Tags: drones | shot | fbi | dhs | law

Drones Can Be Shot Down by FBI, DHS Under New Law

two drones silhouetted against a twilight sky
A new law would allow the FBI and Department of Homeland Security to shoot down drones deemed a credible threat. (Dreamstime)

By    |   Monday, 24 September 2018 09:45 AM

Drones deemed as a "credible threat" could be tracked and shot down by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security under a new law that comes to the House floor Wednesday, NBC News reported.

Included in the FAA Reauthorization Bill posted by the House on Saturday is a section detailing how drones could be taken down in order to prevent emerging threats.

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen put forth a request in August to House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul, R.-Texas, noting that there was a growing threat from drones in the U.S.

"Commercially available drones can be employed by terrorists and criminals to drop explosive payloads, deliver harmful substances, disrupt communications, and conduct illicit surveillance," she wrote in a letter, according to NBC News.

The request giving federal law enforcement authority to down drones came after a thwarted assassination attempt on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Two drones armed with explosives detonated near the Venezuelan President when he was delivering a speech outdoors during a military celebration.

The widespread availability of commercial drones increases the threat, with the total number of drones now registered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) exceeding 1 million, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Earlier this year Time reported that the Pentagon intended to spend $401.2 million on counter-drone initiatives this fiscal year.

"We know that terrorists are using drones overseas to advance plots and attacks, and we've already seen criminals use them along and within our borders for illicit purposes," Nielsen told the news outlet.

Current legislation requires federal law enforcement officials to obtain a warrant before they intercept communications but the new bill would permit them to track and down drones without prior consent from the courts.

Critics said the new legislation would infringe on freedom of press.

"These provisions give the government virtually carte blanche to surveil, seize, or even shoot a drone out of the sky — whether owned by journalists or commercial entities — with no oversight or due process," said Neema Singh Guliani, according to NBC News. "They grant new powers to the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security to spy on Americans without a warrant."

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A new law that comes to the House floor Wednesday could give the FBI and Department of Homeland Security the right to shoot down drones deemed as a "credible threat."
drones, shot, fbi, dhs, law
Monday, 24 September 2018 09:45 AM
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