With President Barack Obama recently signing into law the Federal Aviation Administration’s bill that would modernize flight to include GPS technology and in turn open up the sky to commercial and private unmanned aerial vehicles, there are not only concerns over stronger oversight by law enforcement but also in hobbyist drone operation.
For example, drones have been used by the media to capture aerial footage of Russian protests and riots in Poland. A civilian drone operated in Texas recently spotted a meat packing plant violating laws by dumping animal products into a local stream.
The Daily Mail reports that U.S. historian Francis Fukuyama, known for writing The End of History during the fall of the Berlin wall, is one of many taking on DIY drone projects. According to the Daily Mail, the popularity of Fukuyama’s videos and blog posts on the Internet regarding his amateur drone operation has some continuing the debate over civilian drone use:
The historian wrote: “I have always wanted to have my own drone that could send back a live video feed.
“It is extremely easy to build a drone now that can do not just surveillance but can carry rather large payloads.
“I want to have my drone before the government makes them illegal. The U.S has been fighting such low-tech enemies lately that we haven’t thought through the nature of a world in which lots of people have sophisticated drones, not just other countries but private individuals. One somewhat worrying thing is that virtually all of this equipment comes from China or Taiwan.”
Here is one of Fukuyama’s videos:
U.S. Air Force Pilot John Robb wrote on his blog that if terrorists were to use drones, a full ban on civilian drone use would be instituted. According to the Daily Mail, one commenter said that the “cat’s out of the bag on drone tech,” implying that even if laws were passed, there would still be violations.