Trump wants capability to track, hack and destroy drones

Pressure is clearly mounting on drone makers to control the unauthorized flying of their products. Only yesterday, DJI announced its intention to severely restrict the functionality of its drones until an owner's details are registered. But the Trump administration is looking to go a step further. It wants the federal government to have the power to track, hack and destroy any drone it sees as a threat.

draft summary of legislation that would allow such action to be taken lawfully found its way into the hands of The New York Times. It's thought to be a response to a growing number of incidents involving small drones, including at the White House in 2015, at sporting events and of course around airports where they pose a serious danger to aircraft. The potential for their use by terrorists is also mentioned.

If the legislation gained the approval of Congress, it would allow law enforcement to take control of a drone by force and destroy it if necessary. At the same time, "privacy, civil rights and civil liberties" would need to be respected.

As to why new legislation is required, the draft bill explains that techniques for taking the drones out "may be construed to be illegal under certain laws," more specifically those relating to surveillance, computer privacy and aircraft protection. Such legislation would also mean lawsuits relating to drone capture and destruction would not be heard in court.

The New York Times believes the bill forms part of the National Defense Authorization Act being put together by armed services committees. The act has yet to be publicly disclosed, and therefore it remains unclear when such legislation will be presented to Congress.

If these new powers do come into law, one can expect a whole new range of drone-capture kit to hit the market for law enforcement agencies.

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