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Eric Schmidt: Regulate Civilian Drones Now

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the ban-telescopes-and-corrective-lenses-as-well dept.

Government 420

An anonymous reader writes "Google Chairman Eric Schmidt is urging lawmakers to regulate the use of unmanned aircraft by civilians — and quickly. He posed this hypothetical situation to The Guardian: 'You're having a dispute with your neighbor. How would you feel if your neighbor went over and bought a commercial observation drone that they can launch from their backyard. It just flies over your house all day. How would you feel about it?' Schmidt went on to bring up military and terrorist concerns. 'I'm not going to pass judgment on whether armies should exist, but I would prefer to not spread and democratize the ability to fight war to every single human being. It's got to be regulated... It's one thing for governments, who have some legitimacy in what they're doing, but have other people doing it... it's not going to happen.'"

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How would you feel about it? (5, Insightful)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#43440841)

I live outside city limits, so I would take my shotgun and get rid of the annoying nuance flying over my house, how would my neighbor feel about it... dont care

Re: How would you feel about it? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43440893)

How would you feel about being charged criminally for destroying your neighbor's property that he was using in a perfectly legal fashion? City or no city, you can't just shoot up things that belong to other people.

Re: How would you feel about it? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43440953)

I do not guarantee the safety of trespassers nor their property. Yes, how high it is flying becomes an issue though. Perhaps there should just be a definition of trespassing that includes a maximum altitude?

Re: How would you feel about it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43440955)

Lets say you own a house in the suburbs some where. Well, aside from the lot itself, the area extends up to 500 feet above the ground. Once a drone is outside of that area, then it can be considered a problem. Otherwise it is trespassing and can be dealt with means available.

Re: How would you feel about it? (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43441023)

How would you feel about being charged criminally for destroying your neighbor's property that he was using in a perfectly legal fashion? City or no city, you can't just shoot up things that belong to other people.

That is a case I would love to take to court, and see the jury try to keep from laughing. I would be totally willing to testify in my own defense, and watch the other party try to come up with a reasonable explanation for what they were doing.

BTW this sort of thing has already happened [slashdot.org] .

Re: How would you feel about it? (0, Troll)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#43441101)

That is a case I would love to take to court, and see the jury try to keep from laughing.

The jury can laugh all they want, but if the activity of your neighbor was LEGAL, and you in fact destroyed your neighbor's personal property while it was doing something LEGAL, the judge will most likely instruct the jury that you broke the law and are liable. Only judges make the law, juries follow the law.

I would be totally willing to testify in my own defense, and watch the other party try to come up with a reasonable explanation for what they were doing.

Your testimony will be that you broke the law. The other party does not need a defense as they did not break the law.

You need to rethink your position on this.

Re: How would you feel about it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43441125)

People own the air above their property up to a fairly considerable height, much higher than can be reached with a shotgun.

Re: How would you feel about it? (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#43441209)

People own the air above their property up to a fairly considerable height, much higher than can be reached with a shotgun.

Do they, care to quote the law? And, in many places, especially in the city but also in the country, discharging a firearm is regulated.

Think about this: If the Google Car pulls into your driveway, can you go out and start blasting away at it? Think you'll walk away from that unscathed? You can certainly sue Google (as some have done) for invading your privacy, but I think you'll end up owing a few greenbacks for the damage and possibly some sork of "reckless behavior" charge.

It's a nice fantasy to say "I would do this and that". But the reality is you wouldn't and shouldn't.

Re: How would you feel about it? (1)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | about a year ago | (#43441137)

My airspace extends from my property lines, all the way up to low earth orbit. Anything in that zone is fair game...
We will have to make private interceptor missiles to go after private drones... :)

Re: How would you feel about it? (1)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#43441185)

So you think it should be legal to shoot down a civilian airliner that's overflying your property at 30,000 ft?

Re: How would you feel about it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43441199)

Not quite. Only 500 feet without further paperwork, a valid reason, etc... Anyway, sure it's legal to shoot stuff other people have abandoned on your property, even if they are still operating it.

Re: How would you feel about it? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43440913)

Only a terrorist would object to surveillance 24/7. What are you hiding? Think of the children? 9/11 forever!!

Actually the real irony here.... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43440981)

Is his company has been doing basically the global equivalent of this for how many years with google maps satellite/street view?

Sure it's not real-time, but it's had the exact same far reaching privacy implications he's claiming against civilian drones now.

Hey Eric, you made (y)our bed, now lie in it.

Re: How would you feel about it? (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43440969)

Yeah, I think this is basically Eric Schmidt having #richPersonProblems. If that happened to me, I would wonder why anyone wants to do such a boring thing with their life as watch me. But now that he is rich, he is concerned about reporters and paparazzi, and random people who might try to find some reason to sue him.

The funny thing is he's ok with the government doing it. That's kind of hilarious.

Re: How would you feel about it? (0)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#43441051)

...#richPersonProblems ... I would wonder why anyone wants to do such a boring thing with their life as watch me.

"Poor Person" neighbor disputes can get pretty nasty. RC aircraft and inexpensive high-def digital cameras are cheap these days. I'm really not interested in some whacked-out neighbor buzzing my property all day and night.

Or, maybe he's looking for my weed patch...

Who knows, but yes, I'd like to be able to call the cops on such an asshole, even after I take the thing out with my unnecessary (but legally purchased and licensed) semi-automatic assault rifle.

Actually, I'd VERY MUCH like to be able to call the cops after taking the drone out, as I'm sure my asshole neighbor will be WAY pissed off.

Re: How would you feel about it? (4, Funny)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43441085)

Somehow it doesn't surprise me that someone with your user name gets into weird neighborhood disputes.........

Re: How would you feel about it? (4, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#43441155)

Somehow it doesn't surprise me that someone with your user name gets into weird neighborhood disputes...

Dude, there is nothing more refreshingly MANLY than stepping out into your yard and taking a whiz along the fence-line... Keeps me grounded!

Re: How would you feel about it? (4, Funny)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43441195)

FYI I know someone who did that while drunk and found an electric fence....talk about grounded!

Re: How would you feel about it? (3, Insightful)

tchdab1 (164848) | about a year ago | (#43441111)

He wants to avoid "democratizing" war, but he is OK with governments doing it - I was also struck by this. Is this typical elitist thinking, or an effort to keep the genie in the bottle? Either way, the elites are thinking about what can happen when technology allows anyone to become their own army. Hey guys, it might be time to consider equality.

Re: How would you feel about it? (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about a year ago | (#43440991)

If the drone was high enough, how much good would a shotgun do you?

Re: How would you feel about it? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#43441053)

I'm thinking green laser. Or maybe a stinger missile, that'd be so cool. I don't see why the army should get to have all the fun.

Re: How would you feel about it? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43441177)

. Or maybe a stinger missile, that'd be so cool. I don't see why the army should get to have all the fun.

You need to get a Destructive Devices permit, which costs $200, need to swear you are not a criminal, and don't have any domestic violence misdemeanors. Also, your state laws may vary. You can buy a tank, too. [wsj.com]

BTW I'm not sure a stinger missile would actually hit a drone....

Re: How would you feel about it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43441027)

And for those of us within city limits, I'd suggest a potato cannon. Fun to build, fun to use!

captcha: decline

Re: How would you feel about it? (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#43441031)

Which is exactly what the annoying neighbor wants: Once you shoot the drone down, then he can sue you for destruction of property.

This is another use of a very common, and very powerful, trick:
1. Taunt opponent, provoking them into striking back. If they don't, taunt harder.
2. Once they strike back, call upon authority to come to your aid.

It's the same basic approach be it the school bully trying to provoke a victim into hitting him so that victim will be expelled for assault, or a difficult neighbor harassing you with littering, noise and things thrown over the fence in the hope you'll hit him and he can have you arrested for assault. Drones are just another avenue to exploit an age-old trick.

Re: How would you feel about it? (1)

PNutts (199112) | about a year ago | (#43441161)

I live near a large-ish airport so depending on how the airspace is carved up the drone's owner may need to worry more about how other people feel about it than me.

so what is different (4, Insightful)

berashith (222128) | about a year ago | (#43440843)

My neighbors can currently buy a camera and watch me from their property. They can have slightly more visibility for some angles from the air. If the noise is the issue, you can already call in complaints on that , and police will help you remove the nuisance.

Re:so what is different (2)

phrostie (121428) | about a year ago | (#43440939)

he just doesn't want people making google maps obsolete.

Re:so what is different (2)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about a year ago | (#43440963)

My neighbors can currently buy a camera and watch me from their property.

They can? Does the US have no privacy laws at all?

Re:so what is different (3, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43441107)

There have been many instances of people filming their neighbour's properties in order to gather evidence against them in the UK. When I first saw a programme about it on TV I was surprised that it was legal, but apparently it is and the programme in question was trying to make out it was a good thing because it helped clamp down on anti-social behaviour.

Moral of the story: built a high wall around your property and keep the curtains closed if you want privacy. People actually do that here, although they usually use tall trees instead of walls.

Re:so what is different (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43441135)

Eric Schmidt is a moron. We have anti-stalking laws which will cover this electronic stalking depending on the definition in each state.

Re:so what is different (2)

PNutts (199112) | about a year ago | (#43441143)

Where is it illegal to put a camera on your property that can see someone else's property? Legit question. We're not talking about targeting a bedroom window full frame.

Google (2, Insightful)

John Wagger (2693019) | about a year ago | (#43440847)

How would you feel if your neighbor went over and bought a commercial observation drone that they can launch from their backyard. It just flies over your house all day. How would you feel about it?

If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place.

Re:Google (2)

stefpe (256175) | about a year ago | (#43440971)

.. and if you decide to pork the ole' lady behind your 8ft privacy fence, your neighbor gets it on tape and sells it to realneighborsdoingit.com? Would you be cool with that?

Re:Google (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43441005)

If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place.

If you're going to quote the guy, at least give proper attribution in double quotes and a link to video showing him actually saying that. Here's the citation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6e7wfDHzew [youtube.com]

linked from Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Schmidt#Privacy [wikipedia.org]

Re:Google (3)

n3tm0nk (2725243) | about a year ago | (#43441055)

Oh yes, of course!! I forgot that everyone should be able to know what is happening in every room of my house just to make sure I don't do anything that would offend anyone else at any given moment of my life. One of the consequences of a free society is that sometimes you will be offended. Period. If you don't like that idea, there is a plethora of communists and dictators that would absolutely LOVE to have you come live in their country. Then all of you can march along the same line and all hold the same opinion. I realize that this idea is attractive to some folks because it relieves them of alot of decision making and introspection. It is so much easier to just do what you are told.....

Re:Google (5, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43441071)

"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place," Eric Schmidt (in a 2009 interview)

"In a world of asynchronous threats, it is too dangerous for there not to be some way to identify you," Schmidt said at the 2010 Techonomy conference, arguing that there were dangers to having complete anonymity online and that governments may eventually put an end to anonymity. "We need a [verified] name service for people," he said. "Governments will demand it."

This is the first time Schmidt has ever made an argument in favor of privacy (as far as I know).

Eric Schmidt is a jerk (2, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#43440849)

From TFA:

How would you feel if your neighbor went over and bought a commercial observation drone that they can launch from their backyard. It just flies over your house all day. How would you feel about it?

While I might be creeped out by my neighbor's drone, I would be more creeped out by a government drone. Eric Schmidt is a reflex authoritrian. He has said about privacy rights: "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place." So it doesn't surprise me that he thinks governments should have a monopoly on spying.

I own a drone (an RC helicopter with wifi and a camera). Eric, you can take my drone when you peel the controller from my cold dead fingers.

@ShanghaBill - Re:Eric Schmidt is a jerk (1)

nukenerd (172703) | about a year ago | (#43440951)

While I might be creeped out by my neighbor's drone, I would be more creeped out by a government drone.

I wouldn't. There is nothing nastier than disputes between neighbours can become.

Re:@ShanghaBill - Re:Eric Schmidt is a jerk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43441049)

A whole lotta dead Jews would beg to differ.

Huh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43440855)

Civilians? We need to regulate the government's use of drones so they don't become another tool in the government's mass surveillance toolkit. Civilians are the least of my concerns.

Only the rich (4, Interesting)

PlusFiveTroll (754249) | about a year ago | (#43440863)

Only the rich should be allowed this technology. We cannot have the plebs uncovering crime, uncovering environmental disasters, showing the world how it truly is. Only large corporations and police, who are unduly influenced by large corporations should have this kind of power. Allowing this technology may result in the upset of current power structures.

--Schmidt

Re:Only the rich (4, Interesting)

tapspace (2368622) | about a year ago | (#43441079)

That's pretty much how I read it. Eric Schmidt is already the worst person in tech. He is one of the greatest threats to the American way of life, traditionally rooted in the idea that humans have many natural rights, not the least of which is privacy. He also seems to be a very real threat to the already well eroded foundation that government power is granted only by the people. I seriously hope he chokes to death, and I mean that.

Why Just Unmanned? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43440869)

Of course, it's perfectly acceptable to fly a jet engine over people's heads at any hour of the day, because the fliers have important places to go and things to do. And noisy helicopters, as long as there is a pilot. And Google is perfectly within its rights to photograph people in the streets, because they're in public.

More drones are the answers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43440875)

The only way to stop a bad guy with a drone is a good guy with two drones.

Re:More drones are the answers (2)

eksith (2776419) | about a year ago | (#43440899)

That would be a potential disaster with multiple collisions, radio jamming/frequency conflicts and stuff. These things aren't held up by magic after all.

Healthy serving of FUD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43440877)

Seems to me Mr. Schmidt should steer clear of pressing for regulation of private citizens. Just because he doesn't like the idea doesn't mean it's a good candidate for legislation.

Quiet enjoyment (5, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | about a year ago | (#43440879)

We already have laws to cover this or any other kind of annoyance from a neighbor. That's what civil law is in place to deal with. In the US at least, you have a right to "quiet enjoyment" of your real estate. In a situation described in the article, you sue your neighbor. No need for more laws.

Re:Quiet enjoyment (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a year ago | (#43440997)

It is even simpler in that all you need to do is lodge a complaint with the local bylaw enforcement officer.

Re:Quiet enjoyment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43441183)

Bylaw enforcement officer? We don't have those here.

Re:Quiet enjoyment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43441201)

Actually we have something better. Anti-stalking laws. Depending on our state definition this includes electronic stalking. The element which might present a problem is the imminent threat requirement. I would argue that if someone is watching my house 24/7 with a drone flying next to my property/window/my personal space, there is imminent threat in the very behavior, as he could be waiting for the opportune moment and I need protection under the law to prevent stalking turing into something else. It's the same as someone using a binoculars and watching my property all the time, it's stalking. Eric Schmidt is an "legally illiterate" moron. The reporter should fact check before making this news. In this case it's the BBC. They probably pushing an agenda of the UK government which is already a nanny state with the largest network of cameras.

https://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs14-stk.htm

Target Practice (1)

Camel Pilot (78781) | about a year ago | (#43440883)

I would feel like I my neighbor was prohttp://tech.slashdot.org/story/13/04/13/159257/eric-schmidt-regulate-civilian-drones-now#viding me with the opportunity to practice target shooting.

Poor people shouldn't have things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43440885)

" He posed this hypothetical situation to The Guardian: 'You're having a dispute with your neighbor. How would you feel if your neighbor went over and bought a commercial observation drone that they can launch from their backyard. It just flies over your house all day. How would you feel about it?'"

The same way I'd feel if he bought a hot air balloon and some expensive camera equipment. Or used a full-size helicopter. But only rich people could afford to use such methods, so we'd better ban these cheap drones because only rich people should be able to spy on their neighbors.

He's not getting any pizza (1)

mattr (78516) | about a year ago | (#43440887)

But what about those guys who deliver pizza by drone? Sounds useful. Just.. there's no air traffic control. And can be used by bad guys, like most things.

Next up : Self-driving drone (1)

eksith (2776419) | about a year ago | (#43440891)

But seriously, Google's case (or rather Eric Schmidt's case) that drones should be regulated is somewhat ironic considering monitoring is nothing new at Google. The drones in this case aren't armed (and I'm certainly not condoning arbitrary use), but the potential for "oops, we just veered off course and stumbled into your growlab" is all too easy. That's the real harm here, not that we're worried there would be any rockets taking out civilians; it's the gradual erosion of personal space.

Also drones going berserk and falling out of the sky. That's a worry too.

i call bs (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43440897)

he wants drone legislation to create a barrier to entry to compete with whatever Google will be offering. realtime google maps? etc

Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43440905)

The head of Google is worried about my privacy? Now that is funny :D

The use by CIVILIANS? (4, Insightful)

rbrander (73222) | about a year ago | (#43440909)

What about the guys who can shoot people legally? Now that American citizens have officially been declared "fair game", the rest of us foreigners, (who already lived only by continued forbearance), thought you'd finally get concerned...

I believe in self regulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43440915)

As in if a nosy neighbor did that I'll regulate their behavior with a punch to the nose.

Enough Government (4, Insightful)

noobermin (1950642) | about a year ago | (#43440921)

Get your government off my drone.
The only thing that stops a bad guy with a drone is a good guy with a drone.

In other words... (4, Insightful)

vvaduva (859950) | about a year ago | (#43440925)

...how would anyone feel if some corporation indexes every words that comes out of your fingers, searches your emails to serve you ads and even turn them to government when they ask for it, and uses cars equipped with cameras to drive around and take pictures of your house?? What the hell? Regulate this shit...NOW!

Re:In other words... (1)

ScentCone (795499) | about a year ago | (#43441003)

searches your emails to serve you ads

Wow, Google is serving you ads on your own mail server? Oh, You mean they're serving you ads while you're using their huge infrastructure for free. How dare they!

some corporation indexes every words that comes out of your fingers

So you create a document and save it on your local hard disk, or send it in an email from your mail server to someone else's mail server, and Google is indexing it anyway? How? Oh, you mean words you type out and put on public display on the internet. How dare they!

Schmidt (5, Insightful)

hackus (159037) | about a year ago | (#43440927)

Notice how he points out YOU shouldn't have drones, but the banking elite funding all of these wars, using your bank accounts CAN have drones, with no restrictions of course.

So, when the Banks shut down, and you decide to get mad because they stole your money, don't be surprised if you see Schmidt's cronies he hangs out with flying Military drones over your head to insure you either like the banks raping you or you don't.

Which if you do, you are a terrorist, and your fair game for the drone.

What a load of crap.

I say unregulate civilian drones, and BAN military and government drones.

-Hack

Re:Schmidt (1)

tapspace (2368622) | about a year ago | (#43441117)

I say unregulate civilian drones, and BAN military and government drones.

-Hack

Why can't we both have drones? Rules and regulations that are proper for civilians are also proper to place upon police (since they are also civilians). Same goes for all weapons bans. We're taking away the citizenry's constitutional (that is to say natual, God-granted) right to own useful weaponry and arming our police forces to the teeth so they can shoot our compatriots' dogs and seize their property. I don't want American exceptionalism to be another failed experiment and in 100 years the world is back to having NO government where the people come first (you might argue that that's already where we are).

Re:Schmidt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43441157)

Well said

I spy with my Google eye... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43440931)

"Google Chairman Eric Schmidt is urging lawmakers to regulate the use of unmanned aircraft by civilians — and quickly.

How about government regulations on the use of Google Glass by civilians?

Translation (3, Insightful)

waddgodd (34934) | about a year ago | (#43440935)

"We got all the data we need from drones, so fuck all the rest of you". cf the semi-autonomous streetview cars, satellite imagery (hey wait, a satellite's not a....D'OH), numerous other projects that we've not heard of yet

So how large is Schmidt's Place? (1)

nukenerd (172703) | about a year ago | (#43440937)

Sounds like he has a very large place if his neighbours need a drone to see it. Most people in the non-celebrity world have a place that is easily overlooked from neighbours' properties, so what would be the point of a drone?

Except maybe to piss you off with the noise (he talks about "all day"), but they can do that already with a lawnmower, unless, again, you have huge tracts land - your own - around you.

Re:So how large is Schmidt's Place? (1)

auric_dude (610172) | about a year ago | (#43441119)

Couldn't find the answer via google, so it must be ogooglebar, right?

the right to arm bears. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43440941)

This guy just doesn't sound like a good american.

Coming from a Google Exec? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43440943)

Seriously WTF? This reminds me of celebrities weighing in on politics.

STFU and go take photos for Street View or Google Earth you colossal fucking hypocrite.

I'm a privacy nut and I enjoy the idea of personal drones as much as I'm looking forward to Google Glass. It's the monopoly on these technologies traditionally held by the government, and the rich & powerful that I resent.

Completely Clueless (1)

shawnhcorey (1315781) | about a year ago | (#43440959)

Go out, buy a RC model plane and stick a cell phone on it. DIY drone. Try regulating that.

Monarchy? (1)

b4upoo (166390) | about a year ago | (#43440961)

The notion that states or governments have some sort of legitimacy that individuals do not is wrong headed. If the government can spy on you then why can I not spy on you? And if you can be filmed from public places just where is the expectation of privacy?
                                        In all seriousness we have numerous large businesses and residences that have people on foot patrol all night. If a quiet, low flying, small device can do those patrols why would be not go that route? Large condominium complexes are one example of areas frequently patrolled at all times..
                                        What is more of a real issue is that wealthy areas now use a lot of cams and as a result are far safer. Poorer neighborhoods generally can not afford to operate such cams. Drones will be similar. Wealthy neighborhoods can easily have drone patrols. It could easily get to the point where cars that speed in the neighborhood could all be captured on drone cams and turned over for law enforcement to simply mail out the tickets. These devices can stop crime to a large degree. If the devices are armed then we could use thousands to patrol our Mexican border. People crossing illegally would simply hear a message broadcast from the drone to stay still until humans arrived to take them into custody and if they continue to move simply use force.
                                      Boats illegally fishing or dumping waste could be discovered with drones. Ranches and farms could also make great use of drones.
                                      The point being that there is simply no reason to limit the use of a wonderful, new, technology.

Re:Monarchy? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#43441059)

I agree. I can't wait until my new Acme 8 kiloton neighborhood nuclear device arives. I'm still shopping for a delivery system.

Maps (1)

afgam28 (48611) | about a year ago | (#43440979)

Imagine how awful it would be if someone were to fly over people's houses, take pictures of their backyards and post them on the internet ;)

Something smells like fish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43440983)

Doesn't anyone find this disconcerting in the least that gOOgLE is behind a push to limit the *civilian population* from SPYING??????

for governments, who have some legitimacy.... (2)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | about a year ago | (#43440987)

The English language is the most masterful for manipulating the thought process.
What's illegal for the people should be illegal for the government of the people.
It doesn't work that way does it?

Who said this...? (1)

kistel (585461) | about a year ago | (#43440995)

If you don't have anything to hide, you have nothing to fear...

Meanwhile, at Eric Schmidt's mansion... (1)

stevegee58 (1179505) | about a year ago | (#43440999)

...his neighbor doesn't like him and has been flying a drone over his house all day long.

Different worries (4, Interesting)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | about a year ago | (#43441001)

It's not hypothetical, future civilian use that worries me. It's real, current military use that needs to be regulated immediately.

2nd amendment rights (2)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about a year ago | (#43441009)

Does the 2nd amendment give my drones the right to bear arms? Can I have armed drones patrolling my property?

Re:2nd amendment rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43441211)

It gives you the right to any weapon, armed drones included.

He does have a point though, where will this end? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43441013)

Just imagine if people started driving down every street, taking photos of every single house and posting them publicly on the internet for all the prying eyes of the world to see. oh wait....

Drones have a lot of potential for good (1)

Improv (2467) | about a year ago | (#43441017)

Catching polluters, for example. We probably don't want them seeing every detail, but there's at least a useful tension between having a pair of eyes and seeing everything. I wonder if existing property laws (defining airspace above property) are enough. Might be on a state-by-state basis.

Something to hide Eric? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43441035)

And this comment comes from Eric if-you-want-privacy-you-have-something-to-hide Schmidt?

hammer to smash an ant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43441041)

This is not a new problem, drones just make it easier. There is nothing stopping said neighbour from erecting a 1000' tower and installing cameras on that. If you have a Ham license they can't even stop you from putting up a tower as the right to do so by amature radio opeators is protected by law. I have personal experience with this when i put up a 100' tower for ham radio. City council tried to stop me, i whipped out my licence and my lawyer bitchslapped with effect.

empty article (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a year ago | (#43441045)

What regulations does he want?
Size? Duration aloft? Areas of operation? Who can operate them? Licensing? I agree there should be regulation as I don't want heavy object falling on my head due to untrained idiot pilots.

The terrorist FUD is just stupid. How many terrorists will follow the regulations?

The neighbor scenario thing is also stupid. A similar thing can be done with a couple of 40' poles and cameras. If he wants the annoying factor of the sound then add a leaf blower. This issue is already covered by noise bylaws and invasion of privacy laws.

Drones in civilian hands are quite useful. They can be used by farmers to check crops and livestock. They can be used in search and rescue. They can be used for recreation.

Afraid of competition huh? (5, Insightful)

ikaruga (2725453) | about a year ago | (#43441065)

'...How would you feel if your neighbor went over and bought a commercial observation drone that they can launch from their backyard. It just flies over your house all day. How would you feel about it?'

Said the guy who sends a car to photograph my entire neighborhood and collects hi-res satellite pictures of it every 6 months or so.

Pot, Kettle (3, Interesting)

kfx (603703) | about a year ago | (#43441083)

It seems just a little bit comical that someone whose livelihood lies in obtaining as much information as possible about people for profit is complaining about individuals having the ability to spy on others.

2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the USA, eric (2, Insightful)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year ago | (#43441087)

Eric "i-google-you-but-you-cant-ogle-me" Schmidt sez "...but I would prefer to not spread and democratize the ability to fight war to every single human being"
.
Hey, have you heard of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the USA [wikipedia.org] , Eric? It specifically does what you wound not prefer: democratize the ability to fight war to every single human being in the U.S.A. by giving the people the right to bear arms. The right to bear arms allows people to have the hardware that would allow them the ability to fight war. The founding fathers, who were a hell of a lot smarter than Eric is, felt the need to enshrine that right to bear arms in writing as an amendment to the Constitution that put my country together. To quote from Animal House, I will not stand here and listen to you bad-mouth the United States of America!!
.
Fuck you, Eric Schmidt. You want to and are currently compiling huge detailed dossiers of the activities, interests, writings, travels, telephone calls, words in telephone calls, purchasing habits, pictures of the fronts and sides (and backs too) of their houses and cars and license plates with streetview, and overhead satellite and aerial photography views from satellite photography purchased for google maps. And you have the fucking gall to say that you don't want THE PEOPLE of the USA to be able to fly and perform aerial surveillance. What a bunch of hogwash. I wish you would go back to work rather than trying to buy laws that you want passed (like allowing self-driving cars, don't tell me you didn't pay someone off in Nevada to get that passed so quickly, eh?).

we feel exactly the same as... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43441093)

Schmidt says: "How would you feel about it?"

I feel exactly the same as I do about Google snooping and recording all of everyone's online activity, running tracker scripts on almost every goddamn web page on the net, sending vans around to photograph everyone's houses, and so on.

We feel JUST LIKE THAT, Eric.

Well they should certainly ban Muslims (-1, Troll)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year ago | (#43441099)

Well they should certainly ban Muslims from having private drones. We all know how they like loading things up with explosives and crashing them into things

Eric Schmidt: shut up and talk to your lawyer! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43441123)

Can I stalk you with a drone? That's Schmidt's basic question. Depends on the state definition of stalking. If as he says drones stalk you 24/7, most state laws already view that as criminal activity.

He goes off on a tangent without any legal analysis. He should either talk to his lawyer of stop giving out opinions for possibly non-existant problems. If he after studying the anti-stalking laws of 50 states finds they don't have the protection against merely observing someone using a drone or a totem pole with a camera he should voice his concerns on the definition in the states where such protection is not present.

And Eric Schmidt you are a closet pseudo-communist.

https://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs14-stk.htm

1. What Is Stalking?

Stalking refers to harassing or threatening behavior that is engaged in repeatedly. Such harassment can be either physical stalking or cyberstalking.

Physical stalking is following someone, appearing at a person’s home or place of business, making harassing phone calls, leaving written messages or objects, or vandalizing one’s property.
Cyberstalking involves using the Internet or other electronic means to harass.
Either type of action may or may not be accompanied by a credible threat of serious harm. But both types can cause psychological damage, and each can potentially lead to an assault or even murder.

All states have anti-stalking laws, but the legal definitions vary. Some state laws require that the perpetrator, to qualify as a stalker, make a credible threat of violence against the victim. Others require only that the stalker’s conduct constitute an implied threat.

completely illegal (1)

skyraker (1977528) | about a year ago | (#43441131)

Such an act as described by Mr. Schmidt is against the law. Obtaining a drone doesn't mean one can perform illegal surveilances on you. And why in the hell would my neighbor spend tens of thousands of dollars on a drone just to do so? To embarass me? Yes, drone use needs to be regulated, but let's not jump to using very poor examples.

legitimacy (3)

thrillseeker (518224) | about a year ago | (#43441133)

it's one thing for governments, who have some legitimacy in what they're doing, but have other people doing it ... it's not going to happen

Well Mr. Schmidt - from where do you think governments derive their legitimacy?

Asymmetric surveillance is wrong. (1)

DamnStupidElf (649844) | about a year ago | (#43441139)

And when the government comes for the undesirable neighbors (currently the poor "drug abusing" minorities and people of middle-eastern descent), no one will be able to see the police brutality and rights violations! Everyone wins!

I honestly can't think of any detriment to having neighbors with spy drones. They send spy drones onto my property? I'll send my own drones to track theirs and watch them watching me. If it's amusing enough I'll probably document the whole thing on a public website. Privacy is *dead*. Privacy was not one of the features of our ancestral environments. Tolerance and acceptance are the way to deal with each other, not hiding.

enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43441145)

Shut the fuck up cispa whore

Slimy piece of shit opens mouth, turd falls out... (3, Funny)

Johann Lau (1040920) | about a year ago | (#43441159)

.... news at 11.

Google Neighborview? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43441167)

Could there be the wish for another privacy intrusion monopoly - but, well: don't think evil.

one might ask... (3, Interesting)

argStyopa (232550) | about a year ago | (#43441179)

Not saying that we're there yet, but one might extrapolate not inconceivably far into the future to ask about the essential and theoretical foundations which grant this so-called 'legitimacy' to a state that somehow outranks the individual. What is it that a state "has" that an individual doesn't, and could we conceive of a society in which the state doesn't have any sort of primacy over the individual?

It speaks to the essential nature of the social contract, and the state born therefrom (of course this assumes that the power of the state flows FROM the the citizen, and not the other way around); but in an era where there are fewer and fewer intrinsic bottlenecks on the movement, communication, and power of citizens - for example, we're not THAT far away (50 years? 100 years?) from an era in which people could credibly create their own nuclear or bioweapons. What happens to the concepts of WMD "proliferation" when the technology, energy, and intellectual resources are ubiquitous?

It's worth mentioning that I see this in the roots of the 2nd Amendment discussions in the US as well: the martial power available to a citizen in, say, a fully-automatic weapon is almost inconceivably more than the Founding Fathers imagined a single individual having. Does this mean that the Amendment should be nullified, or (as we have today) that we acquiesce to incrementally circumscribing what is an otherwise pretty categorical and straightforward prohibition on ANY such limitation?

It's of course a smaller issue, but I see the powers available to UAVs another camel-nose-under-the-tent of personal capability to do something formerly reserved to government. I do NOT believe that blanket prohibition is in any way feasible or practicable over the long term - genies don't go back into bottles willingly.

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