To "UtahBlueDevil" whose comment in reference to my previous post seems
to imply that s/he thinks I'm against the use of drones (UAV). If that is
the impression I left then please accept my apology for its ambiguity. In fact,
I am in favor of UAVs, under the right circumstances.In fact, as a
former aerial photographer and someone who has experienced the stomach-churning
effects of aerial maneuvering while trying to get the right angle for an oblique
shot out the window of a plane, I am a BIG booster of them...under the right
circumstances.The point of my post was to highlight my surprise at
not seeing any mention of what seems to me to be an obvious potential for much
worse than jeopardizing someone's privacy. That and the logistical
nightmare of agencies like the FAA/FBI/etc. in trying to enforce whatever
regulatory structure erected to try and minimize the destructive potential for
these things.The fact that virtually everything has some destructive
potential doesn't diminish the equal fact that this particular technology
adds a very new aspect of ubiquity and mobility to the already very
difficult-to-defend asymmetrical arms race.
You might be interested in what happened to me this week as pertains to this
issue. I was told no when I asked permission to fly my quadcopter over an
Anazazi ruin and photograph it. This ruin is near a state run museum. The
reason given was that they are waiting for the Bureau of Land Management to
develop a policy about the use of "drones" over such sites. I called
the nearby BLM office and asked to speak with the employee who had been
recommended to me as the one who would know what was going on and be interested
in my comments. That person did not answer the phone and has not yet returned
my call as I asked him to do. The comment in this article about someone at an
athletic event being injured by a drone is a magnification of the actual event.
So now I am facing something similar to the wilderness study area designation.
The area is treated as wilderness when no such designation has been officially
made and this continues year after year. Big government goes on forever but my
life is short.
Drones (or UAVs) are like any other technology. They can be used for tremendous
good, or they can be used for destructive purposes. Or they can simply be used
for productive and commercial purposes. The biggest problem with UAVs has been
the FAA completely blocking and dragging its feet, allowing major military
contractors most of the government dollars to develop the technology, and
blocking all commercial uses. There are many tremendously
beneficial commercial and public service uses. The Utah Drone law is way too
broad. Why can't police departments use drones to monitor traffic, search
for Amber alert victims, monitor the city for obvious illicit activity? They
can use helicopters can't they? Then why not much cheaper drones? A UAV
is just an aerial platform for a camera, or an infrared sensor. With the
technology, Elizabeth Smart could have been found in less than 24 hours after
her abduction. Easy! How about Forest Fire detection and fire fighter
intelligence? How about quickly finding avalanche victims? Utah benefits from
massive federal allocations for drones out at Dugway. Some of the finest UAV
technology has been developed in Provo. The Governor should promote the benefits
of Drones throughout Utah.
@samhillSalt Lake City, UTI have to agree with you, Many good
and thoughtful points. Thanks for sharing them!
@UtahBlueDevil - Well said! I hope there was a stipulation in the
bill Gov. Herbert signed that says drones can't be used for
"surveillance purposes" without a warrant. What about using them to find
missing persons or track down criminals who are on the run? What about other
agencies that could use them, such as firefighters? They could easily benefit
from this technology by allowing a drone to give them aerial views of fires,
temperature readings and even help in spotting trapped victims, all without
endangering the firefighters themselves. This is an instance in which I believe
the benefits of this technology outweigh the potential abuses. The FAA is
dragging their feet, leaving states and municipalities to fill the void with
some knee-jerk laws and regulations.
It would seem wise to use drones for search operations. They can certainly go
places where planes cannot and where helicopters and their personnel might be in
considerable danger. Narrow canyons seem to be an ideal space for drone search
operations. They are probably much more economical than conventional search
equipment and could arrive at a specified location, even in our deserts, quicker
than those on foot, horseback, or conventional transport vehicles.
@samhill…… they would deal with it the same way they would anything
that is "weaponized"…. be it a drone, a car, a plane, a box, or
what ever. You don't need a drone to deliver a bomb. Seems as we saw in
Boston a pressure cooker in a back pack works just fine too.We
can't ban everything because it might be weaponized. If that were the
case we would be left with not much more than plastic forks and spoons….
and even those can be turned into weapons.And we can't ban
everything that flies, because it might fall down.
"...the people of Deer Trail, Colo., voted overwhelmingly to reject a plan
to let people blast unmanned aircraft out of the air. If rural Americans who,
one would expect, are normally suspicious of government won’t reject
drones, there is little left to stop their proliferation."--------------------Ahmmm. I don't think the aforementioned vote
was an indication of the nonchalance of "rural Americans" to drones.
Rather, it more likely indicates an appreciation for the danger of falling
bullets that miss their targets and/or, the uncontrolled falling drones that are
hit!Surprisingly, after witnessing the potential for turning
airliners into weapons on 9/11, there is no mention of the very real potential
for using drones as cheap and plentiful delivery platforms of small (but very
effective) bombs, as evidenced by the arrest in Connecticut yesterday of
27-year-old El Mehdi Semlali Fahtia, Morracan national, for planning to fly
bomb-laden drones into an out-of-state school and a federal building in
Connecticut.How in the world will the FAA for FBI/CIA/etc. control
this opened Pandora's box?
"It’s a good move, especially as police departments nationwide become
more militant..."Excuse me? This is ubbserd. Is Jay saying that
we are heading back to a time when the local sherrif calls for a pose, and they
head on out to lynch the bad guys? Today's police have almost more rules
on them then the people they are trying to protect us from.The story
related is silly. This was a persons personal drone they were flying...not a
commercial grade aircraft. Are we going to ban RC planes as well.. it was about
the same thing.Drones can play a huge role in our protection. The
requirement for a warrant is over reaching in many cases. Whether it be a
search and rescue for a lost child or hiker, to being able to get an arial view
of an accident or crime scene, getting a warrant would be a huge bottle neck to
situations where time is critical.I am more worried that last night
I was looking for a cruise, and today I have a banner ads here for a cruise
line. The DN is watching me much more evasively than the police ever would.