Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government Privacy United States Politics Technology

First City In the US To Pass an Anti-Drone Resolution 198

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-eyes-in-the-skies dept.
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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

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

Comments Filter:
  • by colinrichardday (768814) <colin.day.6@hotmail.com> on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @05:28PM (#42814421)

    About bloody time!

    • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @03:06AM (#42818037) Homepage

      Jefferson would be marginally less ashamed

      FTFY.

  • by s.petry (762400) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @05:31PM (#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.

    • by icebike (68054) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @05:59PM (#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.

      • by s.petry (762400)

        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.

        • by icebike (68054)

          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

          • by Radres (776901)

            I wonder if the city were to pass a law that it's okay to shoot down drones within 100 horizontal feet of your property, and you shot down a state-controlled drone, what happens?

            • by cdrudge (68377)

              It means you get a Get Out Of City Jail card but not a Get Out Of State Prison one.

        • by Rich0 (548339)

          The Cities are supposed to be represented in the State just as the States are subjective to the US Government.

          That is actually not strictly correct.

          States are not completely subject to the Federal Government. City governments generally ARE completely subject to state governments.

          The US constitution grants certain powers to the Federal vs State governments. On ones granted to the states the Federal Government cannot interfere. Now, in practice everybody ignores the constitution, but there are still some limits.

          If your local school board gets out of hand chances are the state would just appoint an administrator an

      • by eth1 (94901)

        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.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        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.

        • by icebike (68054) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @08:17PM (#42816095)

          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.

          You can't patrol more space flying a silly drone around. The ones you can afford don't have the range. The ones the have the range cost too much.
          You can't save money by having cops play with RC drones. You still need guys in cars. Only an Iraqi would surrender to a drone.
          You can't track someone with a drone that your typical city can afford. It will never be where you want it to be when you need it. They don't have the range. It doesn have the speed, even to keep up with OJ.
          They want to fly them to look into your home (regardless of what they say).

          • by drkim (1559875)

            You can't track someone with a drone that your typical city can afford.

            So you're saying that a police helicopter with trained pilot is less expensive to operate than a drone?

            • by icebike (68054)

              They already have the helicopters, and it's a multi mission machine. You can pick people out of rivers, drop officers and supplies in inaccessible places, chase cars, and evacuate officers, and land on roofs.

              It can do everything the drone can do and twenty additional things.

              So yes, it's probably less expensive in the long run.

      • by Nyder (754090)

        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.

        We might be stoners here in Seattle, but we aren't stupid. The Police is likely to abuse the usage of Drones, and we know it.

    • by Bomazi (1875554)

      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.

    • 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.

    • "The Government can ignore this just like they ignore a sovereign States authority (See DIA raids in CA on marijuana shops and farms)."

      The Feds actually can not -- and have not -- been conducting raids without at least tacit assistance from the State.

      This administration has stated that it will not conduct raids unless the operations in question are in violation of STATE law. I know of anothr state where they did in fact conduct raids, but the operations were (technically, depending on how you interpret the law) in violation of State law.

      So they may be asses about it, and interpret the law in their own favor, but to the best of my kno

    • This isn't targeted at government drone planes at all, but indeed RC helicopters of the kinds geeks use for citizen journalism at protests etc.

  • by Lord Apathy (584315) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @05:37PM (#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.

    • by sycodon (149926)

      Ahhhhh ahahahahah [nbcphiladelphia.com]

    • Double points if you hit one of those big airbus drones.
    • by cayenne8 (626475)

      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....

      • Meh. Not enough oomph. Twin 40 mm Bofors for every roof, world war style. Now excuse me while I get to a safe distance to watch the fireworks....
    • 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.

    • Boo ya! Went for +5 Funny, scored +5 Informative.

  • Bring it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @05:38PM (#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.

  • by cryfreedomlove (929828) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @05:46PM (#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!
    • 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.

      • by cryfreedomlove (929828) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @07:41PM (#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.

        • by anagama (611277)

          Perhaps these or something like them would do the trick?
          http://www.usfireworks.biz/category/mortars.htm [usfireworks.biz]

        • Scope?

          Yea, spotting scope; like this one. [amazon.com]

          You mean you would shoot at my RC airplane with a scoped rifle?

          1) not all rifles are created equally - a 30-06 has a much greater range than, say, a 9mm carbine.

          2) I never said I would shoot it with a rifle, anyway; you shouldn't assume so much - a shotgun would likely be plenty effective. And yes, if you trespass on my property with your little toy, I can and will blow that fucker to pieces. Then, I'd likely call the sheriff and have you arrested for trespassing and littering, among other potential charges.

          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.

          No shit? Well, thanks Capt

    • by sycodon (149926)

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

      • 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.

    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      If said bill has passed and you are that city, then yes.

    • 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.

  • Posse Comitatus Act (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @05:51PM (#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.

    • by Torodung (31985) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @06:47PM (#42815227) Journal

      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.

  • by weiserfireman (917228) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @05:53PM (#42814707) Homepage

    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.

    • by Anguirel (58085)

      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 capa

    • by Dahamma (304068)

      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.

    • 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.

  • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @06:00PM (#42814783) Homepage

    Would constitute an airspace violation.

  • No authority (Score:5, Informative)

    by KRL (664739) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @06:05PM (#42814827)
    I hate to bring this up... but city councils / local municipalities, etc have no authority over airspace. That would belong to the FAA. As evidenced in a recent case: http://www.aopa.org/aircraft/articles/2013/130117lessons-learned-from-glider-arrest.html [aopa.org]
  • Why drones? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TsuruchiBrian (2731979) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @06:10PM (#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).

    • 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].
      • 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 a
      • by geekoid (135745)

        "and the government does it anyway."
        citation needed.

        ", the easier it becomes"
        so what?

        • "and the government does it anyway."
          citation needed.

          Really? Are you ignoring the news? ok sure, here is a citation [nbcnews.com].

          ", the easier it becomes" so what?

          Not sure if its worth arguing with someone who doesn't see a problem with it becoming easier for people to take away human life. For the sake of anyone else reading - know that there are people who understand it is a problem. There are ethical people out there who grasp that problem with increasing the distance between the taking of a life and feeling the res

    • by Nimey (114278)

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

      • 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.

    • by oGMo (379)

      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

    • 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.

      • 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

    • by mdmkolbe (944892)

      I think it is for the same reason that (some) people are against GPS tracking by cops even though manual (by human) tracking is legal. When it is more expensive for the government to do, there is an in-built incentive against casual use.

      We see the same dynamic with privacy and personal information. Before computers, technically someone could track and mine just as much information about your buying habits, but it wasn't worth the effort until computers made it cheap and easy. There may have been a few in

      • I don't disagree that financial cost can serve as a disincentive. I just think it is counterproductive to artificially force police to do things inefficiently, especially when they get their money from tax payers. If drones are 1/10th the price for the same spying capability, then we should give 1/10th the money and encourage them to use drones.

        Furthermore, given that we don't have control over prices of various technology in the free market, rather than trying to predict the market, why not just create

  • by jklovanc (1603149) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @06:17PM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward

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

  • by Exitar (809068)

    What they have to hide?

  • by shentino (1139071)

    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.

  • 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? C

  • 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.
  • It's quite possible that anti-drone legislation could be interpreted to deny politicians to speak at press conferences.

  • I'm overjoyed that we're finally seeing some push-back from local, county and state governments to stop the rampant abuses of power by the federal government.
    CO, CA and WA telling the feds to F*** off on marijuana. Arizona actually enforcing immigration law. Virginia passing an anti-NDAA resolution. Country sheriffs saying "No" to proposed anti-gun policies. Now, people standing up to this ridiculous drone policy. Good for them.
    State, local and country governments (at least in my locale) are fairly res

Passwords are implemented as a result of insecurity.

Working...