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Proposed bill could grant Homeland Security power to identify, monitor, intercept and destroy UAVs deemed as threats!  

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Last-minute additions to a 1205-page bill to Congress called H.R. 302 could grant the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice the authority to shoot down, intercept and confiscate any UAV perceived as a threat. With increased concern for potential drone attacks, the proposed bill is supposed to help law enforcement regulate illegal drone flights, and it’s supposed to pave the way for future drone operations like night flights and flights over people, but it’s also being viewed by oppositions of the bill as a pass for too much power, according to Bloomberg.

More power for authorities

NBC reported that some officers are already equipped with counter-UAV technology to take down drones that are operating illegally, but those same officers “could be at risk of criminal liability for simply doing their jobs to protect the public.”

The proposed bill would grant the authorities with the legal right to use counter-UAV technology without repercussion.

Besides being able to detect, identify, monitor and track UAVs without operator consent, authorities could also use reasonable force to disable, damage or destroy UAVs. Disrupting control of a UAV and warning a drone operator through passive or active means are also included in the proposed bill.

Unreasonable search and seizure!

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is one of the oppositional groups who have written articles regarding what the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice have been pushing to congress, and they believe that the bill would allow “warrantless drone take-downs.” All drones could potentially be wiretapped and destroyed, so journalist, hobbyists, businesses and all private drone operators should be concerned because the new laws could conflict what the First and Fourth Amendment protect.

What can drone operators do about this?

Concerned drone operators can contact representatives through a link that EFF provided.

When will the House vote on the bill?

Even though provisions have already been added to the proposed bill, the House still has to vote on the measure tomorrow.

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