FEPP) Program?

Police Aviation. (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862723)

I don't expect to see police officers in Tanks, or wearing flack jackets and kevlar helmets, wielding M-16s. At least not on a day to day basis. So what makes it even remotely ok to use the same level of tech/hardware in the skies? Just because we can't see it?? But for day to day business, make the cops walk their beat.

New York City police had a volunteer air service in 1918. Police Aviation - a chronology []

The geek has no sense of geography.

San Bernadino County has an area of 20,000 square miles. There are 106 counties in the US over 4,000 square miles each, almost all in the far West. That is a hell of a beat to walk. List of the largest counties in the United States by area []

There is a hierarchy in American state and law enforcement that reflects local traditions and values. Places where the sheriff's deputy will be of no more consequence than Barney Fife. Others where you will want and expect him to take the lead.

If you aren't aware of distinctions like these you won't know what the hell is going on or where the really important decisions are being made.

Re:Simple Idea: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862815)

What is the difference between a drown and a plane with a pilot? What about a police helicopter.

Re:Simple Idea: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40864067)

Maybe you should visit post-9/11 NYC. Heavily armed NYPD are a regular occurrence in places like Penn St and Grand Central and that doesn't include the National Guard stationed there daily. The only cops actually look better equipped by comparison.

Re:Simple Idea: (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#40864849)

How about we just treat drones like Military Hardware, because that's exactly what they are.

This one is quite hard to determine. What differentiates it as military hardware versus some rich guy with a remote controlled helicopter/quadrocopter/plane?

That's what a drone is, at its very core. And the RC world has its own share of wireless video links, video cameras (in HD!), telemetry, etc.

I think there were several videos on the 'net where they strapped cameras to RC planes and helicopters and used them to film crowds, new construction (used to spy on say, new Apple Store construction above the fence), etc.

At which point do we consider these military drones, versus just civilian toys (that police can use)?

Re:Simple Idea: (1)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | more than 2 years ago | (#40864993)

Any offensive capability like guns and missiles would be the only capability that should not be available. SWAT doesn't have access to RPGs and breachers yet, nor do they have 50 cal machine guns.

Otherwise, let them use them, but don't expect the rednecks not to shoot at them when naughtily drunk.

Re:Simple Idea: (1)

jxander (2605655) | more than 2 years ago | (#40874013)

Weapons would be the most obvious differentiation, as someone already pointed out. But there are many other features of the military drones that a rich guy and hobby shop won't be able to replicate.

Things like automation, levels of redundancy, purpose built software, entire buildings devoted to their operation, quality of cameras, etc. I'm not the one who draws the line between military and civilian usage, but those would be a few of my sticking points. If someone is sitting with a remote control in their hand piloting some 1/5 scale Cessna via Line of Sight with a smart phone strapped to the side ... no one is confusing that with a Predator, Global Hawk, X-45, etc.

Another differentiation worth considering is damage potential. If a hobby-shop helicopter crashes into my house, I might need to replace some shingles. If an MQ-9 Reaper crashes into my house, I'll need to replace the house, and probably half the neighborhood.

Re:Simple Idea: (1)

bobbutts (927504) | more than 2 years ago | (#40874401)

1/5 scale Cessna with a smart phone? This comes nowhere near describing the type of setup one can purchase or build. A quick search found me The Cinestar 8 quadrocopter will carry a 10 pound payload (like a 4k camera) and has GPS waypoint capabilities. It could obviously also be loaded with 10# of c4, more than enough to take out 1/2 the neighborhood. []

Re:Simple Idea: (1)

jxander (2605655) | more than 2 years ago | (#40874703)

Are you seriously trying to compare this [] and say it's on par with this? []

Or that this [] is even in the same ballpark as this? []

But maybe pictures don't spell it clearly enough. The top-of-the-line Quadrocopter from the site you linked has a flight time of ~20 minutes, a payload of 5 pounds, and a range of 500 meters. The Global Hawk and Predator measure flight time in hours and days, and can carry payloads in thousands of pounds and cover 10s of thousands of square miles. So yeah, conceptually we can call a lot of things "drones," but there are several orders of magnitude between what you or I can build regardless of money, and what the Air Force has. If the cops want to use a beefed up Quadrocopter, or some other variant, I couldn't care less. When they want to start deploying real drones over civilian populations, they can fuck right off.

Oh, and final thought, on your C4 strawman: I could strap explosives to a freaking frisbee. Doesn't put little disks o' plastic in the same category as Military Grade drones, nor does it improve the standing of your $10,000 hobby-copter. Admittedly a pretty sweet hobby-copter, as those things go ... but still, just a toy.

Re:Simple Idea: (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40867659)

You may not realize it, but the war on drugs has created a federalized police force. As Katrina has proved, police are now beholden to the feds. And no ifs, ands, or buts, they will do anything to keep their federalized dollars rolling in.

The war on drugs is one of the most brilliant political ploys ever played on the American people. With it, they are able to side step the US Constitution and create a federalized police force in every city of size.

The vast, vast, vast majority of police do not require AR-15s or any number of the other military weapons, including sniper rifles, tanks, and now drones. Keep in mind, its extremely rare any police officer will ever require their side arm - and yet we are diverting tax dollars to federalize these guys for absolutely no reason.

If you've ever worried about a day in the US where there would be federal police everywhere, you need only look at your local police department. The thing which every American has feared since WWII has quietly come to pass - and yet most people still don't even realize it.

Re:Simple Idea: (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 2 years ago | (#40867921)

How about we just treat drones like Military Hardware, because that's exactly what they are.

So is GPS. So I'll expect you to take the navigation aid out of your car and stop using your credit card at gas stations now, kthxbai.

Barbara Streisand Effect.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40861567)

For some reason, I really really really want to post a drone that can provide a live feed for the web directly over Barbara Streisand's house.

Re:Barbara Streisand Effect.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40866445)

I wonder what effect that might have...

It's amazing what happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40861603)

I'm just sure that there are some powerful people who don't like the idea of those things flying over their property. Because if it were just us peons who didn't like it, well, too fucking bad!

As soon as you intrude on the 1%'s rights, things happen!

Property rights run up to "infinity" in Texas. (1)

DontLickJesus (1141027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40861661)

I'd be interested on how effective a collection of homes creating no fly zones over their houses, or billing for flying in such space. It looks like this shit ain't going away, so lets make it as inconvenient as possible.

Re:Property rights run up to "infinity" in Texas. (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#40861695)

You dont own the air, if you did then flights would never take place in Texas.

Re:Property rights run up to "infinity" in Texas. (1)

DontLickJesus (1141027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40861787)

Actually, the ruling defining this specifies it as airspace is owned that an owner could "reasonably use". An HOA drone might take care of that requirement nicely.

Re:Property rights run up to "infinity" in Texas. (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862131)

Oh gods. HOAs in Texas are unbearable and malicious enough without letting them have surveillance drones.

Tricky defense (3, Interesting)

InPursuitOfTruth (2676955) | more than 2 years ago | (#40861709)

This is tricky, because we certainly don't want our personal fun use of drones to be criminalized in any law, but we do want clear restrains on government and other forms of invasion of privacy.

The question I have is, if you're sitting on 3000 acres of land, you can probably use a jamming device without impacting your neighbor's cable reception. So, what type of jamming would impact a drone?

Re:Tricky defense (1)

The Rizz (1319) | more than 2 years ago | (#40861895)

This is tricky, because we certainly don't want our personal fun use of drones to be criminalized in any law, but we do want clear restrains on government and other forms of invasion of privacy

Simple solution: Pass a law saying that if it's got monitoring devices over a certain resolution that it falls into a special category that requires permits (for private use), or a search warrant (for police use).

Re:Tricky defense (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862315)

Simple solution: Pass a law...

Yeah, that's it...

Re:Tricky defense (1)

Hittman (81760) | more than 2 years ago | (#40864937)

I wouldn't make it so specific.

Simply ban any use of data gathered by ANY unmanned flying vehicle inadvisable in a court of law. Forbid police agencies from using unmanned vehicles (not just drones, but smaller 'copters as well) and have a $10,000 fine for anyone in law enforcement who operates one, and a $25,000 fine for their immediate supervisor.

No warrants, no permissions, no nothin'. You don't get to use 'em on citizens, boys, not now, not ever.

Re:Tricky defense (1)

The Rizz (1319) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895311)

Why the specific hate for it being unmanned? If it'd be legal for helicopter or other manned vehicle to do the spying, why should an unmanned version be any different?
It's the "spying" part that's the problem, not the "unmanned" part.

Re:Tricky defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862143)

Jammers need to die in fires.

drone arrests and executions already (2)

harvey the nerd (582806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40861727)

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Good Luck (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40861757)

Legislation that creates limits on the up and coming police state in the United States? Good luck with that. You've already lost just about every freedom and expectation of privacy you've ever enjoyed. Your identity cannot be hidden while speaking, your lands can be confiscated if they aren't used in a manner the government thinks is appropriate, you're about to lose the ability to use an alias while on the internet. Watch for the executive order that will demand you all turn in your firearms, long or short.

As for Barbara Streisand, I can think of others I'd rather put an observation drone over, Mariah Carey, for one.

Commercial use has high potential (1)

odin84gk (1162545) | more than 2 years ago | (#40861883)

Once legislation is passed, there will be a huge boom in the commercial sector for UAV's. We need laws that will protect the citizens, yet open the air for commercial endeavors. Here are a few examples:

Radio strength mapping (UAV + radio + data logger to determine radio coverage, such as cell phone or Wi-Fi)
Physical Power line monitoring and maintenance (UAV+Camera)
Building surveys (Contractor/consultant uses a UAV to examine the exterior of a building, looking for thermal leaks or structural cracks)
Advertising (Get those impossible images without hiring a helicopter)
Agriculture: Property monitoring without installing extensive CCTV system.

There are many uses for commercial UAVs. I hope the laws will allow start-ups to compete with the large organizations.

simple way around this (1, Troll)

nimbius (983462) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862109)

the same way we started enacting the drug war. Dont police the suburbs and make sure to target poor minority communities first as they lack resources to fight the use of drones. slowly expand the presence, just as we have with helicopters, to suburban areas as well. pretty soon no one will remember why or how the drones came to be.

Markings (1)

dindi (78034) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862119)

So what is going to be the rule/law when it comes to displaying the owner of a drone? Country/flag, flight number?

If there is an unmarked drone above my yard what makes me not shoot it down (or capture it ) and take it into my possession?

I can already see a blackhat network of drone trading, and hobbyists who go after drones with their RC/drones armed to the teeth :) .... what was that Gibson novel again in Burning Chrome ...... hmm

Re:Markings (2)

joe_frisch (1366229) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862409)

Are they covered by normal FAA regulations? Do they need transponders - if so, with new Mode-S requirements anyone can buy a receiver and know where they are.

  Do they need annual, and 100 hour inspections? Flight certifications? Will the manufacturers issue airworthiness directives? With this the cost of operating a drone could approach the cost of a conventional aircraft.

What are the requirements for drone pilots - do they need a commercial certificate with a "drone" rating? A type-rating for each type of drone? Who is responsible for accidental damage done by the drone?

Are drones equipped with cameras sufficient to meet see-and-avoid rules for flying in visual conditions (even if flying under IFR rules).

Are drones exempt from rules that prohibit low flight over high density areas? Are they treated like helicopters? If so, does that make sense since some can't land vertically or hover?

Basically there is a huge array of regulations that cover the operation of civilian aircraft in US airspace (and in most of the world). Drones do not carry passengers, but they can still destroy other aircraft or kill people on the ground. It isn't at all clear to me how they will operate alongside of conventional aircraft in the airspace, or how they will be treated with respect to aviation regulations.

Re:Markings (1)

PyroMosh (287149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40875729)

Are you kidding me?

Do you think you can shoot down any aircraft that flies over your property?

These are / will be treated no differently than manned aircraft until such time as someone decides to pass a law / laws differentiating them.

Browse through the FARs. Most Federal Eviation Regulations make no mention / distinction between manned / unmanned aircraft.

It's unlawful to fire upon aircraft.

Doesn't matter if the aircraft is American or not, armed or not, manned or not. It's unlawful to fire upon, set fire to, explode, or otherwise screw with the operations of an aircraft registered in the U.S. or other countries. If it's manned, it also prohibits you from screwing with the crew. []

Just out of curiosity, what keeps you from shooting at the guy who hands menus on your door knob from local restaurants?

Felony terrorizing?? (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862181)

According to what I have found about this "nearly-Mount Carmel" repeat, since when is defending one's own property "terrorizing?" I can't speak to the laws of that area, but when living in a rural area and a neighbor fails to control his livestock (you know, through the use and maintenance of fences and other devices) the property owner whose land is tresspassed by such livestock has many options and rights he might exercise which include using deadly force against the animals. (My mother shot and killed a neighbor's goat at about 80 yards with a 22 pistol as it was eating her young Apple tree... no charges were filed though the neighbor who lost a goat complained... no law was broken and she acted within the law.)

The law also allows a land owner to prevent others from illegally trespassing on his land and deadly force is often allowed depending on local laws. The land owner is also under no obligation to return any livestock which wanders onto his property [especially due to the negligence of the livestock owner].

So to call it theft of property is really stretching things as far as I can tell. And to call defending one's land and rights under the law "terrorizing"??? Really? Now they are really redefining things in some dangerous ways. Think of the deeper ramifications. Redefining "unlimited" to mean "limited" pales in comparison to the government guaranteeing your rights to defend yourself and property under law while at the same time charging a person who does with terrorism essentially revokes the law selectively.

Re:Felony terrorizing?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40863133)

You have to remember that we're moving into a state where any individual who question the state's wisdom on any subject is considered a dissident, at least, and a terrorist out of convenience since it allows any and all of the federal law enforcement agencies to move against that individual. This will be done to a few, at the start, to protect the many and ramp up from there so that the many will be subject to pogroms to protect the few. It's a standard behaviour for any large government, especially where the bureaucracy has gotten out of control, wants to cement its control over the citizens.

So, the coming police state will start with those who speak out loudly against it and as they are eliminated they will move down the scale to those who only wonder where their ration of chocolate went this week while a select few will be literally swimming in chocolate (or any other resource you'd care to name.)

And, yes, I'm working on a grand unified conspiracy theory that will bring the aliens, the terraforming of our planet and the change from representative democracy to totalitarian governments all over the world.

(isn't that interesting, the keyword is banquets and that reminds me of the Twilight Zone where the aliens showed up with a book that the title was finally decode to read, "To Serve Man." Horrible misunderstanding that most people made there. :-)

Re:Felony terrorizing?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40863557)

My mother shot and killed a neighbor's goat at about 80 yards with a 22 pistol as it was eating her young Apple tree... no charges were filed though the neighbor who lost a goat complained... no law was broken and she acted within the law.

Eating an apple tree? That's one dangerous goat! Surely, there was no better way to handle that...

Re:Felony terrorizing?? (1)

chihowa (366380) | more than 2 years ago | (#40871425)

The apple tree may have been older or more expensive than the goat.

Anyway, what's the better way of handling this? The goat's owner was negligent and let the goat roam free to destroy other people's property (and goats are masters at destruction of property, I mean, who else just goes and eats an apple tree? wtf?). Talking to a deliberately negligent person about their negligence is likely to get nowhere (and this may have been attempted already). Some legal action may take care of goat wanderings in the future, but are too slow to save the tree. That's if you can get the attention of the police or pay for a civil court case (that can be prohibitively expensive, a .22 round is cheap).

Killing the goat both saves the tree and sends a lasting message to the goat owner. He won't be letting his goats destroy other people's property again.

Re:Felony terrorizing?? (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40865095)

Care to quote any of these laws? Do they apply to duly authorized police authority? I believe that deadly force is only alloed within one's own house and not just on one's land.
Perhaps you should read section 36-13 of the North Dakota Livestock laws and the following paragraph in particular;

36-13-04 Claiming estrays.
When the owner of an estray, prior to the sale thereof, presents to the person in possession of the animal his affidavit stating his name, place of residence and that he is the actual owner of the estray, describing it, then the person in possession of the animal shall release it to the claimant on payment of the lawful charges. The person formerly in possession shall then promptly send the affidavit to the sheriff, who shall file and keep the same as record of the disposition of the estray. After there has been a sale of an estray under the provisions of this chapter, the former owner of an estray has no rights in the animal.

So no, a farmer in North Dakota is not allowed to shoot stray animals out of hand.

freedom hating dems... (0)

Sebastopol (189276) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862617)

...and their anti-big brother legislation.


Re:freedom hating dems... (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#40863039)

From TFA:

It is the first drone privacy bill from a Democrat and follows legislation introduced recently by Republicans, including Rep. Ted Poe of Texas and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Sounds like the Dems are just following the lead of the Reps on this one.

Short Version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862923)

We can; you can't.

Drones Are Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40863283)

Anything that can be viewed from a public space should be considered public information. Those that dislike drones will be the same ones who also complain about every tool that makes catching criminals more difficult. Cops have used manned air craft for decades and observe suspects from great distances and follow them through entire days, evenings and even longer. A drone doing the same job is hardly shocking. What will be of greater interest is when civilians use drones to catch cheating partners and other non criminal acts.

Everyone seems to have missed (2)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#40863757)

I guess no one read the article. It seems this person had the drone deployed because 6 cows wandered onto his farm, and he refused to return the cows or let the police on his land to get the cows. Yep, that surely warrants drone deployments, SWAT raidsm and felony charges. Good old US of A.

Re:Everyone seems to have missed (1)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | more than 2 years ago | (#40865057)

Well, the article is rather lean on how the standoff developed from a couple of cops coming there to respond to the neighbour's complaint to rolling SWAT out. I doubt SWAT responded to the call initially, nor did DHS give the drone at that time either.

Events like these tend to escalate, sometimes out of control sometimes at a rather leisurely pace, but two cops with a gun being waved at them becomes four, then eight, then the chief gets involved and calls SWAT in, then everyone peers around fenders and over cars for a few hours. DHS hears about it, phones the chief and tells him they'll fly a drone around to make sure their man isn't running away out of sight.

Felony charges, that I don't know. Certainly if he shot at someone, maybe if he was threatening to do so.

Re:Everyone seems to have missed (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#40867685)

According to TFA the charges are "terrorizing" and "theft of property". With criminal mischief thrown in for good measure. Surely if he was waving a gun around there would be far more serious charges like assault on police officer(s), attempted murder, yada yada yada (I am not a prosecutor). I dunno maybe that's all covered under "terrorizing". What exactly is terrorizing anyway? Oh I get it, it means whatever they want it to mean...

1984 by George Orwell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40864345)

George Orwell did not even uncover the tip of the iceberg.

The Sombrero Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40864415)

There's a very simple way to solve this problem. If we all start wearing sombreros, this becomes much less useful.

another one bites the dust (1)

fred133 (449698) | more than 2 years ago | (#40864457)

do these units meet EPA and Federal Noise limits?
Is there radar signature large enough so that FAA radar can see them?
these are the questions that have legal "teeth",that can be used against their use by civilian authorities.
just another abuse of the constitution....

pls stupids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40864553)

it's the era of contribution and not the stupidity about scary stuff

the hobby of automotive (0)

autool (2699725) | more than 2 years ago | (#40865703)

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function more powerful, the most import is it has the good function for chip programming and with a 40G hard disk.and it can not be updated in the whole market now.i will apprciate the chance to find the good ak 400 key programmer []

Just stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40867519)

Why is it suddenly big brother if the police helicopter is flown from the ground instead of the air. The fact that it's a drone is meaningless.

What's The Difference? (1)

Gallenod (84385) | more than 2 years ago | (#40867913)

You can follow a suspect in plain clothes. You can photograph someone from a distance even if he's on his own personal property. You can follow someone in an unmarked car. You can observe someone from a helicopter or via satellite photo.

You can even send people moving traffic violation tickets based on photos taken via automatic cameras.

All of which you can do without a warrant because the subject is publicly visible.

So how is drone surveillance any different from a legal/ethical/moral standpoint?

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