Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/23/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Universities, law-enforcement agencies win approval to use drones for their use

Dozens of universities and law-enforcement agencies have won approval by federal aviation regulators to use unmanned aircraft known as drones.

That thing over your shoulder may not be a mosquito -- it could be an unmanned drone, brought back from Afghanistan for civilian use.

That thing over your shoulder may not be a mosquito -- it could be an unmanned drone, brought back from Afghanistan for civilian use.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/23/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Drones, privacy, civilian agencies, police, universities


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - More than 50 institutions that received approvals to operate remotely piloted aircraft are more varied than previously believed. The Department of Homeland Security, in addition to smaller departments such as the police departments in North Little Rock, Ark., and Ogden, Utah, as well the University of North Dakota and Nicholls State University in Louisiana have also requested drones.

Released by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the matter came to light as the Federal Aviation Administration gears up to advance the widespread use of the drones. By the year 2015, Congress wants the agency to integrate remotely piloted aircraft throughout U.S. airspace.

The Mesa County Sheriff's Department in Colorado tested a drone with an infrared camera, measuring about 36 inches wide.

Although the documents don't indicate how the aircraft will be used, there are putting forth privacy concerns from the general public.

Democratic Rep. Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Republican Rep. Joe Barton of Texas asked the acting administrator of the FAA last week to answer questions about the privacy implications of increased drone use.

"Many drones are designed to carry surveillance equipment, including video cameras, infrared thermal imagers, radar and wireless network 'sniffers,'" the representatives wrote.

The FAA did add that "the responsibility to ensure that the privacy of individuals is protected and that the public is fully informed about who is using drones in public airspace and why."

As part of the push to increase uses of civilian drones, nearly 50 companies are developing some 150 different systems, ranging from miniature models to those with wingspans comparable to airliners.

The FAA says it has approved dozens of nonmilitary uses of unmanned aircraft, ranging from law enforcement to firefighting to wildlife monitoring. Drones also have been used for news coverage, mapping and agricultural applications.

For example, the University of North Dakota uses drones in connection with an undergraduate degree program in unmanned aircraft systems it started in 2009.

In addition, the North Little Rock police department has been working with a small pilotless helicopter since 2008, Sgt. Pat Thessing says.

Currently, the department is only training with the aircraft over unpopulated areas only, while it awaits FAA rules for use of such aircraft elsewhere. It hopes to use them for surveillance of high-crime neighborhoods, during drug investigations and other work.

In addition, recipients of these special permits must fly in a certain geographic area outlined on their application. The FAA typically doesn't allow drones to fly through airspace where commercial, business and private planes travel.

Ryan Calo, who conducts research into privacy and robotics at Stanford Law School, says the use of such aircraft will become more common.

"The very same drone that was staking out a nest of insurgents and possibly shooting them could be deployed in New York for surveillance" after removal of weaponry, Calo said. He said the use of drones could spark a wider debate about privacy because people aren't accustomed to such technology. "If you bring back a tank from Afghanistan, you don't expect it to show up in a park," he said.

.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

'You have to know who your enemy is' Downplaying and mislabling Islamic extremism is a dangerous path for the U.S. Watch

Image of Islamic extremism is terrorism, it is not simply criminal conduct.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Obama administration refuses to acknowledge the terrorism attacks around the world for what it is, Islamic extremism. This blatant disregard of the real problem can be harmful for the country. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Secretary of State, John Kerry was ... continue reading


Striking back at the Dems! Koch brothers allocate nearly ONE BILLION DOLLARS for 2016 presidential race Watch

Image of David Koch, one of the leaders of a political action network that has the monetary power to spend hundreds of millions on political races.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It seems the Koch brothers have no plans to ease their political spending habits in 2015, as top officials in the brothers' political network released a budget of $889 million to be spent on the vast political network ahead of the 2016 presidential race. LOS ... continue reading


Turning off spigot: Obama aims to possessively guard oil-rich Alaskan coastline from development Watch

Image of Alaska's coastal plain has been at the center of a fight between conservationists and advocates of greater energy exploration in the U.S. for a very long time.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Just because there's been relief at the corner gas pump doesn't mean that the United States won't need any more oil in the near future - far from it. As such, many are infuriated that U.S. President Barack Obama seeks to designate the vast majority of Alaska's ... continue reading


And the field gets thicker! Rubio joins Bush, Romney, Walker and Christie as 2016 presidential hopeful Watch

Image of Marco Rubio, a Senator from Florida may be crafting a campaign team for a potential 2016 bid.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A fifth Republican is making noise that could be interpreted as intent to make a 2016 presidential run. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Florida Senator Marco Rubio is possibly gathering a campaign team, planning out a slew of state visits starting in February, and ... continue reading


Scott Walker enters the 2016 Republican nomination ring with speech attacking Obama's failed policies Watch

Image of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker gave a speech in Iowa, a move which may put him in the running for the Republican nomination.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney may have been the first Republicans to make it clear-though still unofficial-that they intend to run for the Republican nomination in 2016, but ... continue reading


Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney hold summit meeting: Are they plotting election strategy? Watch

Image of There have been stories in a number of outlets that Jeb Bush proposed the meeting weeks ago, in order to thank Mitt Romney for his past party leadership.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former governors Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney are having a summit meeting. The meeting will be in Utah. Speculation swirls about what the meeting will entail. Some GOP party officials hope "the two former governors will find a way to avoid competing presidential campaigns ... continue reading


An average of 27 late-term abortions happen every day in the United States; the bill to protect the unborn from this cruel pain was dramatically dropped by the GOP Watch

Image of 10,000 babies are killed each year through late-term abortions.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An estimated 10,000 unborn babies are killed each year through late-term abortions. This averages out to 27.4 abortions taking place 20 weeks or later per day or 1.14 per hour, according to the Congressional Budget Office. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Pain ... continue reading


Father Frank Pavone on Pope Francis, Politics, and Catholic Social teaching Watch

Image of Fr Frank Pavone - Fidelity to the Gospel requires that we be able to prophetically challenge the positions of all political parties, and that our loyalty to Christ and his teaching supersedes our loyalty to any political party, although such loyalties are not per se incompatible with being a Christian.

By Matt C. Abbott

It remains true that the right to life is the most fundamental right and that the duty to defend it is a more urgent priority than other social justice priorities. But to what extent that fact helps or hurts a political party depends upon the party, and his ... continue reading


President Obama fiercely hits the country with proposed $320 billion tax hike, explained in his annual State of the Union Watch

Image of Obama plans on spending his remaining two years in office helping the middle class experience the prosperity of the recovery.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two years before President Obama's departure, he has vowed to spend his remaining time "playing offense." In his annual State of the Union, Obama will address his proposal to increase tax hikes on America's "one percent." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Parts ... continue reading


Attorney General Eric Holder denounced as 'coward' and 'hypocrite' by former FBI agent Watch

Image of A former FBI agent says that Attorney General Eric Holder has used the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former FBI agent K. Dee McCown, who left the agency in 2008, has written a strong letter to Attorney General Eric Holder where McKown denounces Holder as a "coward" and a "hypocrite." McCown says he was compelled to write after the shooting deaths of two New ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 10:11-18
11 Every priest stands at his duties every day, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 110:1, 2, 3, 4
1 [Of David Psalm] Yahweh declared to my Lord, 'Take ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 4:1-20
1 Again he began to teach them by the lakeside, but ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 28th, 2015 Image

St. Thomas Aquinas
January 28: St. Thomas Aquinas, priest and doctor of the Church, patron of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter