A Missouri man out walking his dog turned in a complaint to the cops about a drone following him. Police Captain Chad Rackers is quoted by the Post Dispatch as saying “He had some concerns that it was being done intentionally, and there were some possible (Federal Aviation Administration) violations.”
When the cops found the owner of the drone he maintained that he didn’t realize he was irritating a person walking down the street. The FAA has warned that this is going to become more frequent as time goes on and more people get drones.
In Marchof 2015, in Eagle River, a medium sized town in Alaska, a state where many people guard their privacy fiercely, a drone appeared to be following some children home from school, outraging the residents. Many took to social media to voice their displeasure, and shooting it down was a heavily favored solution. The cops spoke with the operator, but it was the same story, he didn’t realize, he wasn’t doing it on purpose, etc. etc. He claimed it was for business purposes, a very vague story. The drone was equipped with a camera, so few people believed him. Police said he had not committed a crime.
In June of 2014 a Seattle woman saw a drone outside her 26th floor apartment window that appeared to be looking in. She reported it to her concierge who called the police . When the concierge went outside to check on it, he saw two men with a video camera piloting the drone. They claimed they were using the drone for business purposes, taking photos for real estate agents and architects. If the camera on the drone was aimed inside a building, it is possible that would be illegal but there are few specific laws about drone usage.
Chad Rackers, the police chief in Missouri, believes that if someone flies a drone so close to someone else that they have a reasonable fear for their safety, the operator could be charged with assault. In both Alaska and Missouri authorities say there are no local laws regarding drone use. Some FAA regulations do exist, and there are consequences for drones that encroach on airspace or manned aircraft. The document does not, however, address privacy concerns.
These drones will almost certainly be used for nefarious purposes, both by private citizens and the government on both a federal and local level. Spying on American citizens has become so commonplace that we don’t even realize how much we are on camera during the course of a normal day. Yes, the cameras do help catch bad guys, they can be a good thing. When we walk into a building that has a camera, we are essentially agreeing to be recorded. These drones are a completely different story. We are recorded without our knowledge or permission. Clearly we can be recorded in the privacy of our own homes, and this is absolutely unacceptable. We have the right to privacy, and we should not feel that we have to black out our windows and live hunched in gloom like a troll under a bridge.
Either strict laws must be implemented with severe consequences for breaking them, or people must be given the legal option to physically defend their privacy in their own homes. These drones are the perfect vehicle for the twisted fetishes of perverts and pedophiles and must be stopped. Our safety and our children’s safety is at risk.