by Margaret M. | September 28, 2017 12:44 pm
An FBI Director is now warning that terrorists are looking to use drones to instigate attacks on American soil.
Christopher Wray spoke to Congress, testifying that “I think we do know that terrorist organizations have an interest in using drones.” He was speaking to the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee at the time he made these remarks.
“We’ve seen [drone use by terrorists] overseas already with growing frequency.”
He went on to say that they now expecting that the same kind of drone attacks will be launched in the US “imminently.” He pointed to the fact that drones are “relatively easy” to purchase, own and operate, and they are difficult to “disrupt and monitor.”
You can watch the two minute answer her Director Wray here, when he is asked by a member to describe the threat of unmanned drones:
You can purchase a drone for around $300 and they’re widely available in electronics stores and online. Laws are varying and being constantly updated, but you are expected to register yours with the FAA if they weigh more than .55 pounds and less thatn 55 pounds, with the $100 toy drones being too small to require registration. Since using a camera adds to the weight, this is generally intended to cause users who want to take photos from their drone to register it. The basic rules are that you can’t fly the drone over 400 feet and it has to remain in your eyesight and you can’t use them around airports or stadiums.
Peeping Tom laws still apply. Just because you’re using a drone doesn’t mean you can photograph people in their homes without their consent.
Drones are a sticky topic. Last year we wrote about a woman who was injured when a drone fell out of the sky. Stéphanie Creignou, 38, was watching a race in Canada when she was hit in the head by a 2.7 pound drone, whose operator said that he had “no idea” why it had fallen out of the air so suddenly. The operator did not have a permit to fly the device. You can watch a video of the accident here.
Before that, we noted that a man was confronted in the streets, but not arrested when he was spotted flying a drone around Lower Manhattan apartments who appeared to be using the device to spy into the upper levels where not everyone had their curtains drawn.
As for governmental use of drones, it’s not all strikes on ISIS overseas. In the wake of the Islamic terrorist incident that caused that San Bernardino massacre, the feds had used a drone after the attack occurred in order to look for additional suspects. This goes far beyond what you can purchase from Best Buy: The drone would have likely had “Dirtbox” technology, capable of scanning tens of thousands of phones in order to “actively search for other members of a terrorist cell.”
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