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That Toy Is Now a Drone

timothy posted about 3 months ago | from the arbitrary-power dept.

Toys 268

fluxgate (2851685) writes "A notice from the FAA announced earlier this week just turned a bunch of kids' toys into drones. In the past, the FAA had made the distinction between model aircraft (allowed) and drones (prohibited without special permission) according to whether they were used for recreation (okay) or commercial purposes (verboten). Now they have further narrowed the definition of model aircraft: If you fly it through video goggles, it no longer qualifies. This move eliminates First Person View (FPV) radio control flying. I'm an editor at IEEE Spectrum with a special interest and blogged about this disturbing development as soon as I heard the news."

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268 comments

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The Goggles! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47340395)

They do something! They make my hipster hobby illegal!

Re:The Goggles! (4, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 3 months ago | (#47340723)

They do something! They make my hipster hobby illegal!

In principle, this is a good change. The regulations should be not be based on "hobby" vs "commercial". They should instead be based on size, weight, speed, altitude, method of control (line of sight, or not, etc.), capabilities (camera, machine gun, etc.), and where it is flown (public vs private land). If you are flying a drone less than 5kg, on your own property, and keeping it below 100 meters, it should be anything goes, with no permit required. After that, there should be reasonable restrictions.

Re:The Goggles! (1)

dryeo (100693) | about 3 months ago | (#47341271)

In principal you're right. Still privacy issues as you may be able to use the drone to view over the neighbours privacy fence and into their hot tub or private sun bathing area.

Re:The Goggles! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47341361)

I could also use a camera on a stick for that.

Obligatory (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47340401)

All your drones are belong to us.

frist prost (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47340405)

FURST!

They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47340415)

It's clear that the potential these devices have as weapons is what's motivating the government to limit their use. But that same potential makes them "arms" under the Second Amendment.

Re:They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone ri (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47340451)

Are "drones" the types of arms normally carried by soldiers and expected to bring when the militia is called?

Re:They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone ri (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47340477)

in 2014, yes.

Re: They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone r (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47340479)

Please, it's clear from the writings of the founders that the second amendment is only tangentially related to a militia. It's also to do with a check of the people against the government.

Re: They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone r (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47340505)

Go back and read Heller again.

Re: They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone r (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47340521)

You can go shove your Heller when the sun don't shine. The Constitution came first, and it's pretty clear that they were concerned about government overreach--not how to make a new government which would immediately run roughshod over their principles.

Re: They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone r (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47340551)

Article III.

Section. 1.

The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.

If you don't know anything about the constitution then you shouldn't rant about it.

Re: They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone r (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47341371)

And if the founders meant for only militia to carry arms, they'd have confiscated all the non-militia arms.

Re: They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone r (1)

ClaraBow (212734) | about 3 months ago | (#47340891)

Amendment II: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. -- It's very clear and there is little room for interpretation here. But as we all know, the constitution is a lot like the bible, everyone has his or her own take! Charles Bukowski said it best, “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”

Re: They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone r (5, Informative)

lgw (121541) | about 3 months ago | (#47341233)

In coding terms, the militia part is a comment, the right part is code. The militia part isn't part of the operative law of the constitution; never was. It clarifies intent, however.

But viewed in the context of the time, with a bunch of ordinary people with weaponry in their private possession (including military-grade stuff) just having used that to overthrow an oppressive government, it's quite clear the intent there was "a check on government overreach". Even through the 19th century, it was common for 1%ers to buy cannon, Gatling guns and other clearly military hardware, and bring it along to war, or donate it to the town for local defense. Due to some remarkably stupid procurement decisions by the US military, we would likely have been soundly defeated in the Spanish-American War had it not been for rich guys bringing along artillery they bought themselves (and Roosevelt basically inventing the modern "base of fire" infantry tactic with those Gatling guns.)

It's only been in the past century that we've had this notion that the right to keep and bear arms had secret limitations written in invisible ink.

Re: They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone r (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 3 months ago | (#47341471)

It could be argued too that modern weapons are not the same as weapons of the time. At the time of writing, the most advanced guns around were muskets - there were no rifles, and fully-automatic weapons were unimagined. Today the most powerful weapons available are bombs capable of destroying a small country, and even some of our 'small' arms can turn a man into a highly efficient killing machine capable of potentially several deaths-per-second given a sufficiently rapidly replenished supply of targets.

Re: They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone r (1)

jcr (53032) | about 3 months ago | (#47341325)

Note that the amendment does not presume to be granting the right to keep and bear arms. It acknowledges the right as pre-existing, and explicitly prohibits the government from infringing it.

-jcr

Re: They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone r (1)

dryeo (100693) | about 3 months ago | (#47341333)

Note also there is also minor limitations on keeping a standing army, namely having to refinance it regularly IIRC, I'm not American. Even by the time of the Revolution of 1688 it was well recognized that a standing army led to tyranny and limits were attempted.
Way back it was expected (with laws enforcing it I believe) that free men would keep and be proficient in arms, often long bow, so that the militia could quickly be organized.

Re: "A well regulated Militia"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47341407)

No one understands that phrase; those that do (Congress) hide their knowledge.

Its purpose was to state that the existing right to bear arms shall not
be infringed even in an organized manner. The best word to describe
an "organized manner" is Militia. The 2nd amendment extends the current right
to bear arms to include the right to bear arms while serving in / being a part of
a Militia. A Militia that is necessary to the security of a free State.

Re: They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone r (3, Interesting)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 3 months ago | (#47341141)

the second amendment is only tangentially related to a militia

That would only be true if one had never read the Militia Act.

Hint: it's not even in the fine print that pretty much every American citizen is a member of the Militia.

Re:They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone ri (3, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 3 months ago | (#47340713)

You know, I'm pretty sure that 18th century militia didn't wield pump-action shotguns all that often, either...

Re:They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone ri (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47340527)

This is actually kind of important. The second amendment means little if you cannot posses weapons that pose a serious threat to the government. Air warfare is essential in today's battlefields.

Re:They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone ri (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47341305)

That's a really crazy standard. Normal weapons, even with fancy training, couldn't ever pose a large threat to the government. If we have to let people have weapons sufficient to challenge an enormous military, we'd be allowing regular citizens to have ALL weapons. And the citizens would still be lacking training and numbers... the downsides of letting everyone own bazookas and tanks would be enormous, with virtually no actual benefit.

Re:They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone ri (1)

jcr (53032) | about 3 months ago | (#47341331)

Normal weapons, even with fancy training, couldn't ever pose a large threat to the government.

Really?

Tell it the king we overthrew in in the late 1700s.

-jcr

Re: They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone r (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47341425)

Ask the French who armed, trained, officered, equipped and funded your army and Navy if it was your right to bear arms that made a difference. Hint: without foreign intervention it never would have worked then. See Syria for how well it works now. It didn't work then and it doesn't work now.

Re: They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone r (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47341473)

It is a fallacy that people would need the same weapons as their government to rise against their government.

It would not be two large geographically separated groups attacking each other. If there was ever widespread rebellion the government and military would not only start out surrounded, but would likely have members in on it.

Small rebellions may not survive, but if a majority of citizens ever wanted to overthrow their government, small arms would be a good start.

Re:They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone ri (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 3 months ago | (#47340529)

So... regular quadcopter equals FAA-regulated and illegal but Quadcopter with a gun equals second amendment?

Good luck to all lawyers out there.

Re:They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone ri (5, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | about 3 months ago | (#47340609)

I'm not sure that the FAA has the authority to regulate the quadcopter in the first place, but the quadcopter-with-a-gun is certainly a weapon, so why wouldn't it be protected by the second amendment?

side note: To all those who say, "because that sounds super dangerous" the response is to draft a constitutional amendment to allow the government to regulate more things. Simply "interpreting" away the teeth of the second amendment merely encourages contempt of the constitution and all the other things protected by other clauses and amendments are sure to be abridged in the same manner.

Further side note: Perhaps it's me, but I've noticed over the past few years that while both congress and the people are interested in "regulating drones," both parties seem to have very different ideas about what will be regulated. Congress seems to want to regulate the use of drones by private individuals, but the clamor from the public seems to be about the use of drones by the state for surveillance or armed action. The whole thing is shaping up not unlike the calls for "immigration reform" where each party's ideas about what the reform should be are other parties' ideas about what needs to be fixed.

Re:They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone ri (2)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about 3 months ago | (#47340677)

"I'm not sure that the FAA has the authority to regulate the quadcopter in the first place..."

Maybe not quadracopters, but they definitely have the authority to regulate airspace. And regulation of quadracopters is probably coming, in much the same way as every little device that transmits radio waves is regulated now.

Re:They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone ri (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 3 months ago | (#47340689)

Is it quadcopters or quadracopters? After all, we say quad-core CPUs instead of quadra-core CPUs, but maybe there's a grammar rule or something that I'm not aware of.

Re:They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone ri (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47341395)

Quad pilot here.

Here is what we use:
Quadcopter.
Hexacopter.
Octocopter.

Re:They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone ri (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 3 months ago | (#47340735)

Maybe not quadracopters, but they definitely have the authority to regulate airspace.

And governments generally reserve the right to regulate firearms in possession of civilians, but look at Ukraine to see how that turns out when push comes to shove.

Re:They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone ri (1)

GNious (953874) | about 3 months ago | (#47340849)

yeah, the Eastern Ukraine is fighting back against their government using the handheld anti-aircraft weaponry they just happened to have lying around, hidden from their government.

Re:They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone ri (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 3 months ago | (#47340907)

Well, they most likely stole them using the AK-47s they just happened to have lying around. :)

Re:They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone ri (1)

naughtynaughty (1154069) | about 3 months ago | (#47341269)

The definition of what airspace they can regulate is questionable. For example, can they regulate baseball games just because a ball is hit up into the air? Frisbee throwing? Jumping off a diving board? That something goes up into the air doesn't mean the FAA has authority over it.

Re:They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone ri (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 3 months ago | (#47341393)

Shouldn't they be regulating everything that can fly as low as regular planes in their normal paths, so that anything below that height isn't theirs to regulate?

Re:They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone ri (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47340717)

Regulatory Capture [wikipedia.org]

Re:They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone ri (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 3 months ago | (#47340725)

but the quadcopter-with-a-gun is certainly a weapon

When properly implemented, it's probably a much more dangerous weapon than any human shooter.

Re:They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone ri (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47340855)

No, not because it sounds dangerouson its own. Because it sounds dangerous when combined with NRA 2nd amendment retards.

armament (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47341071)

I'm not sure that the FAA has the authority to regulate the quadcopter in the first place, but the quadcopter-with-a-gun is certainly a weapon, so why wouldn't it be protected by the second amendment?

Given that it is a vehicle-with-a-gun, it could be classified as an armament and treated like a military vehicle. What are the laws involved with civilians owning tanks, armed helicopters, airplanes with weapons, etc.?

Can someone go out and purchase an Predator with Hellfire missiles? Or an Apache with Hydra rockets?

Re:They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone ri (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47341095)

GTA prior art:

toycar + grenade

Re:They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone ri (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47341121)

Should people be able to have atomic bombs too? They are also weapons.

Re:They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone ri (1)

Cabriel (803429) | about 3 months ago | (#47341323)

So who regulates cars without guns attached? Or are those unregulated?

Re:They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone ri (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47340659)

Hyperbole much?

You do know that adding a gun wouldn't change the FAA's view of the quad, right?
You should know that the popular internet videos of quads with guns are CGI (aren't real).

Re:They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone ri (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 3 months ago | (#47340693)

What do you mean, CGI isn't real? Are you telling me vocaloids are a world-wide conspiracy?

Re:They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone ri (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47341069)

Whatever. It's obvious they're worried about aviation safety--pretty much the reason why there is an FAA.

Terribly written summary (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47340433)

One of the worst I've ever seen at slashdot. I'm more confused about drones versus model aircraft than before I read it. Also wtf is with 'verboten' in it.

Re:Terribly written summary (0, Offtopic)

Lije Baley (88936) | about 3 months ago | (#47340495)

"Verboten" is German for "I'm cleverly Godwin-ing this discussion before it even starts".

Re:Terribly written summary (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47340539)

It's nothing to raise a führer about.

Not surprised, mixed feelings (5, Interesting)

caseih (160668) | about 3 months ago | (#47340447)

As an RC airplane enthusiast, who likes to dabble in FPV and UAVs, I must say that I'm not surprised. However my feelings are a mix of outrage at the FAA as well as understanding. When a few irresponsible people use their toys in ways that are, well irresponsible, I'm not at all surprised to see the FAA come down hard on everyone. I think in many ways this is a tragedy of the commons. A few idiots have actually ruined it for everyone. When a toy has the power to kill people, or to hurt them, and people do stupid things with them, then it ceases to be a toy. We are now seeing stories in the news almost weekly of stupid people flying their toys in reckless and dangerous ways.

That said, I don't see how the FAA's rules are enforceable, nor do I see how the FAA can actually claim to have the authority to make rules in an an area that, as far as I can tell, congress has never granted them the power to do.

If FAA truly has the power to regulate a hobby, then they need to have a framework in place to allow this activity to continue safely. It's happening everywhere in the world. Banning it in the US will only put companies behind the curve who want to develop and use the technology.

Re:Not surprised, mixed feelings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47340489)

The very same thing can be said about firearms.

And lawn darts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47340519)

And lawn darts.

Re:And lawn darts (1)

dcollins117 (1267462) | about 3 months ago | (#47340851)

And the Irwin Mainway Bag O' Glass.

Re:Not surprised, mixed feelings (2)

queazocotal (915608) | about 3 months ago | (#47340945)

The difference is that few would argue that going hunting by connecting your gun to a couple of $9 servos, and operating it over a glitchy radio link where you have a tiny field of view through a bad camera, and it may randomly go off if you lose radio is a sane thing to do.

Re:Not surprised, mixed feelings (5, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | about 3 months ago | (#47341275)

The difference is that few would argue that going hunting by connecting your gun to a couple of $9 servos, and operating it over a glitchy radio link where you have a tiny field of view through a bad camera, and it may randomly go off if you lose radio is a sane thing to do.

The FAA opposes that, but they're perfectly fine with operating it over a glitchy radio link where all you have is a Mk I eyeball located a thousand feet away.

Re:Not surprised, mixed feelings (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47340541)

The very same thing could be said about subwoofers. Some people think they have the right to annoy the fuck out of everyone with their obnoxious thumping noise that can be heard from twenty blocks away.

Re:Not surprised, mixed feelings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47341007)

Some people think they have the right to annoy the fuck out of everyone with their obnoxious thumping noise that can be heard from twenty blocks away.

Right on. Noise disturbance and weaponized aerial drones are equally bad.

2nd Amendment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47340545)

Its gotten to the point that if there isn't a specific amendment in the constitution barring the government from banning it, it will be banned. Even with the 2nd they have tried literally hundreds of times to ban ownership of firearms. They have also tried countless times to ban freedom of speech on political matters calling it campaign finance reform.

There is no amendment protecting RC aircraft. What I suggest is putting a political advertisment behind the airplane as you fly it around wth goggles and see what that gets you. That would be an interesting test.

Re:2nd Amendment (1)

uncqual (836337) | about 3 months ago | (#47340625)

The political speech workaround won't work. Mostly because these rules by the FAA are content neutral. You can't burn down a government building and sucessfully claim a "free speech" exemption from arson laws just because you used lighter fluid to spell out your "I hate government" message on the building, lit it, and posted a picture of the start of the fire with your message clearly visible in flames.

Re:Not surprised, mixed feelings (1)

bongey (974911) | about 3 months ago | (#47340649)

The FAA should delegate or allow delegating to the AMA. IE if you are flying at AMA field , the rule doesn't apply. Or that you must have insurance.

Re:Not surprised, mixed feelings (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 months ago | (#47340741)

The American Medical Association? I should think not. If you did that, each drone would cost something north of 5 figures and could only be used by someone who went through a decades long training program while channeling hallucinations from some old dead Greek guy.

Not a very good idea.

Re:Not surprised, mixed feelings (1)

C0L0PH0N (613595) | about 3 months ago | (#47340813)

Of course, it is the American Modeling Association, which has provided the hobby's only defense against overreach and destruction of the hobby of aeromodeling by the FAA. The AMA has been working with Congress and the FAA since the rule making process on unmanned aircraft began.

Re:Not surprised, mixed feelings (1)

bongey (974911) | about 3 months ago | (#47340815)

Wrong AMA, Academy of Model Aeronautics http://www.modelaircraft.org/ [modelaircraft.org] . Its in the article.

Re:Not surprised, mixed feelings (0)

Holi (250190) | about 3 months ago | (#47340831)

So no one ever taught you context?
You do understand that the AMA in this context is the Academy of Model Aeronautics.

Or if you were trying to be funny, well that failed too.

Re:Not surprised, mixed feelings (2, Interesting)

russotto (537200) | about 3 months ago | (#47340979)

The American Medical Association? I should think not. If you did that, each drone would cost something north of 5 figures and could only be used by someone who went through a decades long training program while channeling hallucinations from some old dead Greek guy.

Unfortunately, while it's the Academy of Model Aeronautics rather than the American Medical Association, this isn't far from the truth. The AMA isn't fond of FPV in the first place, it's just that they want to be the model aircraft police rather than the FAA, and the want to make it so model aircraft flying consists mostly of old retired guys (who went through a long training program, though without the dead Greek guy) flying planes in circles in AMA-approved locations.

and when a drone crashes into a plane the FAA (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 3 months ago | (#47340657)

and when a drone crashes into a plane the FAA will get all the power that they need and the pilot may be looking at some hard time and or a big lawsuit and if it's some commercial drone they better go all the way up the chain so they can't use the an network of subcontractors to get out of blame / have people who have no cash to pay out.

Re:Not surprised, mixed feelings (1, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 months ago | (#47340715)

That said, I don't see how the FAA's rules are enforceable, nor do I see how the FAA can actually claim to have the authority to make rules in an an area that, as far as I can tell, congress has never granted them the power to do.

Enforceability is one thing but a few high profile cases will take the wind out of many peoples rotors. As to whether or not the FAA can regulate UAVs - it's pretty clear that they have broad powers of regulation when it comes to aircraft safety. UAVs that potentially serve as hazards to aircraft in flight or around a runway would easily fall under FAA jurisdiction. Kids flying something in their back yard - that's the big issue. If you look at the one 'hobby' that UAVs most closely resemble, model rocketry, you find a reasonable distinction [nar.org] between activities that are regulated by the FAA and ones that are not. It did take an act of Congress to carve this 'exception' out so the assumption is that, yes, the FAA could do this but the Congress doesn't want them to.

We may need to see something similar.

It flies like a drone, it watches like a drone... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 3 months ago | (#47340455)

I'm sorry for those losing out here, but I also don't see why they should be allowed to operate unmanned aerial vehicles with surveillance capabilities any more than anyone else.

Re:It flies like a drone, it watches like a drone. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47340491)

More than who? Wasn't everybody allowed?

Re:It flies like a drone, it watches like a drone. (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 months ago | (#47340531)

I also don't see why they should be allowed to operate unmanned aerial vehicles with surveillance capabilities any more than anyone else.

The default should be yes, you're allowed to do it as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. Going to a park or a field and flying a model airplane (or drone, however you want to call it) doesn't hurt anyone, so it should be allowed.

One of the main arguments against centralized government authority is that it's too big to take into account the concerns of everyone, so small constituencies get trampled. That is the case here, people who were not hurting anyone are now prevented from a healthy hobby, and have very little recourse.

Re:It flies like a drone, it watches like a drone. (2)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 3 months ago | (#47340591)

I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you -- in fact, I suspect from your choice of phrase that we would very much agree on the basic principles of how laws should work -- I'm just saying the law should apply equally to everyone. If certain areas are acceptable for this kind of hobby, they should be acceptable for other similar "drone" flights. Equally, if for whatever reason certain areas are not acceptable in law for general "drone" flights or if the default in law is that these devices aren't considered acceptable but they are then allowed under specific conditions, the same rules should apply for hobby aircraft with similar characteristics.

Re:It flies like a drone, it watches like a drone. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 months ago | (#47340661)

It would have been easy for the FCC to make regulations that allowed hobbyists to use toys, by defining the parameters to allow such uses. One first attempt would be something like, "these types of toys can be used when in view of the user"

In this case, it appears that they merely weren't aware of all the ramifications of what they were doing. So it's a mistake that hurts people.

Re:It flies like a drone, it watches like a drone. (1)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about 3 months ago | (#47341401)

I don't feel too bad for enthusiasts as this limitation won't stop them.
It's the same as some semiautomatics or limited cartridge guns -- you can modify them.

If the definition of DRONE is flies by video -- then they aren't sold with video and someone buys a radio camera and attaches that. Suddenly it's a remote viewer.

I suspect more fear of drones from the Government as the capabilities of CITIZENS doing what they do 24/7 becomes apparent. Is the worry about someone ELSE spying besides corporations and government, or that there will be remotely commit crimes?

The bigger fear to come is when the first crooked fat cat gets caught by a drone -- THEN they will be treated like WMDs.

Peeping Toms in the Neighborhood (4, Interesting)

retroworks (652802) | about 3 months ago | (#47340459)

The article and comments miss the point. http://washington.cbslocal.com... [cbslocal.com] They are trying to regulate the use of the drones for peeping in neighbors yards and windows. They are trying to regulate it in a way without banning them, the over-reaction which will probably occur the first time a nude child shows up on youtube from an evil neighbor's google glasses. The CBS article - and most articles via news.google.com - point out that you can buy these pocket yard drones on amazon and are more nuanced about the policy debate than the /. "government is gonna take your toys away" article.

Peeping Toms in the Neighborhood (3, Informative)

bongey (974911) | about 3 months ago | (#47340755)

No the AMA(Academy of Model Aeronautics) is also going against the rule. Another case of a slashdot reader who didn't actually read the article.
"The FAA interpretive rule effectively negates Congress' intentions, and is contrary to the law. Section 336(a) of the Public Law states that, 'the Federal Aviation Administration may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft', this interpretive rule specifically addresses model aircraft, effectively establishes rules that model aircraft were not previously subject to and is in direct violation of the congressional mandate in the 2012 FAA reauthorization bill."

  "AMA cannot support this rule." said AMA Executive Director Dave Mathewson. "It is at best ill-conceived and at worst intentionally punitive and retaliatory. The Academy strongly requests the FAA reconsider this action. The AMA will pursue all available recourse to dissuade enactment of this rule."

Re:Peeping Toms in the Neighborhood (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47340893)

the original post has a legit point, people will freak out about peeping neighbors, pervs,i have no idea what the hell peeping onto you property has to do with it, they make blinds and other window dressings to cover up your evil deeds, or your giving your child, or the child taking a bath ect.

and they have laws against such behavior, so there is no need for this rule. there are effective ways to combat and catch the type of behavior, and maybe if people weren't so arrogant to leave their widows uncovered there wouldn't be any problem. hell they even make tinted windows you can see out of and they allow sun light, but you can't see whats going on from outside the window.

Gilbert U238 atomic energy lab was a "kids toy" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47340511)

The inventor of the Erector Set called this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilbert_U-238_Atomic_Energy_Laboratory [wikipedia.org] a kids toy too.

Neither the label you print on something nor who you say you intended to market it to changes what something actually is.

Re:Gilbert U238 atomic energy lab was a "kids toy" (2)

TheGavster (774657) | about 3 months ago | (#47340577)

The largest hazard with that set seems to be swallowing the parts, in that in addition to potentially choking on small parts, some would sicken or kill you if you managed to choke them down. For mature children though, looks like a cool toy to use under supervision (for educational guidance in addition to safety).

The real problem with that thing seems to be that it was quite expensive, and even more expensive to produce (the company lost money on every unit).

Re:Gilbert U238 atomic energy lab was a "kids toy" (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 3 months ago | (#47340721)

I would have LOVED one of these as a kid

Re:Gilbert U238 atomic energy lab was a "kids toy" (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 3 months ago | (#47341131)

That IS a kid's toy. A geiger counter, a cloud chamber, a couple of low-level emitters (alpha, beta, gamma), and some ore samples? Sounds like it would have been a helluva cool addition to your home chemistry set.

Oh noes! (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 3 months ago | (#47340535)

Now they have further narrowed the definition of model aircraft: If you fly it through video goggles, it no longer qualifies.

"Stop flying it more safely! You may only fly it the more dangerous old way!"

Feudal Aviation Administration (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 3 months ago | (#47340549)

It's time to start de-electing politicians who are allowing this busybody (i.e. typical) government agency to run rampant without thought or control, like kings of old.

Not anything new (5, Informative)

BitZtream (692029) | about 3 months ago | (#47340611)

The FAA has always had this rule.

To be a flying a 'model' you have to fly by line of sight, i.e. with your eyes on the model, not via electronics. Its been this way for years.

Re: Not anything new (1)

gweilo8888 (921799) | about 3 months ago | (#47340701)

Mod parent up. Submitter clearly didn't do any research before going Full Chicken Little.

Re: Not anything new (1)

naughtynaughty (1154069) | about 3 months ago | (#47341231)

Maybe you can do the research for us, show us where the FAA previously made it illegal for a hobbyist to fly a model aircraft out of line of sight. There is an informal hobbyist code of conduct that calls for that, but it was not a law or FAA rule.

Re:Not anything new (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 3 months ago | (#47340763)

FAA used to ask you to have a backup pilot on a trainer lead maintaining line of sight.

Now it's just banned.

Re:Not anything new (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47340865)

Ok, let's stream the accelerometer data to a motion simulator and allow a regular "pilot" to fly.

This could be a new twitch.tv experience if the data could be streamed.

Re:Not anything new (1)

xdor (1218206) | about 3 months ago | (#47341363)

My understanding is operating my drone outside of public airspace (no higher than 500 ft above obstacles) while on private property where the land owner has given me permission: the FAA has no jurisdiction

Whether I have line-of-sight, radio control, or out-of-sight completely computer autonomous: in private airspace the FAA has no say.

How to hide ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47340615)

How to avoid a drone [youtube.com]

You can do it with fun !

In other news. Unelected, unconstitutional (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47340731)

"authorities" Remain the most popular method for subverting unalienable rights from people who insist there is no such God to bestow those rights on us.
because global warming Bush.

Line of Sight (2)

Nerrd (1094283) | about 3 months ago | (#47340991)

Line of sight between the operator and the model - has always been a legal requirement of operating R/C aircraft.

Re:Line of Sight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47341251)

The machines I fly can maintain line of sight for over 200km. That doesn't make them RC models though.

Re:Line of Sight (1)

naughtynaughty (1154069) | about 3 months ago | (#47341253)

Not true. There is a hobbyist code of conduct that requires that but it wasn't a legal requirement.

Re:Line of Sight (1)

xdor (1218206) | about 3 months ago | (#47341391)

If I operate my computer-controlled drone no higher than 500 ft above obstacles on private property the FAA has no jurisdiction.

Drone's are not prohibited (1)

naughtynaughty (1154069) | about 3 months ago | (#47341215)

Drone's are not "prohibited without special permission" and the FAA lost their case when they sought to ban commercial use of drones.

Just ban anything that flies (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 3 months ago | (#47341281)

You know that is what they want, might as well just do it now and get over with.

Re:Just ban anything that flies (1)

naughtynaughty (1154069) | about 3 months ago | (#47341443)

No more frisbees? How about rubber band powered balsa wood planes you used to buy for 25 cents? The FAA does not now have nor never has had jurisdiction of anything that flies.

Pandora's Box (or Jar if you will) Is Already Open (2)

Toad-san (64810) | about 3 months ago | (#47341353)

And there's no putting it back. I'm waiting for the first homemade (well, hobbyist or toy) drone attack. Won't be long. And I'm betting it'll be homegrown, no foreign terrorists required. FAA can regulate all it wants, but those drones are not going away.

Class G (1)

xdor (1218206) | about 3 months ago | (#47341455)

So since I'm not a government agency, this still leaves me class G airspace on private property (assuming I have permission from the land owner).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... [wikipedia.org]

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