Government Preparing to Intercept Drones

The Trump administration is introducing legislation that would allow the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to intercept drones that pose a threat “to the safety or security of a covered facility or asset.”  The legislation is necessary because intercepting a drone would involve interfering with electronic communications in violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (18 U.S.C. § 2510 et seq.).  However, the scope of the proposed legislation appears to be very broad, giving the government wide discretion in identifying a threat, leading to privacy and even First Amendment concerns. The goal of the legislation is pretty straightforward.  As drones become cheaper and easier to obtain, the potential for someone to use one in a dangerous manner only increases.  To safeguard potential targets, whether it be infrastructure or individuals, federal law enforcement need a way to combat a potential threat. …

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