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PostSubject: Backlash against civilian drones begins   Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:01 am

Hide from them, shoot them down or just have them banned? Privacy fears are sparking widespread rejection of civilian drones by the US public

"THE first guy who uses a weapon to bring down a drone that's hovering over his house is going to become a folk hero in this country." So said commentator Charles Krauthammer on Fox News in May last year, after the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that drones will soon be licensed for law enforcement and commercial surveillance work.

Krauthammer's words seem to have captured the mood of a nation. Privacy fears are sparking a backlash against the use of drones in civilian airspace.

Seattle's police force was forced to abandon its drone programme last month, following anger from residents. Meanwhile, Virginia has imposed a two-year moratorium on the use of drones by police and at least 13 other states are now deliberating similar anti-drone legislation.

But some privacy advocates have gone beyond lobbying their local councillor. Online discussion groups have sprung up about what kind of drone countermeasures could prevent privacy invasion from the air. Their ideas range from the absurd – wearing drone-camera-proof clothing or using stunt kites to tangle their rotors – to the more plausible – jamming radio-control frequencies or shooting the drones out of the sky.

The FAA's announcement on 14 February that it is pressing ahead with the opening of six test centres for civilian drones will only have reinforced such sentiments. After Krauthammer's comments, pro-gun shock jock Alex Jones ran a video on his website, Infowars.com, which shows him visiting a sprawling Texas ranch to practise shooting down the coming wave of drones with assault rifles.

source- http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21729066.200-backlash-against-civilian-drones-begins.html
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