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Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Newsgathering: The Sky’s the Limit – Or Is It?

By Mickey H. Osterreicher*

Stories and issues regarding unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), more commonly called “drones” (much to the chagrin of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the UAV community), have increased exponentially over the past year. Although such use by the military has been fodder for many articles and editorials, this article will only deal with non-military use of UAVs and primarily focus on: recent UAV stories of interest from around the world; updated FAA regulations; current federal, state and local legislation; and a discussion of issues related to the use of UAVs for newsgathering and editorial purposes.

Because this field is changing on a daily basis, the following is intended to be more thought-provoking than definitive and as currently comprehensive as possible in supplying references and links to the latest information.

UAVs in the News

A photojournalist in Turkey used a camera equipped UAV[1] to photograph and record images of demonstrations taking place in a public park. “It’s really difficult to explain the things I have seen,” Jenk (full name withheld at his request) wrote. “I have been witnessing very bad things happening to innocent people; police violence, arresting lawyers and doctors, and hurting children.” He then used his DJI Phantom, an RC quadrotor helicopter equipped with a high definition GoPro 3 camera to capture the protests, placing his aerial images on Vimeo
[2] where a number of his uploads may still be found. He also posted clashes between demonstrators and police on Twitter[3] until police used their weapons to shoot down his UAV.

In South Africa, police “detained the owner of a radio-controlled helicopter drone[4] for filming around the Pretoria hospital where Nelson Mandela is being treated.” According to reports “he had intended to offer to media organisations [sic] the aerial shots of intense activity around the hospital.” After being detained and questioned for nearly four hours he was released but police confiscated the UAV camera.

Recently,[5] a so-called “paparazzo” used a UAV-mounted camera in Switzerland to get photographs of Tina Turner’s wedding until police ordered him “to land the aircraft and confiscated his memory card.”

Here in the U.S. a filmmaker used “aerial-drone cinematography”[6] to help re-create the Gettysburg battlefield. A west coast cinema company used the latest in UAV borne digital cameras to provide spectacular views of the Civil War battlefield for a newly released documentary called “The Gettysburg Story,” made to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the epic battle. While the highest aerial footage was shot using a Bell JetRanger helicopter, Jake Boritt, director of the film used “six and eight-rotorhelicopters about the size of hobbyists’ model aircraft to provide more detailed close-ups of the battlefield.” Boritt described the radio-controlled helicopter UAVs as “a superstable camera platform that can go from 4 inches above the ground to 400 feet in the air.”

In Florida UAV use is becoming more prolific. A video production company used “its helicopter drone to fly over and around” each of the Jacksonville Credit Union’s   branches to be used for online videos on its website as part of “the location and contact information page” and for television commercials.[7] That same footage has also been used for security and employee training by providing a birds-eye view of the credit union’s branches. Interestingly, one of the partners in the production company claims to be a licensed pilot “which allows him to fly the drone at various altitudes.” But does it?

There has also been some backlash. A small town in Colorado is considering the idea of issuing hunting licenses and even bounties that would allow its citizens to shoot down[8] UAVs that might intrude on their airspace. “We do not want drones in town,” said Phillip Steel, who drafted the law. “They fly in town, they get shot down,” he added. Those views are also a part of growing concerns over UAVs as noted in an article[9] in USA Today, expressing widespread objections to these devices, especially ones equipped with cameras. In response to the proposal in Colorado the FAA released a statement[10] against shooting at UAVs, warning that “Shooting at an unmanned aircraft could result in criminal or civil liability, just as would firing at a manned airplane.”

Federal Regulation

In its 2007 Rules & Regulations[11] the FAA set forth the following policy statement:

The current FAA policy for UAS operations is that no person may operate a UAS in the National Airspace System without specific authority. For UAS operating as public aircraft the authority is the COA, for UAS operating as civil aircraft the authority is special airworthiness certificates, and for model aircraft the authority is AC 91-57.

The FAA recognizes that people and companies other than modelers  might be flying UAS with the mistaken understanding that they are legally operating under the authority of AC 91-57. AC 91-57 only applies to modelers, and thus specifically excludes its use by persons or companies for business purposes.

(Emphasis added)

Although it is clear that UAVs may not be used by “persons or companies for business purposes” it is also apparent that many people and businesses are doing just that. The FAA Advisory Circular (AC 91-57[12]), issued in 1981, sets forth “Model Aircraft Operating Standards” which “encourages voluntary compliance” with its “safety standards.” Users are advised to “not fly model aircraft higher than 400 feet above the surface” and to give right of way to, an avoid flying in the proximity of, full-scale aircraft.” The FAA also expects that “hobbyists will operate these recreational model aircraft within visual line-of-sight.”[13] Also see: Section 336[14] “Special Rule for Model Aircraft” in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-95; 49 U.S.C. 40101 note 49).

Flying a “model drone”[15] is one thing, equipping it with a camera may be another. A number of states have enacted or are attempting to regulate camera-equipped radio-controlled aircraft and the Aerospace States Association[16] along With The Council of State Governments[17] have weighed in on privacy issues.[18]

According to FAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems section spokesperson Les Dorr, “if you are taking video for your own personal use (including YouTube) and you’re not going to do anything else with it, and you adhere to model aircraft guidelines, you’re okay” but as per the FAA prohibition “you cannot sell the video, and you cannot take money for shooting the video.” In response to an email he added, “The FAA prohibits use of unmanned aircraft for commercial purposes, including news operations,” he wrote, continuing, “The FAA’s policy is contained in a Federal Register notice dated 2/13/2007.[19] It does not distinguish a unique policy for newsgathering purposes.”

But what’s someone who wants to shoot UAV video to do? The current answer is to wait until the end of this year (or later[20] (see number 7 in “June 2013 Significant Rulemaking Report”[21])) when permits for flying commercial UAVs may become available along with the all-important FAA issued Certificate of Authorization (COA[22]).

“Obtaining an ‘experimental airworthiness certificate’ for a particular UAS is currently the only way civil operators of unmanned aircraft are accessing the nation’s airspace, said Dorr, adding, “experimental certificate regulations preclude carrying people or property for compensation or hire, but do allow operations for research and development, flight and sales demonstrations and crew training.” A proposed small unmanned aircraft rule (under 55 pounds) “is in executive review within the government and we expect to publish it later this year,” said Dorr. That rule is expected to cover commercially shooting video with small UAVs. Without those interim permits, users may have to wait until September 2015 (or later) to use UAVs for commercial purposes. According to Dorr, “a total of 50 experimental airworthiness certificates have been issued to date.”

Federal Legislation

Last year Congress proposed close to a score of bills[23] to regulate the use of UAVs. Most of them had to do with military and law enforcement operations. Only H.R. 4310[24], National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, was passed and signed into law by the President.

So far this year a number of similar proposals[25] have been offered.

In March, Rep. Edward Markey introduced H.R. 1262[26], “Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act of 2013,” to amend the “FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012” to provide guidance and limitations regarding the integration of unmanned aircraft systems into United States airspace, and for other purposes. That bill found that while “unmanned aircraft systems have traditionally been used almost exclusively overseas by military and security organizations; State and local governments, businesses, and private individuals are increasingly using unmanned aircraft systems in the United States . . .” and “it has been estimated there could be as many as 30,000 unmanned aircraft systems in the sky in the United States by 2020.”

The bill noted “federal standards for informing the public and protecting individual privacy with respect to unmanned aircraft systems are needed” because of “the potential for unmanned aircraft system technology to enable invasive and pervasive surveillance without adequate privacy protections, and currently, no explicit privacy protections or public transparency measures with respect to such system technology are built into the law.” To address this issue the bill calls for a study conducted by the Secretary of Transportation, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce, the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, and the Chief Privacy Officer of the Department of Homeland Security, to identify “any potential threats to privacy protections posed by the integration of unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system, including any potential violations of the privacy principles.”

The proposed measure also defined the term “privacy protections” as “protections that relate to the use, collection, and disclosure of information and data about individuals and groups of individuals” and the term “privacy principles” as the principles described in Part Two[27] of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development guidelines. It also defined the term “law enforcement” as “any entity of the United States or of a State or political subdivision thereof, that is empowered by law to conduct investigations of or to make arrests for offenses; and any entity or individual authorized by law to prosecute or participate in the prosecution of such offenses.”

The bill goes on to address limitations on data collection, disclosure of approved certificates, licenses and other grants of authority for the use of UAVs along with a warrant requirement for “generalized surveillance” except under exigent circumstances such as “an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury; or a high risk of a terrorist attack by a specific individual or organization, when the Secretary of Homeland Security has determined that credible intelligence indicates there is such a risk.”

While there is little likelihood that this bill will come out of committee it is interesting to note language similar to the current debate over privacy concerns regarding the government’s collection of other data and records.

In May Senator Rand Paul proposed S. 1016[28], “Preserving Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act of 2013,” a bill similar to H.R. 1262, to protect individual privacy against unwarranted governmental intrusion through the use of the unmanned aerial vehicles commonly called UAVs, and for other purposes.

Earlier this year, Congressman Ted Poe introduced H.R. 637[29], “Preserving American Privacy Act of 2013,” to provide for a legal framework for the operation of public unmanned aircraft systems, and for other purposes. Aside from regulating government use of UAVs as described above, this bill offered a ban on the “weaponization” of UAVs by making it “unlawful for any investigative or law enforcement officer or private individual to operate an unmanned aircraft system that is armed with a firearm (as such term is defined in section 921 of title 18, United States Code) within the airspace of the United States.” (Note: In  a recent response to a FOIA lawsuit[30] filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF[31]) a Customs & Border Protection (CBP) report[32] indicates the agency considered adding  “non-lethal weapons designed to immobilize” targets of interest”[33] to its domestic Predator UAVs in 2010. Even though CPB logged an eight-fold[34] increase in the number of missions flown by those 10 UAVs “on behalf of state, local and non-CPB federal agencies between 2010 and 2012,” the agency has plans to increase its operations further)

The bill also addresses the “Private use of unmanned aircraft systems” in language very similar to many anti-paparazzi laws[35] in that

It shall be unlawful to intentionally operate a private unmanned aircraft system to capture, in a manner that is highly offensive to a reasonable person, any type of visual image, sound recording, or other physical impression of a individual engaging in a personal or familial activity under circumstances in which the individual had a reasonable expectation of privacy, through the use of a visual or auditory enhancing device, regardless of whether there is a physical trespass, if this image, sound recording, or other physical impression could not have been achieved without a trespass unless the visual or auditory enhancing device was used.

The measure also proposes that “Nothing in this Act shall be construed to preempt any State law regarding the use of unmanned aircraft systems exclusively within the borders of that State.” The Boston Herald posted an editorial[36] condemning the plan.

The proposed “Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2014,” S. 1243[37] was introduced on June 27, 2013. In response to privacy concerns Sec. 119 E of the Act directs that “None of the funds in this Act may be used to issue regulations on the integration of unmanned aerial systems into the national airspace until the [Transportation] Secretary submits to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations the report[38] related to the privacy implications of unmanned aerial systems described in the explanatory statement accompanying this Act” (emphasis in the original).

If enacted, that language may bar the FAA from moving forward with UAS rulemaking to integrate UAS into the national airspace. The FAA, along with other federal agencies, would have one year to submit their report on UAS privacy issues to Congress. The bill is now headed to the full Senate for a vote.

As stated in the report, “The expanded use of UAS also presents the FAA with significant challenges. The Committee is concerned that, without adequate safeguards, expanded use of UAS by both governmental and non-governmental entities will pose risks to individuals’ privacy.”

Additionally,

The FAA has recognized the importance of addressing privacy concerns by requiring that UAS test sites have privacy policies in place before test flights begin. However, as the FAA looks to integrate UAS into the national airspace, a more comprehensive approach to privacy may be warranted. The United States Constitution, Federal, and various State privacy laws apply to the operation of UAS, but in consideration of the rapid advancement of technology in this area, the Committee questions whether current laws offer sufficient protections to adequately protect individuals.

FAA’s oversight and regulatory authority over the national airspace places the agency in a position to work with other agencies on addressing privacy concerns. To that end, the Committee directs the FAA to collaborate with other Federal agencies in evaluating the impact that broader use of UAS in the national airspace could have on individual privacy. Furthermore, the Committee includes bill language that prohibits the FAA from issuing final regulations on the integration of UAS into the national airspace until the Secretary submits a report detailing the results of such collaboration.

The Committee expects this report to address the application of existing privacy law to governmental and non-governmental entities; identify gaps in existing law, especially with regard to the use and retention of personally identifiable information by both governmental and non-governmental entities; and recommend next steps in how the FAA or other Federal agencies can address the impact of widespread use of UAS on individual privacy. The Committee directs the FAA to submit this report to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations not later than 1 year after enactment of this act.

According to Ben Gielow, government relations manager for the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) in Arlington, VA, a trade group of 7,500 members, “AUVSI does not oppose the language calling for a government report on UAS privacy issues, we a oppose requiring the FAA to further delay its rulemaking on integration.” He noted, “luckily, no similar language is in the House Committee approved transportation funding bill,[39] but cautions, “if this Senate language passes as is, it could jeopardize all of the FAA’s UAS integration efforts, including selecting the six UAS test sites, the UAS operations in the Arctic, and the small UAS notice of proposed rulemaking on commercial operations of small UAS. It would also put in question the Congressional mandate of safe integration by 30 Sept. 2015.”

The association predicts UAVs will add 70,000 jobs and $13.6 billion to the U.S. economy over three years, once approved for commercial use. Gielow also urged incoming Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx “to implement new UAV rules as soon as possible” adding “this industry is one of the few begging to be regulated because we need certainty in order to successfully move forward.” The association has also issued a statement regarding privacy.[40]

Congressional Hearings

As part of the ongoing concerns regarding UAV use and privacy rights the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations held a hearing on May 17, 2013, entitled, “Eyes in the Sky: The Domestic Use of Unmanned Aerial Systems,”[41] with a panel academic witnesses.  In his statement[42] regarding privacy issues, Boston University Law School professor, Tracey Maclin said UAVs should be treated differently than manned aircraft “because of the advanced technology now available, comparing a drone to a traditional airplane for Fourth Amendment purposes is similar to comparing a frisk conducted by a security guard to a modern x-ray machine that can see beneath one’s clothing utilized at some airports.”

John Villasenor, of the Brookings Institution, said the Bill of Rights provides adequate privacy protections but cautioned,[43]

It would be a mistake to draft legislation driven by an assumption that the Fourth Amendment will offer no protection from UAS observations, no matter how invasive. A far better approach is to view privacy legislation for government UAS as complementary to a constitutionally protected right “to be secure . . . against unreasonable searches and seizures” that will still have force and meaning in a world in which unmanned aircraft are common.”

Pepperdine University School of Law professor Greg McNeal (who also wrote a “Primer on Domestic Drones”[44]) warned “We should be careful to not craft hasty legislation based on emotionally charged rhetoric. Outright bans on the use of drones and broadly worded warrant requirements that function as the equivalent of an outright ban do little to protect privacy or public safety and in some instances will only serve to protect criminal wrongdoing.”[45]

Chris Calabrese from the ACLU countered that UAVs should be regulated differently than manned aircraft because, “The prospect of cheap, small, portable flying video surveillance machines threatens to eradicate existing practical limits on aerial monitoring and allow for pervasive surveillance, police fishing expeditions, and abusive use of these tools in a way that could eventually eliminate the privacy Americans have traditionally enjoyed in their movements and activities.”[46]

State Legislation

As of June 11, 2013 all of the states have introduced, enacted or adopted UAS legislation[47] (also see: ACLU Status of Domestic Drone Legislation in the States updated on 8/9/13).

On August 13, 2013 the Aerospace States Association (ASA), an organization of state lieutenant governors, released their “UAS State Privacy Considerations” paper,[48] intended to provide guidance to state lawmakers developing UAS legislation. During a press conference, ASA chairman, Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell said, “Last year, when Congress mandated that the Federal Aviation Administration create a plan to integrate UAS in the national airspace, I don’t think anyone anticipated that their progress would be so long delayed by a widespread concern over privacy rights.”[49]

Virginia became the first state in the country to enact a UAV law on April 3, 2013, with the passage of HB 2012 and SB 1331. Those measures place a moratorium on UAV use by any state agencies “having jurisdiction over criminal law enforcement or regulatory violations” or units of local law enforcement until July 1, 2015. The law also contains many enumerated exceptions along with a requirement that the state develop model protocols for UAV use by Nov. 1, 2013.[50]

Eight days later Idaho enacted SB 1134[51] establishing guidelines and restrictions on the use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) by law enforcement agencies as well as private citizens. As defined a UAS does not include “An unmanned aircraft system used in the taking of commercial photography” yet further language states: “Absent reasonable, articulable suspicion of criminal conduct, no person, entity or state agency shall use an unmanned aircraft system to photograph an individual, without such individual's written consent, for the purpose of publishing or otherwise publicly disseminating such photograph” but “The provisions of this subsection shall not restrict the use of an unmanned aircraft system for the purpose of taking photographs of gatherings of the public on public or private land.”

The Florida “Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act” SB 92,[52] prohibits a law enforcement agency from using a UAV to gather evidence or other information without due process unless under certain circumstances. The law also establishes civil remedies for violations of this code.

“An Act Limiting the Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles by Law Enforcement; And Prohibiting the Use of Unlawfully Obtained Information as Evidence in Court,” Montana’s SB 196[53] places limitations on unmanned aerial vehicle in any prosecution or proceeding within the state. Information from an unmanned aerial vehicle is not admissible as evidence unless the information was obtained pursuant to the authority of a search warrant; or in accordance with judicially recognized exceptions to the warrant requirement.

Tennessee law, SB 796,[54] prohibits law enforcement agencies from using UAVs to gather evidence or other information, except as otherwise provided such: after obtaining a warrant, to counter a high-risk terrorist attack, or if swift action is needed to prevent imminent danger to life.

The Texas Privacy Act HB 912,[55] defines “image” as “any capturing of sound waves, thermal, infrared, ultraviolet, visible light, or other electromagnetic waves, odor, or other conditions existing on or about real property in this state or an individual located on that property” and then sets forth nineteen (19) lawful UAV uses. It should be noted that a proposed amendment[56] (#30) that would have also allowed use

by a radio or television station licensed by the Federal Communications Commission, a newspaper of general circulation published in Texas, or another bona fide news organization if: the image was captured for news-gathering purposes, any identifiable person captured in the image was not in a place where that person had a reasonable expectation of privacy, and the vehicle capturing the image is at least 10 feet in length and affixed with lights or reflective markings indicating the vehicle’s owner; or the image was recorded at an altitude of at least 400 feet

was defeated (Texas Senate Journal May 17, 2013 pg. 1943).

Section 26 of North Dakota SB 2018[57] grants $1M for costs related to pursuing FAA designation as an unmanned aircraft systems test site. It also includes $4M for operations of the test site, contingent upon receiving official FAA designation as a national test site.

Other pending legislation is California Assembly Bill AB 1327[58] which adds an Unmanned Aircraft Systems section to Part 4 of California Penal Code that covers UAS use by law enforcement agencies and addresses privacy concerns by placing limitations on data collection and dissemination. Its companion, California Senate Bill SB 15[59] notes “while privately and publicly operated unmanned aircraft systems can have a legitimate role in areas such as agriculture, scientific research, and public safety, these systems present new challenges to the privacy and due process rights of Californians.” The bill further states “both public and private operators of unmanned aircraft systems have a responsibility not to infringe on the rights, property, or privacy of the citizens of California, and any data, information, photographs, video, or recordings of individuals, both public and private, should be minimized and retained in a manner consistent with current privacy standards.”

Adding to language found in the California’s anti-paparazzi law, SB 15 amends Section 1708.8 of the CA Civil Code to now include use of UAVs:

(b) A person is liable for constructive invasion of privacy when the defendant attempts to capture, in a manner that is offensive to a reasonable person, any type of visual image, sound recording, or other physical impression of the plaintiff engaging in a personal or familial activity under circumstances in which the plaintiff had a reasonable expectation of privacy, through the use of a visual or auditory enhancing device, or through the use of an unmanned aircraft system as defined in Section 14350 of the Penal Code, regardless of whether there is a physical trespass, if this image, sound recording, or other physical impression could not have been achieved without a trespass unless the visual or auditory enhancing device or unmanned aircraft system was used.

(Emphasis added).

The bill leaves intact treble damages for violations of the section along with punitive damages and “if the plaintiff proves that the invasion of privacy was committed for a commercial purpose, the defendant shall also be subject to disgorgement to the plaintiff of any proceeds or other consideration obtained as a result of the violation of this section.” Additionally, the law contains civil fines and further liability for “a person who directs, solicits, actually induces, or actually causes another person, regardless of whether there is an employer-employee relationship, to violate any provision of [the] subdivision.”

Liability also would attach for “the transmission, publication, broadcast, sale, offer for sale, or other use of any visual image, sound recording, or other physical impression that was taken or captured in violation of [the] subdivision.” Accordingly, “for a commercial purpose” means “any act done with the expectation of a sale, financial gain, or other consideration. A visual image, sound recording, or other physical impression shall not be found to have been, or intended to have been, captured for a commercial purpose unless it is intended to be, or was in fact, sold, published, or transmitted.”

The bill also proposes to amend Section 632 of the CA Penal Code to read:

(a) Every person who, intentionally and without the consent of all parties to a confidential communication, by means of any electronic amplifying or recording device, including a device affixed to or contained within an unmanned aircraft system as defined in Section 14350, eavesdrops upon or records the confidential communication, whether the communication is carried on among the parties in the presence of one another . . .  shall be punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or in the state prison, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

(Emphasis added).

Also see ACLU “Drone Legislation: What’s being proposed in the states?”[60]

Air Safety Concerns vs. Ongoing Commercial Use

Illustrating FAA concerns an amateur UAV crashed[61] in to a crowd at a Virginia Motorsports Park, hitting a man in the face; and a wedding photographer also managed to make a memorable moment when the UAV[62] he was piloting for a photo flew into the groom’s face.

The first U.S. operation of a commercial UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) was authorized by the FAA in July. A “restricted-category type certification” under Part 21.25 of the federal aviation regulations was issued for the 44-lb., gasoline-powered “ScanEagle” and the 13.4-lb., battery-powered “AeroVironment Puma AE” for aerial surveillance operation in the Artic. Both drones are about 4.5 feet long and have wingspans of 9 to 10 feet. The larger UAV will be used by a major energy company to survey ice floes and migrating whales off the Alaska coast. The other drone will be used to monitor oil spills along with wildlife surveillance over the Beaufort Sea. In order to allay concerns over the use of these systems to FAA has also released a fact sheet[63] as local media expressed concern[64] about UAVs being integrated into Alaskan airspace.

Last month an employee of WKMG in Orlando found a UAV[65] that had crashed in a tree in Altamonte Springs, FL. Attached was a GoPro camera containing over 2 hours of footage showing the unmanned craft moving toward and apartment window, hovering over a poolside female sunbather and “wobbling high over I-4 as cars zoom below.” The news station was able to find the pilot/owner and then do an interview with him. Some of what he had to say illustrates the vast problem the FAA is facing in trying to regulate UAS use and operation while trying to maintain safety in the skies over America.

A UAV being used by a videographer for a small production company in Marion Ohio literally fell into the arms of justice while recording a promotional video above the Marion County Courthouse.[66] After being blown off course the $1,500 remote-controlled helicopter with attached camera came to rest in the arms of a statue of Lady Justice. Authorities seemed more concerned with how to get it down than in bringing any charges although no one but the first person to leave a comment knew that it was an FAA violation.

But it’s not just small unstable UAVs that are falling out of the sky. According to a recent report[67] a dangerous mix of human error and mechanical failure caused the crash of a RQ-4A Global Hawk, weighing almost 23,000 pounds and valued at $176M. The Navy UAV carrying more than 11,000 pounds of fuel plummeted to earth at nearly 2,000 feet-per-minute near Chesapeake Bay, MD and burst into flames in an open field.

As former General Counsel to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Gary L. Halbert, a partner at Holland & Knight, is also concerned about these crashes. “The NTSB investigates civil aviation accidents and incidents and conducts studies related to aviation safety, including the use of drones.” According to Halbert, the Board investigated its first UAS accident in 2006-07, involving a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Predator B surveillance aircraft which crashed on April 25, 2006, near Nogales, Arizona. In its October 2007 report the NTSB issued 22 safety recommendations as a result of that investigation. “Future accidents, near misses, or other incidents involving an unmanned aircraft will very likely be investigated closely by the NTSB as it oversees UAS activities of industry, private users, and the FAA,” Halbert added.

Halbert also commented on the technology commonly called “sense and avoid,” a play on the traditional “see and avoid” obligation of pilots. He believes “that technology must be reliable in order to safely allow UASs into the same airspace as general and commercial aviation.” But Halbert also worries that “studying the state of the technology, pursuing rulemaking, educating the public, and ultimately enforcing the operation of drone aircraft will strain an already heavily tasked FAA workforce.” “The loss of personnel and the reduction in employee hours accompanying budget cuts will further strain the FAA's efforts to cope with this rapidly expanding area,” he concluded.

In Indianapolis, WRTV did a story on the “growing threat from illegal business flights of drones nationwide, prompting concerns from Indianapolis pilots and calls for action in Congress.”[68] They also “found several companies advertising drone flights anywhere in Indiana. One company quoted the price of $500 per hour or $2,000 per day for snapping photos or shooting video from a drone.” A company representative claimed “he had flown hundreds of flights for TV commercials and real estate ventures, including a TV commercial last month for a Houston car dealership.” In an “undercover” interview the owner of another UAV company offered to take real estate photos over the city for $300 and said while “he ‘wasn’t supposed to’ fly above 400 feet . . . he sometimes flew above 1,000 feet or higher, depending on the job.”

“TheIndyChannel” also obtained “enforcement documents” from the FAA showing that “23 investigations were launched by FAA over the past two years in response to complaints or inspectors finding drone flights depicted online.” According to those reports “10 drone operators received warning letters or advisories that their flights were illegal and 5 unauthorized drones were spotted by pilots and reported to FAA.” Other FOIA obtained documents show that in 2011 the FAA proposed a $10,000 fine against “Team BlackSheep” for shooting UAV borne video over the University of Virginia’s Charlottesville campus because of reckless flying and performing dangerous maneuvers near bystanders. Team BlackSheep co-founder, Raphael Pirker, denied endangering anyone and claimed (in that case) he was not paid for the filming. He has also been quoted as saying, “The U.S. drone rules are essentially unenforceable.”[69]

According to an email from spokesperson Dorr, “the FAA has not proposed legal action against ‘Team BlackSheep’ per se.” “The FAA has proposed a civil penalty of $10,000 against an individual for operation of an UAS allegedly in violation of a 14 CFR 91.13(a) ‘Careless or reckless operation’ which states that no person may operate an aircraft in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another,” said Dorr. “That case is in the legal process and no final order has been issued,” he added.

A recent check of Team BlackSheep’s website shows only aerial video from other countries a further search of their name reveal clips on YouTube shot over NYC, San Francisco and Las Vegas.[70] The music videos also show some scenes of the UAVs being launched and operated at low ground level and from high above skyscrapers. There have also been a number or reports, sightings and complaints from commercial pilots observing UAVs near their flight paths. In March the FAA reported it was investigating an incident in which the crew of an Alitalia airliner sighted a UAV within 200’ of its approach to JFK at an altitude of approximately 1,750’ three miles from the runway.[71]

In comments to WRTV, Dorr said “no commercial flights have ever been permitted anywhere in the country, including those involving real estate agents or news organizations.” In an email he added, “The FAA and the NTSB recognize UAS as aircraft and subject to the same reporting and investigation requirements as any other aircraft involved in an accident.” “To date, the FAA has not had to investigate an accident with a UAS involved in photography or videography.” The aviation agency also provided a written statement in response to the news investigation:

The FAA thoroughly investigates possible violations of the agency’s regulations by unmanned aircraft operators. In cases where we have verifiable proof of a violation, we do not hesitate to pursue enforcement action. Lacking such proof, we still make sure the operator understands FAA regulations and policy on unmanned aircraft systems. We expect to publish a proposed rule on small unmanned aircraft later this year that will offer regulations for a wide variety of users in the small UAS community, including commercial operators.

Cease and desist letters from the FAA appear to be on the rise. In one such case[72] the FAA grounded an aerial photography company’s $15,000 Cinestar 8 Octocopter because of a complaint that the company was advertising its commercial UAV services on its website. The co-owner of the company said “he knew the legality of flying drones for commercial use was problematic [but] we didn’t want to look under that rock,” adding “we figured if all these other companies are doing it, why can’t we?”

In another case[73] a Minnesota company drew unwanted attention from the FAA, “which said they were violating regulations by flying in ‘Class B’ airspace, or that which is in populated areas near major airports. That report was from March 2013 but at publication of this article FlyBoys still appeared to be in business producing “Radio Controlled Aerial Cinematography and posting those rock-steady stabilized videos on its website.

Hoverfly, a Florida based company advertising “certified aerial systems” (rather than use the word “drone” which for some conjures up pilotless planes dropping bombs or spying in war zones) partnered with the Golf Channel to air uncompensated footage during a tournament but that video “was pulled after a picture of one of their UASs on the course went viral around the same time that news of the Fly Boys FAA violations were reported.”

AUVSI, “advancing the unmanned systems and robotics community through education, advocacy and leadership” stresses safety, professional and respect in its code of conduct which also recognizes

The emergence of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) as a resource for a wide variety of public and private applications quite possibly represents one of the most significant advancements to aviation, the scientific community, and public service since the beginning of flight. Rapid advancements in the technology have presented unique challenges and opportunities to the growing UAS industry and to those who support it.  The nature of UAS and the environments which they operate, when not managed properly, can and will create issues that need to be addressed.  The future of UAS will be linked to the responsible and safe use of these systems.  Our industry has an obligation to conduct our operations in a safe manner that minimizes risk and instills confidence in our systems.[74]

“AUVSI condemns the misuse of UAS, and believes that anyone who abuses UAS technology should be held accountable,” said the group’s Senior Communications Manager Melanie Hinton She said her group is working with the FAA and others to establish rules for the safe operation of unmanned aircraft. “AUVSI expects all users of UAS to abide by FAA guidelines, including receiving an FAA Certificate of Authorization before using the technology,” She also urged media groups “to establish their own code of conduct to counteract negative public perceptions about the media using drones to invade people’s privacy.”

Related Areas of Concern & Interest

In response[75] to an extensive petition[76] submitted by The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), the FAA began[77] public rulemaking on the privacy issue of UAVs.

In October 2012 the ACLU sent FOIA[78] requests to five (5) federal agencies (FAA, DOJ, DHS, GSA and USAF) asking about UAV use inside the U.S. The ACLU has yet to post their response.

A full discussion of UAV operational issues is not possible without also addressing the availability, allocation and protection of the radio frequency spectrum[79] used for command, control and GPS communications with the UAV as well as for data downlinks. This will ultimately require licensing by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) and will most probably create another layer of bureaucracy[80] and possible delays in resolving dedicated and secure radio signals.

Holland & Knight partner Charles R. “Charlie” Naftalin, who practices in the area of communications law said, “if the FAA and NTSB require significant sense and avoid technologies [for UASs], all of which also would be dependent upon wireless radio spectrum, the FCC will have to address issues of command, control and reliable safety, including whether to allocate specific or different spectrum, and impose a licensing scheme, for commercial use of UAS.” “There could be competing interests concerning these FCC regulatory matters and it would not be the first time that the FCC would scramble to address rapid technological change in radio-based systems,” he added.

An example of this would be the problems encountered when news crews from around the country converge on a story such as the national conventions and the radio interference experienced when the same wireless microphone frequencies are being used by different broadcasters in the same geographic location.  Encryption against jamming and spoofing will be another high priority. If highly sophisticated military UAVs can be electronically hijacked as happened last year in Iran it would not take much for hackers to commandeer a simpler civilian device as proved by a University of Texas at Austin research team.

But colleges are not just involved in UAV research. Many, such as the University of North Dakota and Indiana State University in Terre Haute have been joined by others  to offer courses in UAV: design and marketing, economics, flight operations and journalism. In what was the first of many to come, KBIA, an NPR affiliate in Missouri has launched a "Drone Program" with a $25,000 grant from the University of Missouri for research, construction and modification of “multiple drones for the specific purpose of collecting media.”

Matt Waite, the developer of the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism platform “PolitiFact,” is currently working with three undergraduate students at the University of Nebraska College of Journalism and Mass Communications on a program called UCARE, or Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Experiences. They are studying the practical dimensions of using UAVs for journalism such as: what type of UAV should be used, what type of camera, weight & lift considerations, as well as ethical, privacy and cost considerations.

In an email Matt also commented,

There are some interesting First Amendment questions in how UAVs or UASs or whatever you want to call them are integrated. NextGen’s promise of more efficient airspace use seems to bode well for journalists -- less restricted airspace means more places where you can get aerial images from. But I think if journalists are truly interested in using this technology, they need to be mindful of these regulatory machinations going on right now. The Media -- writ large – isn’t exactly popular with a lot of people, and some of that is well earned. If we want to use this technology, we have to be at the table when the decisions are made. It’s either that, or we have to sue to get them later.

In a late breaking development the FAA informed[81] Mr. Waite and officials at the University of Missouri that they would need to obtain a Certificate of Authorization (COA) before being allowed to continue flying UAVs outdoors as part of their programs, thus temporarily grounding both programs.

UAV Journalism

Which leads to a further discussion of the opportunities and potential for using UAV journalism as a vehicle for news gathering is growing. Technological advancements – ranging from the printing press to the telegraph; radio to videotape; and now livestreams and tweets – have always been used to make information more widely available and instantly accessible. Ever since man could fly, all types of vehicles from balloons and blimps to fixed-wing planes and helicopters have been used for surveillance and newsgathering purposes. As UAVs become more prevalent, reliable, and affordable; and as high definition cameras become smaller with higher resolution, the demand for UAV use is expected to increase and eventually surpass more traditional forms of aerial news coverage.

Although UAV technology is well-advanced as could be seen at the 2013 NAB convention in Las Vegas, there are still many issues to be resolved aside from the legality of such uses in the U.S. Print and broadcast news executives need to establish uniform policies that adequately address privacy rights, ethical concerns, safety issues and the growing demand for regulation if the public and government agencies (including law enforcement) are to accept this next inevitable step in news coverage.

Some of the technological considerations for UAV use should include: widely varied size & range, complexity, capabilities & acquisition costs; tasking, platform/manufacturer selection; training, maintenance & personnel; and a cost/benefit analysis along with a decision whether to purchase/rent vs. outsource.

Regulatory and policy legal issues must also be understood and considered. Some of those include:  full compliance with FAA regulations; insurance coverage; vehicle airworthiness; pilot competency & certification; flight, data & radio operations and licensing

Legal expertise in new and developing regulations and caselaw governing the use of UAVs will also be a critical factor. This will require knowledge of local, state and federal statutes and for some familiarity with foreign rules will also be important. While safety is the overarching aviation rule, privacy rights, data collection and protection, along with civil liberty issues are all factors that must be addressed. To illustrate that point, the Congressional Research Service published a paper[82] in April 2013 regarding the “Integration of Drones into Domestic Airspace: Selected Legal Issues.”

Journalistic operational and ethical considerations are no less daunting a challenge. Assuming a news operation has already made its UAV acquisition determinations, and FAA rules are in place one of the first questions to be answered is when to use a UAV? When microwave trucks were first introduced many news organizations went “live” for live’s sake, whether or not it furthered the story. Given the exponential increase in the desire for immediacy in news reporting will the media follow the military’s cold-war doctrine of “launch on warning” every time there is a breaking news? Or will they have their UAVs patrolling the skies waiting to be tasked to a story?

Addressing some of these concerns, Charles D. “Chuck” Tobin, a partner at Holland & Knight and chair of the Media Practice Team said, “the discussion over regulating civilian UAS traffic risks getting sidetracked by the unrelated debate over military UAVs abroad and government surveillance domestically.” “Aerial cameras on small flying platforms the size of a steering wheel are a safe means to gather information in the public interest, and privacy concerns can easily be addressed by regulation,” he added.  “To make sure any legal framework takes into account the lawful gathering of important information in the public interest, the media needs a seat at the table when regulators weigh the issues, he concluded.

FAA requirements will also govern the size and composition of the operating crew. As news departments are looking to cut costs and staff who will they chose to multitask? Is that something they want to risk? Since a reporter is an unlikely candidate to be the Pilot-In-Command (PIC) and staff photographer positions are being decimated who is going to fly these “unmanned” vehicles? What about acquiring UAV video from freelancers? After spending hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on a UAV what should be a fair market price for an aerial news clip? Where a few lonely (and extremely expensive) Bell Jet Rangers roamed the sky will news organizations be vying for airspace with independent visual journalists?

This is to say nothing of what the public will make of these aerial spectacles and perceived privacy intrusions. Assuming for a moment a society accepting of and accustomed to UAV use in newsgathering; it is still more-than-likely that already existing tensions between law enforcement and emergency service providers will only be exacerbated by low-flying news cameras. Given the ongoing interference and arrest of many photojournalists for doing nothing more than photographing or recording on a public street one can only imagine what will happen when police order someone flying a UAV to stop or wrestle the controls away while the craft is over a populated area.

Regarding some of these concerns Matt Waite wrote

The gap in time between the passing of the FAA Modernization and Reauthorization Act in February 2012 and proposed deadline for final rules in September 2015 was a gift. For maybe the first time, journalists have the opportunity to think about how they would use a technology in the service of journalism before it was thrust upon them and they had to make it up on the spot. We could think about ethical and responsible uses ahead of time and have guidelines on just what we should and shouldn’t do with one. But, it seems the technology and people’s imaginations on how to use it are rapidly outpacing the FAA’s ability to get rules in place. And the longer that goes on, the more nervous I get. You see more and more people flouting the law and using UAVs for all kinds of things that the FAA does not allow currently. And they’re doing so because the technology can easily allow them to do it. And frankly, the more capable the technology gets the FAA’s position that hobbyist use is okay, but commercial use isn’t just gets increasingly untenable. I fear that if the FAA doesn’t get moving, you’re only going to see more illegal and unauthorized use. I also fear that as part of that, someone is going to do something stupid and hurt someone and that will lead to a whole lot of bad, reactive policy.

Questions also arise regarding UAV use in investigative or covert journalism that must be addressed but that also do not come with easy answers. In a December 2011 Stanford Law Review article[83] Ryan Calo argued that UAVs “could be just the visceral jolt society needs to drag privacy law into the twenty-first century” yet the public perception of domestic spying[84] and data collection has created less of an outcry than has concern over UAV use.[85]

And what about UAV use by the so-called “paparazzi?” Such use may be most apropos of the pejorative Italian term meaning “annoying insect” in describing a particularly annoying noise like that of a “buzzing mosquito,” coined by movie director Frederico Fellini by naming a news photographer character “Paparazzo,” in the 1960 film La Dolce Vita. [It should also be noted here that the UAV community and the FAA dislike the term “drone” being used to describe a UAV in much the same way that visual journalists abhor being labeled as “paparazzi.”] Issues may also arise from UAV camera images captured by activists, protestors, environmental and animal rights groups, some of who have already used UAVs to document and illustrate matters of public concern.

“Aside from the need to persuade Congress that UAS technology is a safe, non-intrusive means for journalists to provide their constituents with information that they need, we need to persuade the FAA that the media can use the technology in a safe and orderly fashion and we need to persuade the public that aerial journalism will not become a paparazzi frenzy,” said Chuck Tobin. “Journalists and newsroom engineers should work with counsel to develop stories, reports, simulations, and testimony to make these points now, while we are still in a position to help steer the law and public opinion in a favorable direction,” he added.

Some additional advice was provided by FAA spokesperson Les Dorr in response to email questions:

Q. What advice would you give news organizations wishing to prepare for using UAVs for newsgathering?

A. Anyone wanting to fly a UAS should review the information in the Regulations and Policies[86] link of the FAA UAS Integration Office website. Then, contact either the FAA UAS Integration Office and/or the local FAA Flight Standards District Office.

Q. How can the news media participate/be more effective in the rulemaking process?

A. When the Small UAS proposed rule (“Notice of Proposed Rulemaking”) is published read it carefully and send comments in a timely manner.

Q. Finally – “for editorial use” has traditionally been distinguished from “commercial use” in many rules. Why has the FAA chosen not to make that distinction? Might they in the future?

A. The FAA’s mandate is to ensure the safe operation and further integration of UAS into the nation’s airspace.  A distinction between commercial and “editorial use” operations would not be feasible in this context.

Given the broad prohibitions of already existing “ag-gag” laws,[87] might news organizations be liable for broadcasting, publishing or disseminating such material? Could UAV recordings also create a claim for invasion of privacy, constructive trespass, criminal nuisance or an anti-wiretap law violations?

Clearly there are far more questions raised by UAV use than there are definitive answers. In an attempt to address some of them the University of Oxford’s Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism recently published a report[88] entitled “Remotely Piloted Aircraft System & Journalism.” Another paper[89] published in Digital Journalism, “New Perspectives from the Sky: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles & Journalism” explores “how this technology impacts on journalism and mass communication.”

Conclusion

UAVs will inevitably become commonplace in our nations’ skies providing distinct opportunities as well as unique challenges when used for newsgathering purposes. Critical factors still need to be addressed in creating appropriate and commonsense rules for their use while maintaining air safety.

News organizations and independent journalists employing this emerging technology will also need to surmount many obstacles in the flight path to acceptance, especially in the face of ongoing public distrust of the media in general and the negative portrayal of drones in particular. Ethical and privacy perceptions in these cases may be even more important than regulatory and legal concerns. Without genuine involvement and credibility it will be increasingly difficult to refute the public view that the sky is falling as it pertains to UAVs.

For now it is imperative for news organizations and their attorneys to become involved in the regulatory process to whatever extent possible as the UAV issue has long taken flight. Cooperation and to a greater extent collaboration with industry leaders and legislators is critical in ensuring the proper balance of air safety and newsgathering access.

“Backpack journalism” may soon include small UAVs in its bag of tools along with cameras, cellphone and laptops. It is important that when these vehicles are ready to take to the skies that we are not in a holding pattern or worse, grounded by our failure to have timely addressed these issues.

Appendix: Links of Interest

The FAA has placed many of the documents and comments being acquired in its rulesmaking process here.[90]

The AUVSI conference[91] in Washington, DC, August 12- 15 to discuss current issues.

Poynter presented a webinar “Covering Drones in U.S. Airspace and in Your Community” for reporters, producers, editors, investigative journalists, people interested in privacy issues and anyone who is interested in new technology and its use in daily life. It is available online. Also see: “What Journalists Need to Know about Drones”

Watchdog organization compiled UAV related map of US cities where various institutions received FAA authorization for UAV operations

Fewer Americans think journalists contribute to society

“No Drones Network” website created to stop UAV surveillance & warfare

UAV do-it-yourself websites.

Kit lets you turn almost anything light enough for its 4 rotors to lift into UAV A

Drone industry set to soar when FAA gives nod

Illegal drone business thrives in US

From Hollywood to Kansas, drones are flying under the radar

Civilian drone use still a sensitive subject for aerospace firms

How We Need to Legislate Drones

Researchers Test First Brain-Controlled Drone

Activists push Buffalo, NY to be first city in U.S. to prohibit use of drones

Iowa City's drone ban may be first of its kind in the U.S.

Israel leads global drone exports as demand grows

FBI Admits It Surveils U.S. With Drones

As Drone Journalism Takes Off, Researchers Offer a Glimpse of the Future

World's First Supersonic Drone Ready For Its Maiden Flight

Hydrogen-powered drone under development by WA State students

Drone Sales Flourish in a Time of Austerity

Tiny, disposable drones monitor hurricanes and survive crash

Drones: Delay over ground rules hampers civilian progress

Funding schemes in Congress could ground drones; FAA pressured over privacy

Flying a Drone With the Oculus Rift Looks Absolutely Immense

FAA Looks Into News Corp's Daily Drone, Raising Questions About Who Gets To Fly Drones in The U.S.

Oklahoma To Nevada: You Can Have The Roads, We'll Take The Sky

Look! Hovering above you! It's the WV news drone!

When Journalism Becomes a Game of Drones

Drone journalism, businesses and policing

Man hacks Google Glass to steer drone

Defibrillator Drones

Report on DOT Significant Rulemakings

Drones at home – Editorial - Washington Times

How to Generate Distrust on Drones – Editorial - NYTimes

The Trouble With Drones – Editorial - NYTimes

Can state laws protect you from being watched by drones – Editorial - WashPost


Mickey H. Osterreicher is of Counsel to the law firm of Hiscock & Barclay and serves as general counsel to the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA). He has been a photojournalist for almost forty years in both print and broadcast.

[1] http://www.suasnews.com/2013/06/23411/turkey-drone-journalist/

[2] http://vimeo.com/jenk1907

[3] https://twitter.com/jenk1907

[4] http://mg.co.za/article/2013-06-29-not-a-vulture-but-a-drone-police-detain-cameraman

[5]http://www.nagalandpost.com/channelnews/infotainment/InfotainmentNews.aspx?news=TkVXUzEwMDA0MjU4Mg%3D%3D-N3xgzePwWZY%3D

[6] http://www.technewsdaily.com/18485-drones-civil-war-gettysburg.html

[7] http://www.cutimes.com/2013/07/05/drone-shoots-highlight-jacksonville-credit-union-v

[8] http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/126115-Drone-Hunting-License-In-the-Works-In-Colorado-Town

[9] http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2013/07/18/drone-concerns-rules-regulations/2552999/

[10] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/19/faa-guns-drones_n_3624940.html

[11] http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2007-02-13/html/E7-2402.htm

[12]http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgAdvisoryCircular.nsf/0/1acfc3f689769a56862569e70077c9cc/$FILE/ATTBJMAC/ac91-57.pdf

[13] http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2007-02-13/html/E7-2402.htm

[14] http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-112publ95/html/PLAW-112publ95.htm

[15] http://www.videomaker.com/article/15795-attack-on-the-drones-is-shooting-with-a-drone-camera-legal#comment-151023

[16] http://aerostates.org/events/uas-privacy-submissions

[17] http://www.csg.org/pubs/capitolideas/2013_july_aug/drones.aspx

[18] http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/2013-08-13/group-states-should-require-warrants-uas-surveillance

[19] http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/uas/reg/media/frnotice_uas.pdf

[20] http://www.dot.gov/regulations/report-on-significant-rulemakings

[21] http://www.dot.gov/sites/dot.dev/files/docs/JUNE 2013 Internet Report.docx

[22]http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ato/service_units/systemops/aaim/organizations/uas/coa/

[23] http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/browse?sort=-introduced_date#congress=112&text=drone

[24] http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr4310

[25] http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/browse?sort=-introduced_date#text=drone

[26] http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr1262/text

[27]http://www.oecd.org/internet/ieconomy/oecdguidelinesontheprotectionofprivacyandtransborderflowsofpersonaldata.htm#part2

[28] http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/s1016/text

[29] http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr637/text

[30] https://www.eff.org/node/72156

[31] https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/07/customs-border-protection-considered-weaponizing-drones

[32] https://www.eff.org/document/customs-border-protection-2010-drone-concept-operations-report-congress

[33] https://www.eff.org/file/37304#page/69/mode/1up

[34] https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/07/customs-border-protection-significantly-increases-drone-surveillance-other

[35] http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/cacode/CIV/5/d3/3/s1708.8

[36] http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/opinion/editorials/2013/07/a_dreadful_drone_plan

[37] http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c113:1:./temp/~c113O0Pwgd:e0:

[38] http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CRPT-113srpt45/pdf/CRPT-113srpt45.pdf

[39] http://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=340749

[40] http://higherlogicdownload.s3.amazonaws.com/AUVSI/958c920a-7f9b-4ad2-9807-f9a4e95d1ef1/UploadedImages/UnmannedAircraftSystemPrivacyStatementFinal.pdf

[41] http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/113th/hear_05172013.html

[42] http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/113th/05172013/Maclin 05172013.pdf

[43] http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/113th/05172013/Villasenor 05172013.pdf

[44] http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregorymcneal/2012/04/10/a-primer-on-domestic-drones-and-privacy-implications/

[45] http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/113th/05172013/McNeal 05172013.pdf

[46] http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/113th/05172013/Calabrese 05172013.pdf

[47] http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/justice/unmanned-aerial-vehicles.aspx

[48] http://aerostates.org/events/hot-topics

[49] http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/2013-08-13/group-states-should-require-warrants-uas-surveillance

[50] http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=131&typ=bil&val=hb2012; http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?131+sum+SB1331

[51] http://legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2013/S1134PrinterFriendly.htm

[52] http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2013/0092/BillText/er/PDF

[53] http://leg.mt.gov/bills/2013/billpdf/SB0196.pdf

[54] http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/108/Bill/SB0796.pdf

[55] http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/83R/billtext/pdf/HB00912F.pdf#navpanes=0

[56] http://www.journals.senate.state.tx.us/sjrnl/83r/pdf/83RSJ05-17-F.PDF#page=25

[57] http://www.legis.nd.gov/assembly/63-2013/documents/13-8168-01000.pdf?20130513175955

[58] http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB1327

[59] http://legiscan.com/CA/text/SB15

[60] http://www.aclu.org/blog/technology-and-liberty-national-security/drone-legislation-whats-being-proposed-states

[61] http://www.wusa9.com/news/article/272286/158/VIDEO-A-drone-crashes-into-crowd-in-Va-bull-run

[62] http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/wedding-photographer-accidentally-flies-drone-into-groom%E2%80%99s-face--video---214049464.html

[63] http://www.faa.gov/news/fact_sheets/news_story.cfm?newsId=14153

[64] http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20130825/alaska-aviators-drone-your-airspace

[65] http://www.clickorlando.com/news/local-6-finds-drone-hovering-over-central-florida/-/1637132/20611692/-/seec0uz/-/index.html

[66] http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2013/05/02/Marion-courthouse-helicopter.html

[67] http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/06/26/navy-report-on-maryland-drone-crash-disastrous-results-averted.html

[68] http://www.theindychannel.com/news/call-6-investigators/indiana-pilots-call-drones-for-hire-a-growing-threat

[69] http://www.callawyer.com/Clstory.cfm?eid=930175&wteid=930175_Eyes_in_the_Sky

[70] http://www.youtube.com/user/nastycop420

[71] http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/04/us/new-york-drone-report

[72] http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/06/21/illegal-drone-business-thrives-in-us/?intcmp=features#ixzz2X9IrUiV3

[73] http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/03/15/faa-halts-mans-drone-photography-business-over-regulations/

[74] http://www.auvsi.org/conduct

[75] http://epic.org/2013/02/epic-petitions-faa-on-drone-pr.html

[76] http://epic.org/privacy/drones/FAA-553e-Petition-03-08-12.pdf

[77] https://faaco.faa.gov/index.cfm/announcement/view/13143

[78] http://www.aclu.org/blog/technology-and-liberty/aclu-asking-federal-government-how-its-using-drones-inside-us

[79] http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R42718.pdf

[80] http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/652223.pdf

[81] http://www.suasnews.com/2013/08/24616/faa-unl-lab-needs-permit-to-fly-drones-outdoors/

[82] http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R42940.pdf

[83] http://www.stanfordlawreview.org/online/drone-privacy-catalyst

[84] http://nymag.com/news/frank-rich/domestic-surveillance-2013-7/

[85]https://www.google.com/search?q=public+concerns+over+drone+use&rlz=1C1VASM_enUS529US533&oq=public+concerns+over+drone+use&aqs=chrome.0.57j62l3.7433j0&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

[86] http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/uas/reg/

[87] http://jpgmag.com/news/2012/03/new-laws-have-significant-impact-on-photographyrecording.html

[88]https://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/fileadmin/documents/Publications/Working_Papers/Remotely_Piloted_Aircraft_and_Journalism.pdf

[89] http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21670811.2013.805039#preview

[90] http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2013-0061

[91] http://www.auvsishow.org/auvsi13/public/Content.aspx?ID=1286

 
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