Drones in U.S. Airspace: Principles for Governance
Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 2732
6 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2013
Date Written: September 20, 2012
Flying drones — unmanned aerial vehicles — have been made famous by their use in the war on terrorism, notably in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, but such military drones are a small fraction of those used by the United States today. Thousands of drones are used for a wide variety of purposes, from scientific research to military operations. Both Government and the private sector both use drones mostly without weapons capabilities. Because of their drones’ wide-reaching surveillance capabilities, however, even unarmed drones could threaten personal privacy and civil liberties. As the Federal Aviation Administration develops regulations for the operation of drones in domestic skies, its should consider constitutional concerns and privacy rights.
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