Is it a bird? A plane? NO!...It's a DRONE!
Oct 01, 2014
Have you ever wondered what a UAS (unmanned aircraft systems) is? Commonly known as “drones,” they come in all shapes and sizes and some of them even resemble small radio controlled airplanes. Drones have commercial and military application and, yes, some have even more sinister uses. They have been used in war zones to kill enemy combatants and even American citizens abroad aiding terrorist organizations.
As you can imagine, their use has not been without controversy. Their acquisition by the city of Seattle caused such uproar, that they gave (yes, gave) the drones to the city of Los Angeles. When word that LA received them got out to the public, the news spread like wildfire. The city council responded by promising to “use them judiciously” (how vague is that ?). Google and Amazon are purchasing them for commercial purposes, and ordinary citizens are concerned about their privacy rights. Drones are now available for purchase for as little as $300 by folks like you and me.
As you may have gathered by now, the availability and widespread use of these little devices has spawned a great deal of discussion and raised issues that Americans have not had to deal with before such as privacy, government surveillance from above, and illegal searches of the airspace over your home. What if they see something? Does this give them probable cause to search your backyard, or even your home?
The bottom line is that the use of drones by anyone (with or without our knowledge) raises serious concerns for all. We here at the Riverside County Law Library have your back on this. Anticipating your interest, we are sponsoring programs and have several resources relating to surveillance that discusses these and many other issues that attend the use of such sneaky devices.
Janice is a Legal Information Services Librarian at our Main Library.