Drones overhead, snapping law-enforcement pics

We’re getting closer to that world very fast — and if you have Fourth Amendment qualms, maybe you’re the sort a drone-company exec responds to as follows:

“If you’re concerned about it, maybe there’s a reason we should be flying over you, right?” said Douglas McDonald, the company’s director of special operations and president of a local chapter of the unmanned vehicle trade group.

My new post at Cato at Liberty has much more (& Above the Law).


  • In the immortal words of a P-51 driver tasked with shooting down Me-262’s: “Sucker’s gotta land sometime.”

  • OK now is the time for us to have our property lines re-surveyed and a 3-D plot now added for personal airspace. If one of those drones flies through my backyard airspace, it will be met with double ought buckshot from a double barrel shot gun (Chrome Dome Home Defense). We are in real trouble because now not even lawyers, guns and money can save us!!

  • We are a nation of hunters. I bet many hunters are salivating over the prospect of bagging their first drone.

  • I wonder if Estes still makes a “D” class engine. Model rockets are still legal in my area. Guidance system shouldn’t be too hard to come up with. Probably get one on e-Bay.

  • Sadly Farside, I expect that many a federal prosecutor is salivating over the prospect of bagging himself a drone-killer.

    Unfortunately much of America is of the mindset, “I have nothing to hide”. They will all to gladly give away our freedoms along with their own for the illusion of security.
    Simply stated by Ben Franklin: “Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither.”

  • Drone shootn’ sounds like more fun than putting a paintball in the lens of a red light camera!

  • How ironic that the cops go ape shit much of the time when they are being photographed in public spaces while on duty.

  • Any regular reader of this blog can easily discern what the future may bring. One only has to look at the entry in today’s blog concerning the number of federal laws to which we are subject. Douglas McDonald’s ignorant comment disregards the harassment that the federal government can bring to private citizens. Sackett v EPA is just one example of government overreach and bullying. It

    Computer analysis of imagery is capable of comparing images over time to allow law enforcement officials to obtain alerts when changes occur. Imagine an EPA owned drone scanning acres upon acres of supposed “wetlands” to look for violators. Other uses of this type of technology by federal agencies are not hard to imagine. As one who is not given to conspiracies or a desire to join a militia, this future scares the heck out of me.

  • gasman,

    Prosecute for what? As I said model rockets are legal. If my rocket is to go above 2000 feet I just have to make a courtesy call to the local FAA office. If I make that call every day and my rocket just happens to run into a drone, well accidents happen. I can see a small plane at 3000 ft. and wait until it passes to launch, but, if I can’t see the drone, that’s the drone’s fault not mine.

  • […] interviews me for Cato’s Daily Podcast on the subject of law enforcement drones, which I wrote about yesterday. You can watch […]