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U.S. Attorney General Barr points at 'new threat from drones to national security

U.S. Attorney General Barr points at ‘new threat from drones to national security

Earlier this week in a statement, the U.S. Attorney General William Barr points at ‘new threat from drones to national security. New guidance was issued to Justice Department agencies on the use of protective measures against unmanned aircraft, including the destruction of any drone that may pose a threat to national security.

U.S. Attorney General Barr points at ‘new threat from drones to national security

After government officials had raised concerns about the potential threat posed by drones, Congress gave new powers in 2018 to Justice and Homeland Security departments to disable or destroy any threatening unmanned aircraft.

The guidelines issued on Monday, “will ensure that we are positioned for the future to address this new threat, and that we approach our counter-drone efforts responsibly, with full respect for the Constitution, privacy, and the safety of the national airspace,” said Barr in a statement, according to Reuters.

According to the new guidance the FBI, DrugEnforcement Agency, Bureau of Prisons and other Justice Department agencies can intercept communications from a threatening drone or destroy it without prior consent.

The guidelines also explain how agencies “may seek approval for the use of counter-drone technologies and request designation of facilities or assets for protection.”

Under certain circumstances, the Justice Department agencies may keep records of communications intercept it from drones for up to 180 days.

According to the new guidelines, agencies must work with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and conduct a risk-based assessment to examine the impact of the operations on the national airspace before the downing, destructing or disabling of any threatening drones.

the guidelines also add that agencies “should consider and be sensitive at all times to the potential impact protective measures may have on legitimate activity by unmanned aircraft and unmanned aircraft systems, including systems operated by the press.”

Currently, more than 1.5 million unmanned aircraft are registered with the FAA as well as more than 160,000 certified remote pilots.

What do you think of these new guidelines? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo: REUTERS / Yuri Gripas

Haye Kesteloo

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