U.S. authorities will soon have the authority to shoot down private drones if they are considered a threat — a move decried by civil liberties and rights groups.
The Senate passed the FAA Reauthorization Act on Wednesday, months after an earlier House vote in April. The bill renews funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) until 2023 and includes several provisions designed to modernize U.S aviation rule — from making commercial flights more comfortable for passengers to including new provisions to act against privately owned drones.
But critics say the new authority that gives the government the right to “disrupt,” “exercise control,” or “seizes or otherwise confiscate” drones that’s deemed a “credible threat” is dangerous and doesn’t include enough safeguards.
Federal authorities would not need to first obtain a warrant, which rights groups say that authority could be easily abused, making it possible for Homeland Security and the Justice Department and its various law enforcement and immigration agencies to shoot down anyone’s drone for any justifiable reason.