The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is developing new rules of using drones and is launching several investigations on the drones following the recent accident in Connecticut. Now journalists and government officials seem to be at crossroads as the so-called Hartford crash gained more attention in the media, during which the victim’s body was left hanging in the car and the flying drone has videotaped the whole scene.
“Here was a dead body still on the scene. We had covered it the best we could,” said Lt. Brian Foley, a Hartford police spokesman, who also told AP the appearance of drones at crime scenes is increasing.
“You don’t want the family to see that.”
Police did ask man a couple of questions, however, they didn’t ask him to take the drone down or to stop making photos. It turned out that a journalist belonged to a WFSB-TV, but he wasn’t working that day and didn’t receive an assignment from the mass media. It also important to note that the drone did not belong to him.
The developing use of drones for various commercial reasons reveals and exposes general people to surveillance; it also makes them loose their privacy to great extent.
On Monday the FAA stated that they have issued 12 warning letters operators that might have crossed the security guidelines.
No doubt that drones seem to be very appealing for journalists as with their capacity and easy access, they are particularly inviting for finding out more about other people’s lives.
For now, there are no laws that restrict the use of drones and journalism will have to wait for the certain rules to be adopted, something like the Certificate of Authorization.
For instance, U. of Missouri’s drone journalism program co-founder Scott Pham stated:
“A Certificate of Authorization comes with it a huge set of regulations that will make “drone journalism”, as we’ve come to know it, all but impossible. Flight will occur only within a predetermined, relatively small, contiguous space. Our ability to travel and respond to events (key attributes of field reporting) will be entirely curtailed. Call it a quibble, but I’m not sure everyone knows these details.”
Now, the Congress is working on creating a structure for all the drones in the US, the project is supposed to be finished at the end 2015. The FAA is also looking for new rules regarding small drones flying under 400 feet.