UAVs: Will Our Civil Liberties Be Droned Out?


The Drone Industry—has an image problem, as is evident by the nearly ubiquitous negative reaction to domestic drone surveillance strewn across the Internet. The industry is countering with a PR campaign aimed at reassuring the public. But a PR campaign fails to address the public's legitimate concern over drone surveillance. Rather than focusing on PR, the industry should develop a solid, enforceable code of conduct for drone operators that include privacy and transparency.

Not to be forgotten — the public can also play its own role. By keeping aware of key deadlines in the long march toward December 2015, when the final rules for full integration of drones into the national airspace are due, the public can look for opportunities to step into the process and make their voices heard. And they can tell Congress to fix its mistake and require strong privacy and transparency rules for domestic drone use.

If all this talk of drones hovering above the swing sets and hot tubs of America creeps you out, then make sure you participate when and where you can. It's much more productive to sound off to Congress, the FAA, and DOT about your concerns than to become the "folk hero" of Mr. Krauthammer's prophecy.

Leslie Harris is president and CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology

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