Critics are unhappy with a new bill that has just been passed, allowing authorities to shoot down private drones. It allows the government to destroy any drone that is considered a “credible threat,” and many believe the move is “dangerous” and “doesn’t include enough safeguards.”
It was on Wednesday that the Senate passed the FAA Reauthorization Act. It had previously been approved by the House of Representatives in April. The FAA have now been granted funding until 2023, with the general agenda of the bill being to modernize aviation laws in the country.
Civil rights groups are speaking up against the ruling, with the ACLU telling TechCrunch:
These provisions give the government virtually carte blanche to surveil, seize, or even shoot a drone out of the sky — whether owned by journalists or commercial entities — with no oversight or due process. They grant new powers to the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security to spy on Americans without a warrant, and they undermine the use of drones by journalists, which have enabled reporting on critical issues like hurricane damage and protests at Standing Rock.
And they’re not wrong; authorities would not be required to first obtain a warrant before firing at a drone, which opens the floodgates for Homeland Security and the Justice Department to destroy drones with questionable reasoning.
The EFF claim bringing the bill into effect endangers the First and Fourth Amendment rights of freedom of speech and the protection from warrantless device seizures, respectively. The bill will now be sent to the president and is due to be brought into law.