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 December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Expecting a big tax refund from the IRS? Then you don't want to read this... Watch

Image of Expecting a refund? You may be left waiting longer than you think.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you're counting on a big IRS return to make a big purchase, you may be waiting a lot longer than anticipated this year. Budget cuts in the IRS mean that fewer returns will be audited and services will become increasingly difficult to obtain. Worst of all for many ... continue reading


Obama's right, he has issued fewer executive orders than his predecessors, BUT... Watch

Image of Obama signs a bill while on vacation.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What's in a name? President Obama has ruled more from his desk, without the consent of Congress, more than any other president, but liberals are right to point out that these are not "executive actions" and don't count against his tally compared to other presidents. ... continue reading


Federal judge warned: Don't interfere with Obama's plan for deportation amnesty Watch

Image of U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about immigration reforms during a visit to Casa Azafran in Nashville,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In unusually strong language, the Obama administration warned a federal judge to stay out of the debate over President Obama's deportation amnesty. "Federal courts sit to decide cases and controversies, not to resolve disagreements about policy or politics," ... continue reading


Rick Santorum Seems Poised to Launch a 2016 Presidential Campaign Watch

Image of Rick Santorum

By Keith A. Fournier

I don't think I've met a 'suit' yet. It's very much heart of America, average Americans who have found a place where they see someone who will stand up and fight for them. If the Republican Party has a future - and I sometimes question if it does - it's in middle ... continue reading


You should be outraged! While Obama distracted you with a government shutdown, look what Senate Democrats snuck into this bill! Watch

Image of The White House has just received unprecedented surveillance powers thanks to an amendment to the Intelligence Authorization Act for the 2015 fiscal year.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Overshadowed by the potential government shutdown and funding vote in the House, another bill was passed this week by Congress, one with much more sinister, and flagrantly un-American, goals. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Congress passed a bill that gives a ... continue reading


What are they covering up? White House attempts to delay CIA torture probe Watch

Image of Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday reportedly called Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, to tell her that the report's release should be delayed.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

A Senate report, years in the making, which accuses the Central Intelligence Agency, or CIA of using banned torture techniques while evading oversight may never be released, According to Bloomberg, there have been ongoing efforts by the White House efforts to ... continue reading


Landmark pregnancy discrimination case heard by Supreme Court Watch

Image of Depending on the high court's ruling, companies may be required to afford mothers-to-be the same

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A landmark case involving the rights of expectant mothers in the workplace was heard by the Supreme Court this week. Depending on the high court's ruling, companies may be required to afford mothers-to-be the same "reasonable accommodation" as they would ... continue reading


17 states REBEL against Obama, join lawsuit over immigration scandal Watch

Image of 17 states have banded together to sue Obama over his illegal action to refuse to enforce immigration reform, hoping the courts will block his attempts at providing amnesty to 5 million illegal immigrants.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Seventeen states have allied together in order to sue President Obama's administration, citing the president's disregard for constitutional limits to presidential power, and refused to fulfill his obligation to enforce U.S. laws when he attempted to dismiss ... continue reading


A distinct euphemism: Health care reform was 'political miscalculation,' Schumer says Watch

Image of When the Democratic Party focused in exclusion to all else, on health care, he added,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

One apt euphemism - which is essentially a nice term very a not-at-all-nice term, is the phrase, "Economical with the truth," i.e. lying. Senator Charles Schumer of New York, in summarizing the massive loss by democrats in elections earlier this month, said ... continue reading


The man behind the mess of Obamacare wants you to encourage abortion! Watch

Image of John Gruber, the man behind Obamacare, is an ardent supporter of abortion.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The architect of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), John Gruber, has made a fool of President Obama and the Democrats in his administration once again. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Gruber has been recorded numerous times admitting that the ACA was written and ... 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, Isaiah 7:10-14
10 Yahweh spoke to Ahaz again and said:11 ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:26-38
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 20th, 2014 Image

St. Dominic of Silos
December 20: Benedictine abbot and defender of the faith. Born in Canas, ... 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