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First City In the US To Pass an Anti-Drone Resolution

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the no-eyes-in-the-skies dept.

Government 198

An anonymous reader writes "According to an Al-Jazeera report, 'Charlottesville, Virginia is the first city in the United States to pass an anti-drone resolution. The writing of the resolution coincides with a leaked memo outlining the legal case for drone strikes on U.S. citizens and a Federal Aviation Administration plan to allow the deployment of some 30,000 domestic drones.' The finalized resolution is fairly weak, but it's a start. There is also some anti-drone legislation in the Oregon state Senate, and it has much bigger teeth. It defines public airspace as anything above your shoelaces, and the wording for 'drone' is broad enough to include RC helicopters and the like."

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198 comments

Jefferson would be proud (3, Insightful)

colinrichardday (768814) | about a year ago | (#42814421)

About bloody time!

Re:Jefferson would be proud (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42814447)

Al Jazeera are muslim apologetists and terrorists.

Re:Jefferson would be proud (1, Troll)

colinrichardday (768814) | about a year ago | (#42814467)

I suppose that requesting evidence to support that claim would be aiding and abetting terrorists.

Re:Jefferson would be proud (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42814487)

No point in posting evidence you'd ignore it anyway. Google it.

Re:Jefferson would be proud (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42814531)

Burden of proof lays on the person making the claim.

That's basic stuff, man...

Re:Jefferson would be proud (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42814647)

That's pretty much a different way of ignoring it.

Re:Jefferson would be proud (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42815119)

All of the results from such a google search are from bat crap insane websites, not reputable sources of news. Of course, as is the case with the insane, in your demented reality the crazy sources are sane, and the sane sources are crazy.

Re:Jefferson would be proud (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42814499)

I wondered how soon this sort of mongoloid comment would appear. Now I know: very soon indeed. You waddling, flag-draped pillock.

Re:Jefferson would be proud (0)

xevioso (598654) | about a year ago | (#42815927)

look here, you feculent steatopygous fussock, take your sesquipedalian words elsewhere.

Re:Jefferson would be proud (4, Informative)

Anguirel (58085) | about a year ago | (#42814793)

Al Jazeera Arabic, or Al Jazeera English? They're very different sources, and one of them is highly respected throughout the world for in-depth coverage and serious journalism (except, perhaps, in America).

Re:Jefferson would be proud (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42815245)

It seems everywhere but America.

Re:Jefferson would be proud (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42815695)

Al Jazeera are muslim apologetists and terrorists.

And you are a shill for the Jews who MURDERED Rachel Corrie.

Re:Jefferson would be proud (1)

mozumder (178398) | about a year ago | (#42814693)

Not sure why "drones" are different from "NOT drones"?

What causes all the junior McVeighs & Weavers here on Slashdot to fear drone monitoring & strikes, when government can monitor and kill you in any number of other ways?

How about just driving a van up to your house with a SWAT team?

Where is the fear of SWAT teams?

Seriously, you guys need to train yourself to fear things that are actually going to kill you.

This is why we liberals call you libertarians dumbasses, because you haven't done the calculation on what will actually kill you, because you are emotional women, and the result is you fear things that will never affect you, and ignore things that do affect you. I guess you have a right to be emotional, though.

I personally fear swimming pools, cars, trans-fat, and guns, and couldn't care less about drones.

But man all you redneck libertarians go apeshit about drones. You do things like ban them, when you should be banning swimming pools, cars, trans-fat, and guns first.

"ABOUT BLOODY TIME WE BAN TRANS-FAT!" no libertarian has ever said.

Also, another quick pro-tip from us rational people to you emotional people: you should pay your high-interest credit cards first before you pay off any lower-interest loans.

Re:Jefferson would be proud (4, Insightful)

colinrichardday (768814) | about a year ago | (#42815253)

Excuse me, am I a junior McVeigh?

I would also suggest that a government that needs to conduct drone surveillance is far more paranoid than I am. And one that performs drone assassination is less moral than I am.

Re:Jefferson would be proud (1)

G_REEPER (112154) | about a year ago | (#42815819)

Thought all ya'll were big obama fans ?? what happen you learning that at least Bush did not want to kill you. ROFL

Re:Jefferson would be proud (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42815907)

About bloody time!

He would not be proud of short sighted pandering/reactionary legislation

That is kind of the exact opposite of what he wanted.

Stop misappropriating his name for what ever the hell you feel like he would want and actually read his writings.

Re:Jefferson would be proud (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42815937)

He won't be proud when the cops use these laws to harass local R/C enthusiasts

Yeah, and what'll it do? (5, Informative)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#42814457)

The Government can ignore this just like they ignore a sovereign States authority (See DIA raids in CA on marijuana shops and farms). In fairness, the town must abide by State law which may invalidate the City law.

Until more people wake up and shake off the cobwebs, the police state will continue to grow. I hope like hell we catch it in time, but looking at media and education I have strong doubts.

Kool Aid (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42814679)

I am wondering if all the Obama Kool Aid drinkers are having second thoughts yet. Now that he doesn't have to run for re-election, he's pretty much told all you to fuck off and die and he'll do what he wants, Constitution be damned.

I'm reading that Obamacare will be even more fun than expected...filled with things that people couldn't even make up during the debate without being called a complete loon. A hell of a thing, reading a Bill before you pass it.

Re:Kool Aid (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42814789)

Nope, just yesterday when the drone strikes on US citizens are legal story came out they were all saying Bush started drone strikes so it is ok. They are idiots to the end.

Re:Kool Aid (2)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about a year ago | (#42815727)

The BIGGER point is that when Obama wanted to close Gitmo and send those occupants to US prison or other legit foreign prisons CONGRESS put up block to stop him.

I find the power to EXTRACT me from the USA with zero oversight and then do "whatever" to me was over the top compared to ordering bombs dropped on "wanted: dead or alive" types.

Re:Kool Aid (4, Informative)

anagama (611277) | about a year ago | (#42816047)

Your post is a little confusing to me, but I hope you haven't fallen for the lie that Obama wanted to end the practices of Gitmo. Obama did try to close Gitmo and Congress stood in the way, but it was a type of "closing" where those practices were merely imported to a Federal Supermax in Illinois, not a "closing" in the sense of ending the practice of indefinite due process free detention. It was a very clever bit of politics on Obama's part -- something an uncritical Democrat could latch on to in the tribal GOP v. DNC clownfight.

see: "Welcom to Gitmo North"
http://www.salon.com/2009/12/15/gitmo_3/ [salon.com]

If you really want to blame someone ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42814917)

I am wondering if all the Obama Kool Aid drinkers are having second thoughts yet. Now that he doesn't have to run for re-election, he's pretty much told all you to fuck off and die and he'll do what he wants, Constitution be damned.

We had the same problem with Bush II - tells you something, doesn't it?

People want to feel safe. The media makes a LOT of money scaring the shit out of Jane and John Q. Public. They want their Government to do something.

I mean really - in this day and age I still hear from folks who say they feel so much safer with the TSA.

Really?!

And I can tell you for sure, that Mr. and Mrs. Public are going to feel nice and safe with pappa government flying overhead making sure that those evil drug dealers, terrorists, pedophiles, and assorted bugga boos.

So look around you. The folks who buy into the lies and horseshit being broadcast by our lying cheating irresponsible for-profit media has completely misinformed your neighbors (and ourselves for that matter) because DO NOT want to be informed, they want to be entertained.

Look at Fox News. Very little real content and plenty of pretty young women with short slit skirts and very high heels. CNN isn't much better.

An do people spend the time to actually get the facts or to research and check the media outlets? Fuck no!

So while folks are all scared about Obama taking their pea shooters (POS .223), he and his successor (Dem or Rep doesn't matter) will be spying on everyone to keep them "safe" .

So, before blaming the Kool-Aid drinkers, how about taking the plank out of your own eye because you're spouting off the same cheap rhetoric that I see time and time again on our dipshit media.

Re:Kool Aid (0)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year ago | (#42815013)

I'm reading that Obamacare will be even more fun than expected...filled with things that people couldn't even make up during the debate without being called a complete loon. A hell of a thing, reading a Bill before you pass it.

Well, Ms Pelosi, at the time, *DID* say that we needed to pass it...so we could see what was in it.

Re:Kool Aid (0)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#42815921)

AS one of many people who did read it before it was voted on, please stop you bull crap. You didn't dread it, that's your problem. Pundits didn't read it, that's their fault.

And there is nothing of the sort in Obamacare.
It's already easier, in many places, to get digital version of your records, and to transfer them.

Re:Kool Aid (1)

rajafarian (49150) | about a year ago | (#42815955)

Ah, come on, I'm not saying Kool Aid wasn't involved, but did you check out the other guy? What do you think he would have done about the impeding police state? Of course we don't really know because his answer would have depended on who was asking it. We're F'ed.

Re:Kool Aid (4, Insightful)

reboot246 (623534) | about a year ago | (#42816003)

As much as I hate that narcissistic slacker, it's not all Obama's fault. It's a powerful central government that has a limitless appetite for power, so both Democrats and Republicans are to blame. They don't care about the citizens whatsoever. All they care about is power.

We need to get rid of all incumbents every election. Don't let them get used to the power. Then, after a few elections, maybe we can get people in office who will start dismantling the massive bureaucracy that has taken over Washington. Congress passes one law, and then the bureaucrats create a thousand nit-picking regulations from it.

Call me a conservative, a liberal, or even a libertarian; I don't really care. But, folks, if we don't get a handle on the size of government, we're all going to suffer. Remember the old saying, "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take everything you have." (including all of your freedoms)

Re:Yeah, and what'll it do? (4, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#42814769)

The Government can ignore this just like they ignore a sovereign States authority (See DIA raids in CA on marijuana shops and farms). In fairness, the town must abide by State law which may invalidate the City law.

Until more people wake up and shake off the cobwebs, the police state will continue to grow. I hope like hell we catch it in time, but looking at media and education I have strong doubts.

Well, they may not be able to prevent Federal Drones, but State and County drones may be banned, especially if this City has a home-rule charter (giving them local law enforcement authority).

In Seattle, there is currently an uproar over drone use by Seattle PD [king5.com]. The Police have them, but haven't used them yet. They want to put them into use [seattle.gov], but the public is pretty much opposed, and SPD hasn't made a convincing use case, or even cited any recent incident where these might have been useful. (They carry small cameras, and by the looks of them do not provide any telemetry.)

The idea is to prevent your own law enforcement units from wasting their time peeping into back yards and windows. By the time State Authorities and the Feds arrive, the situation is totally out of hand anyway. The demand on state and fed resources is probably such that their arrival with drones in hand is less likely.

So just keeping your local PD/Sheriff from acquiring invasive tools goes a long way.

Re:Yeah, and what'll it do? (2)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#42814957)

A City of a State is subjective to the State. If they State law states that Drones are okay, then the City must allow them. The Cities are supposed to be represented in the State just as the States are subjective to the US Government.

I agree that people should vocally be opposing all drones at all levels. Power however has diminished the voice of the People to near mute in the last decade.

Re:Yeah, and what'll it do? (2)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#42815173)

A City of a State is subjective to the State. If they State law states that Drones are okay, then the City must allow them. The Cities are supposed to be represented in the State just as the States are subjective to the US Government.

What you say may be technically true, but on the ground in day to day business, local law enforcement pretty much carries the load, and state and federal law enforcement act strictly as support, unless they are called in by local authorities, or ordered in by the Governor.
You do not generally see a city swarmed by US Marshals doing day to day law enforcement tasks. Turf is quite rigorously defended.

You might have DEA running around with Drones, but seldom unknown to local police, and usually only if there is inter-state aspect.

Just because state laws say drones are ok, doesn't mean they are going to be "ok" in any City.
It depends on the subject area under discussion. Home Rule cities have wide authority in policing in many states.

See some references on this subject:
http://legisource.net/2011/11/03/when-can-a-local-government-override-state-law-home-rule-cities-in-colorado/ [legisource.net]
http://www.mrsc.org/subjects/governance/locgov12.aspx#3 [mrsc.org]

Re:Yeah, and what'll it do? (-1, Flamebait)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#42815977)

DOn't confuse your irrational fear with the will of the people.

I, for one, want drones. They are a very effective way to watch for crime, and track people.

Let me clue you in:
Stopping cameras will never, ever happen. It's to cheap and it works very well.

That's not the fight, and you can not win.
The fight is what they can do with the images, what constitutes evidences, who they can share them with, and that the people can also ahve camers and film the police.

Those are the critical issues.

Re:Yeah, and what'll it do? (1)

eth1 (94901) | about a year ago | (#42815377)

By the time State Authorities and the Feds arrive, the situation is totally out of hand anyway. The demand on state and fed resources is probably such that their arrival with drones in hand is less likely.

Or MORE likely, if they can just send a cheap drone instead of expensive people.

Re:Yeah, and what'll it do? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#42815953)

How about: we can patrol more space more efficiently?
How about we can save money?
How about we can track someone without engaging in a high speed chase?

invasive? it is a camera that watcher public space. let me know when they want to fly them into your home.

Re:Yeah, and what'll it do? (1)

Bigby (659157) | about a year ago | (#42814839)

I just want to think and laugh at how Dems love State rights when they agree with the idea being practiced. (not saying you are a Dem or that I am a Repub)

Re:Yeah, and what'll it do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42814993)

I just want to think and laugh at how Repubs love State rights when they agree with the idea being practiced. (not saying you are a Repub or that I am a Dem).

Re:Yeah, and what'll it do? (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#42815699)

Labels are attempts to avoid dialogue on subjects based on how they are labelled. I'm not saying you are attempting to avoid the subject, but rather pointing out that you did not have any impact, positive or negative, on my statements throwing out labels. If you are not educated enough to realize what you did, shame on you for being ignorant. If you are educated enough to realize what you did, shame on you for avoiding dialogue and jumping on a fallacy wagon.

Re:Yeah, and what'll it do? (4, Insightful)

anagama (611277) | about a year ago | (#42815939)

I'm a liberal (not a Democrat mind you, Democrats are just the New GOP and the old GOP is merely a parody of itself) -- but I'm totally for States' Rights. The more I see what the Federales do, the more I would love to see a secessionist movement not rooted in white supremecy groups or religious freakery. The greatest threat to liberal values in the world today is the US Federal government and a constitutional amendment allowing unilateral peaceful secession of states would be a very interesting thing to have. Even if states didn't suddenly jump ship, the very existence of that right would make the Feds a bit more circumspect (at least probably, but who knows, they're pretty stuck up).

Re:Yeah, and what'll it do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42814849)

The states that make up the USA are not sovereign. If you want them to be sovereign you'll need to get rid of the Constitution.

Re:Yeah, and what'll it do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42814939)

"sovereign state"? are you high? california is not a sovereign state. it's a state which is part of a union, or republic. the usa itself is a sovereign state.

us states have *always* been required to follow *all* federal laws. that's why we, you know, had a war 150 years ago. however, the constitution does explicitly give states all powers not reserved by the federal government.

take cannabis: it's classified as a schedule i drug at the federal level, so no matter what any state says, cannabis is always *federally* illegal in every state. so the feds have every right to raid medical marijuana facilities, it just kind of goes against the spirit of our union (the feds let states have all kinds of other laws).

the key thing here is to get cannabis descheduled. there's a new bill in congress right now (the senate, i believe, but i may be wrong) to do just that. of course, it's very highly doubtful it will pass, but it's a step.

colorado and washington were the first steps. the next is for more states to explicitly legalize cannabis, just as they did with alcohol in the 20s. eventually, the federal government will follow suit. americans *today* are polling at 56% support of legalizing cannabis for recreational use. imagine what that number will be in a few years. the feds will have to respond.

hell, it would hilarious to see the republican party make a total 180 on this issue and start advocating legalization. it won't happen, but imagine the support they'd pick up based on that 56% stat.

anyway, cannabis legalization is going to happen as long as it's done right. if you live in oregon or california, you're next! please vote for legalization next time it's on your ballots (probably 2016 for ca, maybe 2014 for oregon). oregon, you kind of let everyone down in 2012.

Re:Yeah, and what'll it do? (1)

Bomazi (1875554) | about a year ago | (#42815285)

Oh thou who art awake, would you care sharing with us exactly what you are doing to curb the police state (apart from ranting on /.) ?

---
This post is certified 100% sarcasm-free.

Re:Yeah, and what'll it do? (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about a year ago | (#42815685)

The FAA regulates airspace not the States... So this is pointless.

Of course the FAA has previously declared "airspace" over 500 -1000 feet because that's the minimum they allow standard aircraft to fly. The whole drone thing is greased DoD palms... So it's going to happen.

Re:Yeah, and what'll it do? (-1, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#42815883)

What police state? actual examples?
DO you even know what police state means?
Notice: If you post as idiot, don't expect a response.

Shoelaces (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42814465)

"It defines public airspace as anything above your shoelaces"

Great, now we're going to have nano drones [gizmag.com] buzzing around below the level of our shoe laces. Nice one Oregon.

Re:Shoelaces (2)

Bigby (659157) | about a year ago | (#42814861)

Or it can be interpreted as the highest shoelace within a 1000 mile perimeter. Then they'll put shoelaces on top of radio towers.

Drone season (5, Funny)

Lord Apathy (584315) | about a year ago | (#42814541)

Two words. Drone Season. There you go, its a self correcting problem. You can increase the tax base by selling licenses too. Just thing, for $75 bucks every gun toating, drunk ass redneck can fill the sky with lead.

Errr, on second though, maybe this isn't such a good ideal.

Re:Drone season (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year ago | (#42815073)

Two words. Drone Season. There you go, its a self correcting problem. You can increase the tax base by selling licenses too. Just thing, for $75 bucks every gun toating, drunk ass redneck can fill the sky with lead.

No..its a fantastic idea!! Using one of these babys [barrett.net]...load up and yell PULL as soon as you see a drone coming your way....

Re:Drone season (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about a year ago | (#42815805)

Actually, because the drones are licensed by the FAA that would be illegal.

In fact that is the one legit case for news gatherers because "technically" your ar.drone toy that has a camera might be illegal if you posted the video to YouTube or something commercial. Right now, your neighbor COULD shoot it down if it crossed their property under the RC toys rules.

Bring it (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42814551)

The faster we slide to full on fascism, the sooner it will all collapse and we can finally re-evaluate our principles. I'm tired of this moderately predatory murder-based society being able to justify itself due to the prosperity created by the last vestiges of peace and voluntarism. Let's fucking drown ourselves in violence so we can finally recognize that none of this evil is justified. Let us kill the healthy host completely so that the parasite is exposed. Then perhaps we can start over without any illusion that violent parasitism is good in moderation.

Re:Bring it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42815379)

I have hope for humanity again. Thank you.

What about RC planes with cameras? (3, Interesting)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | about a year ago | (#42814633)

I play around with RC planes and my kids want to attach a camera to our next project. Does that make me a criminal? I thought it made me a cool Dad!

Re:What about RC planes with cameras? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#42814703)

I play around with RC planes and my kids want to attach a camera to our next project. Does that make me a criminal? I thought it made me a cool Dad!

Take it outside city limits, you should be fine with the law.

Can't speak for the rural folks around those parts, but I know that if I were out in my field and saw something suspicious and obviously unmanned flying over my property, I'd be hard pressed to not at least scope the thing, if not blow it clear out of the sky just out of principle.

Re:What about RC planes with cameras? (4, Informative)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | about a year ago | (#42815753)

I play around with RC planes and my kids want to attach a camera to our next project. Does that make me a criminal? I thought it made me a cool Dad!

Take it outside city limits, you should be fine with the law.

Can't speak for the rural folks around those parts, but I know that if I were out in my field and saw something suspicious and obviously unmanned flying over my property, I'd be hard pressed to not at least scope the thing, if not blow it clear out of the sky just out of principle.

Scope? You mean you would shoot at my RC airplane with a scoped rifle? I doubt that you could hit it. Regardless, shooting a rifle at a high angle into the air is a remarkably reckless thing to do. That bullet will come down with lethal velocity at a random location, perhaps several miles away. Perhaps you should give your idea more thought.

Re:What about RC planes with cameras? (1)

sycodon (149926) | about a year ago | (#42814723)

A helicopter would be much better to film the local animal life sunning themselves at the pool.

Re:What about RC planes with cameras? (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year ago | (#42816009)

Ye with such lack of imagination! I bet detectors that will detect and alert hovering RPVs outside windows of higher floors of buildings, homes, hotels, etc will debut in the next CES show and will sell like mad.

For the patent trolls, this posting serves as prior art.

Re:What about RC planes with cameras? (2)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about a year ago | (#42815277)

I can't find the actual law, but this is the model law and it reads:

NOW, THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED, that the City Council of Charlottesville, Virginia, calls on the United States Congress and the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, to adopt legislation prohibiting information obtained from the domestic use of drones from being introduced into a Federal or State court, and precluding the domestic use of drones equipped with anti-personnel devices, meaning any projectile, chemical, electrical, directed-energy (visible or invisible), or other device designed to harm, incapacitate, or otherwise negatively impact a human being.

If that's the resolution it's not even a ban, it's just a call for a ban to be implemented by the state and federal government. And even then it's only a ban on drone footage as evidence or arming a drone.

Re: What about RC planes with cameras? (1)

skitchen8 (1832190) | about a year ago | (#42816045)

As of now popular consensus in the RC community is basically that you can fly, you can film, but you can't in any way profit from it as far as Federal law is concerned, but it is a bit of a grey area whether or not they have any control over airspace under 400' AGL to begin with. However, post them to YouTube with monitization turned off and, barring any local laws making it illegal, you are in the clear. Also: enjoy, flying for aerial photo/videography is a blast. I suggest the 808 #16 camera, it is pretty amazing for this use, and even my micro quad copter lifts it with ease. Check out the thread in the rcgroups.com aerial photography forum if you'd like more info, it is easily second best to a gopro while being lighter and far cheaper.

Posse Comitatus Act (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42814675)

The Posse Comitatus Act http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posse_Comitatus_Act [wikipedia.org] prohibits military being used against US citizens unless such action is allowed by the US Constitution, or an Act of Congress.

Re:Posse Comitatus Act (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42814757)

Oh, well, we've got nothing to worry about then.

Re:Posse Comitatus Act (3, Interesting)

Torodung (31985) | about a year ago | (#42815227)

Tell me what benefit such legal protection is to a man who is unmade into a smoking crater because of people who believe they have legal authority to do otherwise? Do we need to have a martyr and a legal determination, or can we simply and justly move as a functional democracy to repeal, ban, and/or repudiate this naked reservation of excessive force and power? Do you really believe that someone reserving the "authority" to murder someone is acceptable because we have laws against murder? How about when it's our President?

But the real (and begged) question is, do we truly believe that an _airstrike_ is an acceptable level of force to deal with the threat posed by a single individual?

We went wrong when our government got into the business of assassinating its enemies. Go back to _at least_ Kennedy (and the Cuban cigar ruse) for that. There is a reason why assassination carries a stigma as the kind of thing that rots and destroys any functioning society. It does, because the targets eventually become fungible and universal. Today's terrorist leader is tomorrow's Public Enemy #1 is today's inconvenient malcontent, and the dishonored dead all have friends who want revenge, and maybe can even get elected. It becomes, when used domestically, a internecine blood war.

In the meantime, if this kind of thing is proffered as acceptable in U.S. airspace, then we need to start assigning air raid precincts, training captains, and holding weekly drills like we did in WW-II. Just to limit the collateral damage. The Posse Comitatus act doesn't begin to put my mind at ease, unless I'm already dead. Then it's one of my last hopes for the future of those that survive me in a world where air strikes against individuals are considered reasonable force.

FAA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42814689)

Conflicting summary? The Oregon law casts such a wide net that RC hobbyists are now criminals. Is that really what we want?

Has the FAA even gotten around to regulating drones? That'd be their department because, you know, these things are sharing airspace with manned craft and regulating things that might impact manned flight is THEIR JOB.

Sorry, I have to file the C-ville act right up there with "nuclear free zone". Yeah, I really sleep better knowing that Berkeley isn't going to follow through on that uranium enrichment program... sheesh.

Won't do what they want (3, Insightful)

weiserfireman (917228) | about a year ago | (#42814707)

The Federal Government claims sovereign authority over everything over 500 ft. The Feds will continue to regulate this airspace, and if someone has a Federal license to operate a drone, it will override local regulations anyway.

Only thing this will do is bust people using unregulated space. We will probably hear about it being applied to kids strapping cameras to their RC airplanes.

Re:Won't do what they want (1)

Anguirel (58085) | about a year ago | (#42814851)

The Charlotte measure seems to be primarily concerned with municipal and government use of drones. I'm not sure it even regulates amateur and civilian use. I didn't dig into the Oregon one -- that seemed like a much more comprehensive measure, but as long as the license process isn't onerous (as far as I could tell, it was mostly "If you want to fly a drone, you need to register first"), it seems acceptable to me to say "if you want to fly your drones here, we need to know who you are, ensure you are capable and competent to do so, and further ensure that you are aware of the regulations that may be applicable."

Re:Won't do what they want (2)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#42814893)

Only thing this will do is bust people using unregulated space. We will probably hear about it being applied to kids strapping cameras to their RC airplanes.

Actually, it won't even do that (which is why this whole article is so stupid). It was just a resolution, not a law. Basically the Charlottesville, VA (population 43,000) city council just put out an opinion piece. Yawn.

Re:Won't do what they want (1)

Whatever Fits (262060) | about a year ago | (#42815297)

Where in the Constitution does it state that the Federal Government has that authority? If it doesn't have it stated explicitly there, then it is the domain of the states, cities, or other localities.

And what does the FAA have to say about this? (1)

Slipped_Disk (532132) | about a year ago | (#42814781)

Seeing as how the national airspace system is federally regulated, and in Charlottesville VA the FAA owns the airspace from 700 feet up (surface up in some parts of the city, near their lovely airport) this law is nothing but symbolic bombast.

Want to make a dent in the drone problem? Scream at Congress and get them to mandate that the FAA establish sensible rules for UAVs.
Congress has already passed legislation forcing the FAA to integrate drones into the national airspace system (because Congress knows so much about the intricacies of air traffic management and safety), so how about getting them to stop being complete idiots about it?

Re:And what does the FAA have to say about this? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#42815669)

Yep. This is nothing then anti american propaganda put out by a Sikh.

Meaningless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42814813)

Federal law will trump the local resolution.

Why drones? (4, Insightful)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year ago | (#42814899)

I get why people are disturbed by assassinations and spying. What I don't get is why there is such a big deal made about the fact that it is being done by drones. What does it matter if the pilot is physically in the airplane or on the ground watching a video feed from a drone? Anything that can be done from a drone could have been done by an airplane with a pilot in it. Drones are just safer for the pilot, and makes it easier to go to the bathroom.

Rather than passing this kind of narrow minded anti-drone legislation, why don't they pass anti assassination or anti-spying legislation, if it's assassinations and spying that you are actually worried about. Anti-drone legislation only makes sense if you want pilots in those airplanes for some reason (e.g. because pilots are better at avoiding midair collisions, etc).

Re:Why drones? (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about a year ago | (#42815153)

The thing about anti-assassination legislation is: its already illegal to kill American citizens without due process, and the government does it anyway.

As far as drones, probably because the further humans get from experiencing the result of their choice to take a life, the easier it becomes [bbc.co.uk].

Re:Why drones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42815439)

I think most drones are not just videogame remotes, they are mostly autonomous, taking commands from the remote controller. I guess its the through that given inaccurate targeting information the drone could itself decide to hit you.

Re:Why drones? (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year ago | (#42815511)

Yes but drones don't separate pilots that much more from taking a life than regular warplanes. Even in a regular warplane they are looking at a computer screen to hit targets, like a video game. Sure there is greater danger for the pilot, but I would imagine that would make him/her more prone to take the lives of others if he/she feels more threatened. The lack of danger allows pilots to make decisions that don't factor in their own safety. Maybe they can wait a little longer to see if the person they are looking at is an al queda insurgent picking up a stinger missile or a farmer picking up a shovel, while only risking the money to build a new drone.

Re:Why drones? (1)

Nimey (114278) | about a year ago | (#42815229)

Drones are smaller, harder to see, and can stay up for a lot longer than a manned aircraft.

Re:Why drones? (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year ago | (#42815603)

Some drones are larger than some manned aircraft. A global hawk is much bigger and more expensive than a Cessna with a spy camera. I guess the global hawk can go higher, but honestly would you really even notice if a Cessna was spying on you?

Drones are smaller, harder to see, and can stay up for a lot longer than a manned aircraft.

Even if this were true, wouldn't it make more sense to make laws against high endurance airplanes that are hard to see? That way if someone ever build a manned airplane with the spy features of a drone that we are worried about, it will also be covered under the law.

Re:Why drones? (1)

oGMo (379) | about a year ago | (#42815267)

The first and worst reason is fear; the popular media plays up "drones used to kill X in Y" as if there are autonomous roaming vehicles that randomly blow up villages instead of being little different than regular military aircraft doing the same thing, except for expense and pilot risk. Clearly, because of this, Obama, who will personally be controlling these (of course), wants these autonomous drones (ignore contradiction!) in every city and town killing people who don't agree with The Liberal Socialist Agenda or whatever.

A better reason is keeping the use of these by local law enforcement to a minimum, because they're small, relatively inexpensive, and perhaps ripe for privacy abuse, although this is a bit of a stretch. We definitely don't want to live in a surveillance society run by your local small-town cops with nothing better to do than harass people.

Re:Why drones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42815443)

The problem is quantity.

A police heli is /bloody expensive/ and thus limited to only cases that can justify the outlay, so people are okay with that. RC helis with a cam are literally toy-cheap, so the local squad car types can look over your fence and in your windows at any time at all, without you even noticing the buzz.

So we now need legislation to restrict how heavy policing can be, where previously it was limited by economics to the population's comfort zone.

Same with a whole bunch of what's been happening in digital for a while now, so it's kinda curious this needs to be spelled out.

Interesting times.

Re:Why drones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42815459)

I get why people are disturbed by assassinations and spying. What I don't get is why there is such a big deal made about the fact that it is being done by drones. What does it matter if the pilot is physically in the airplane or on the ground watching a video feed from a drone? Anything that can be done from a drone could have been done by an airplane with a pilot in it. Drones are just safer for the pilot, and makes it easier to go to the bathroom.

Rather than passing this kind of narrow minded anti-drone legislation, why don't they pass anti assassination or anti-spying legislation, if it's assassinations and spying that you are actually worried about. Anti-drone legislation only makes sense if you want pilots in those airplanes for some reason (e.g. because pilots are better at avoiding midair collisions, etc).

I am disturbed by my city using police helicopters which cost thousands of dollars per hour to operate, when a drone costing tens of dollars per hour would do the same thing.

Scalability. (2)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about a year ago | (#42815595)

For a given budget, you can field a whole lot more drones than manned vehicles. Even if they have to be continuously teleoperated, drone controllers are a lot cheaper than pilots, and drones are a lot cheaper to operate than manned vehicles.

I expect that before the end of the decade every squad car will carry multiple drones. This horse is out of sight of the barn.

Re:Scalability. (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year ago | (#42815681)

So by banning drones, we are artificially making spying more expensive. People who want to spy will then have the following options:

1. Break the law and use drones anyway.

2. Spend more money on pilots and regular airplanes and spy the same amount.

3. Spend the same amount of money on pilots and regular airplanes but spy less.

Why not ban magnification equipment like binoculars and zoom cameras? That would also restrict police's ability to spy, and it would reduce the efficacy of drones as spy planes.

Why not just ban spying? Or make a law saying police can only spy for 20 minutes every day? It seems just as arbitrary.

Gotta love inflammatory summaries. (3, Interesting)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a year ago | (#42814973)

There is one major part that is left out in the summary;

The writing of the resolution coincides with a leaked memo outlining the legal case for drone strikes on U.S. citizens and a Federal Aviation Administration plan to allow the deployment of some 30,000 domestic drones.'

The leaked memo outlines the legal case for drone strikes on U.S. citizen on foreign soil. By neglecting that very important point and linking it to an FAA plan to allow drones in US airspace is implies that there will be 30,000 armed drones in US airspace. That is so far from the truth as to be laughable.

Re:Gotta love inflammatory summaries. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42815397)

The leaked memo outlines the legal case for drone strikes extending to U.S. citizen on foreign soil.

Fixed that for you.

Preemptively pass a law to prevent the next step (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42815793)

Remember that in the beginning, the government weren't supposed to spy on it citizen on US soil. They are doing that now.
It doesn't hurt to preemptively pass a law to prevent the slippery slop of them allowing assassination of citizen on US soil.

Re:Preemptively pass a law to prevent the next ste (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42815973)

Quick lets write a law banning something, knee jerk reactions are the best course.

Montana Considering... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42815067)

Montana is considering legislation that would make any evidence gathered by drones inadmissible in court. Source: Montana Public Radio this morning...

Unknown drone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42815465)

I take it you are all taking it for granted that the drones will only be armed with cameras? The main purpose of these drones the Government wants to use is to implement is to KILL a terrorist, not take their damn picture.That is what the fuss is all about, people. That a drone might be flying by and shoot a suspected terrorist and accidently shoot innocent people ,like they have had a habit of doing.

sad (1)

shentino (1139071) | about a year ago | (#42815551)

I'm betting this will be ruled unconstitutional as an infringment of federal airspace prerogative as delegated to the FAA. Not to mention the usual "interstate commerce" bullshit.

oh for fuck sake (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#42815619)

remote planes? oh, drones are scary.. idiots.

Did anyone else besides me read about attacks on Americans.
Yeah, if we can't send soldiers in without higher then normal risk..in a war zone.
If they can't get you any other way,
if you are not on american soil,
and you are making plans with terrorist to attack the country.

Yeah, end of the fucking world right their.

If an American was talking to Hitler in Berlin to make plans to come home and blow up bridges, would anyone said a damn thing if a sniper took him out? Cause THAT"S the sort of thing we are talking about.

This is a drone, doing what military personal have been authorized to do fore decades.

Yay let's ban commercial activity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42815845)

because that is the only effect it will have. Stopping an up and coming field of technology from being developed in your area.

Virginia has always stood for states rights. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year ago | (#42815981)

Virginia led the confederacy and the secession. CSA's army was called "The Army of the Northern Virginia" for that reason. They will not stand by and have a federal President usurping the authority to kill its citizens without due process. No sir. The Constitution of the United States reserves all the residual rights, not specifically enumerated in the constitution to the states. Thus only the Governor of Virginia can kill its citizens without due process.
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