Drones deployed in US for domestic law enforcement

Drones, like driverless cars and autonomous subs, have been in action the US, however use has been constrained to research purposes or ‘disaster relief’ assistance. The trickle of mooted local, state and federal law changes, required to legislate the use of new technologies, is becoming a flood. My question is who is driving the changes and how much does it cost to assess the use and ethics of a technology that is potentially capable of so much damage. Does tort law cover it? What will insurance impacts be?

And mostly, who can afford to have new technologies on their side? The drivers for legislative change appear to be agriculture and domestic law enforcement bodies.

US farm drama: Predator drone assists an arrest — RT.

According to the Department of Homeland Security’s website, the government has already been using drones domestically for several years, but mostly keeps mum on their missions, saying only that they are regularly used for “support of disaster relief efforts.”

But with missile-equipped drones causing thousands of deaths overseas, the introduction of a drone program Stateside could be detrimental to America as it would mean the government considered its own territory a war zone. 

“It’s going to happen,” Dan Elwell, vice president of civil aviation at the Aerospace Industries Association, toldthe Times. “Now it’s about figuring out how to safely assimilate the technology into national airspace.”

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