Coddington, Hicks & Danforth

White House aims to let law enforcement take down drones

As civilian drones become more commonplace, laws and regulations are continuing to adapt accordingly. The White House, for its part, is seeking to address the concern that rapidly advancing drone technology could create a significant security threat.

At a recent Federal Aviation Administration-sponsored conference, an assistant to the president revealed that efforts have begun to give law enforcement agencies the ability to track and disable civilian drones. This could mean an overhaul of existing federal wiretapping and aviation laws that make it difficult to track drone flights.

Other new drone regulations could be coming

While lawmakers have introduced similar measures to control drones in the past, they've failed to end up attached to legislation. With some recent accidents involving drones picking up headlines--including the first confirmed collision with a manned aircraft--some have expressed urgency in calls for tightening regulations.

The FAA is also working on new regulations that would require some or all small civilian drones to broadcast their location and identity. The agency says that this information would be used for law enforcement purposes in the event that a threat is detected.

It's worth noting that the technology is already in place to monitor drones via their radio-control signals. It is also possible to disable a drone remotely. If and when these new laws go into effect, law enforcement could begin acting on them in short order. For consumers, this could be a situation worth monitoring, as it would represent a fairly sizable shift in drone laws and regulations.

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