A new bill to address “malicious” drones is headed to congress

A new article on GCN says the White House has sent a bill directly to congress that “would allow the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice to use technology to detect, disrupt communications, seize or take down drones deemed to pose a malicious threat” as they are “concerned about drones being used for terrorism and more general criminal activity”.

While this sounds like the beginnings of a common-sense law on the surface, there’s one paragraph that just might warrant a red flag.

“The legislation would effectively set up a temporary restricted airspace around these “sensitive missions” and require DHS and DOJ to notify unmanned aerial systems operators of the temporary restriction.”

A big flag. On fire.

So in other words, the White House would like a create a law that sends out occasional warnings to drone pilots along the lines of “whatever you drone people do, don’t fly over here. Not right here at these specific GPS coordinates. And definitely not from this time all the way to this time. And don’t forget to tune in to this public channel for future updates.”

Establishing a permanently restricted airspace is one thing. Creating a temporarily restricted airspace and advertising it to the public at large is just screaming for attention.

This law might have had a slim chance of working if drones were already regulated and a system was in place to tie drones and their operators together, but right now, drones are still in their “wild wild west” phase.

On a related note, even though the Wright brothers’ plane first took flight in 1903, it wasn’t until 1927 that the first federal pilot license was issued.

The GCN article on the proposed “don’t look in this direction” drone bill is here.