US government legalises drone technology for commercial purposes as well as illegal slaughter
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The leader of the ‘free world’ insists drones are safe, despite 400 major accidents, and governments salivate as the drone industry, which lobbied Congress to pass the new law, predicts $82 billions in ‘economic benefits’ and 100,000 new jobs by 2025.
Mark Shapiro draws our attention to news of more than 50,000 pages of accident investigation reports and other records obtained by the Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act. The link he sent led to other information, including a detailed 2012 Business Mega account. Documents obtained by the Post detail scores of previously unreported crashes involving remotely controlled aircraft, challenge the federal government’s assurances that drones will be able to fly safely over populated areas and in the same airspace as passenger planes.
Under the 2012 law passed by Congress, the Federal Aviation Administration is to issue rules by September 2015 allowing commercial drone flights drones in civilian airspace. There is a wide demand:
- Law enforcement agencies already own a small number of camera-equipped drones,
- Businesses see profitable possibilities for drones, to tend crops, move cargo, inspect real estate or film Hollywood movies.
- Journalists have applied for drone licenses to cover the news.
- Amazon.com chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos (who owns the Washington Post) wants his company to use autonomous drones to deliver small packages to customers’ doorsteps.
Disrupted by smart phones?
An Australian triathlete was injured after a (non-military) drone crash in April. She and spectators said the UAV crashed into her but the drone’s owner said she was merely startled. Someone else in the crowd of spectators had briefly taken control of the drone. The cameraman said it would be difficult to find out who had done this, because smartphones could easily be used to carry out such an attack.
This is another immature technology. Nuclear systems were installed well before there was any appreciation of the problem of long-lived toxic waste and research scientists were deceived into thinking they were devising a clean and cheap energy source. The most principled left the industry when they learnt that their brainchild was to be used to make highly lethal and toxic weapons.
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Posted on June 22, 2014, in Conflict of interest, Corporate political nexus, Government, Lobbying, MPs, Parliamentary failure, Planning, Secret State, Vested interests and tagged Afghanistan, Drone industry, Drones, Drones proliferate, Freedom of Information Act, Human rights, Pentagon, US Defense Department, US government, Washington Post. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.