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 November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

The Immigration Conflagration and the Dangers of a Benevolent Dictator

Image of

By Keith A. Fournier

There is no question that comprehensive immigration reform is needed. Most people acknowledge this as a fact. However, the truth is President Obama could have participated in such reform, and he knows it, by working with the 114th Congress which will soon be sworn ... continue reading


Running out the door, Republicans too busy with Thanksgiving to address laws Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With Thanksgiving turkeys dancing in their heads, many Republican lawmakers are running out the door in lieu of considering a plethora of new legislation. Republican members have discussed resolutions of disapproval and censure. One unnamed lawmaker was ... continue reading


The TOP 10 list of countries where slavery is most prevalent. DO YOU BENEFIT FROM SLAVERY? You might be shocked! Watch

Image of Poor Haitians are commonly enslaved by wealthier family members.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Last week it was announced that some 36 million people around the world live in slavery, a number that is higher than at any time in history. While most Americans feel that slavery is a distant problem, which has little or no effect on their lives, the sad fact is that ... continue reading


Raking in the dough: Obamacare 'architect' worth millions Watch

Image of Jonathan Gruber has a lucrative connection with the Department of Health and Human Services.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Jonathan Gruber's good fortune would make lots of college students change their majors to economics. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, along with his firm Gruber Microsimulation Model has raked in millions. Gruber's chief function is estimating the ... continue reading


Why have Republicans betrayed us to the most anti-life president in history? Mark Levin has an idea Watch

Image of Mark Levin is a Constitutional scholar and commentator.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two weeks ago, the American people spoke and sent a message to Obama that we did not approve of his style of leadership. Americans gave control of both the House and Senate to Republicans with a clear mandate to put a stop to the rule of the most anti-life, ... continue reading


Reaping what is sown: No immigration reform hurt Democrats in midterms, former president Clinton says Watch

Image of Speaking in an interview with POLITICO's Mike Allen, Clinton was celebrating the 10-year anniversary weekend of the opening of his presidential library in Little Rock.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A lack of action may have cost President Obama and the Democratic Party big time, former President Bill Clinton says. The Republican victory at midterms earlier this month may have been the result of a lack of action on immigration reform. Clinton says that ... continue reading


'Mook Mafia' said to be heading Hillary Clinton's run for president Watch

Image of Mook is a word used to describe an underling or person with limited intelligence who does as he was told by higher-ups.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As coined in the 1974 Martin Scorsese film, "Mean Streets," "mook" is the term used by Italian Americans used to denote a "loser." In later years, mook became known as a word used to describe an underling or person with limited intelligence who did as he was ... continue reading


United Nations takes United States to task for legalizing marijuana Watch

Image of The United Nations is taking some states in the United States for legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana use. The U.N. anti-narcotics chief says that these measures are not in concert with international drug conventions.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The United Nations is taking some states in the United States for legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana use. The U.N. anti-narcotics chief says that these measures are not in concert with international drug conventions.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


Federal health care officials scramble to bring health care Web site up to snuff Watch

Image of Throttling would detect overloads sooner and be more efficient than the one long online line federal officials devised last winter. This led to the dreaded

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While the Obama administration is confident that HealthCare.gov is far more adept this time around in time for open enrollment, there are signs that officials are drawing up contingency plans for any eventuality. These plans will hopefully readily address the ... continue reading


California's Willie Brown advises Hillary Clinton not to bother with presidential run - you will Lose Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Serving two terms as the mayor of San Francisco, longtime Democrat and California politician has some sage words of advice for Hillary Clinton when it comes to a presidential run in 2016: Don't bother, as you won't win. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... 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, Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17
11 "For the Lord Yahweh says this: Look, I myself ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 23:1-2, 2-3, 5, 6
1 [Psalm Of David] Yahweh is my shepherd, I lack ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 25:31-46
31 'When the Son of man comes in his glory, escorted ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 15:20-26, 28
20 In fact, however, Christ has been raised from the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 23rd, 2014 Image

Bl. Miguel Pro
November 23: Born on January 13, 1891 in Guadalupe, Mexico, Miguel Agustin ... 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