California Assembly approves bills limiting authorities' use of drones


I realize the relevant copy comes from Reuters, and not Boing Boing, but: an “octocopter” drone? I count six rotors.


I didn’t vote for this dystopia

But it is the government model … so they have done a study … and it is definitely an octocopter. They will sell the two other “-copters” when they upgrade to octocopter 2.0 … at which they are calling it the hexadecagocopter because it would have 16 “-copters” (once fully upgraded).

I’d just like to say I think in general the concerns about civil rights being put at risk by blanket surveilance are probably worthwhile to consider.

That being said, I think drones can be used effectively in a number of situations especially in a state like California. Monitoring emergency situations such as forest fires, earthquakes and other natural disasters. Search and Rescue. And even monitoring of game hunting and public lands for poaching / pot farming ( this is usually done by ultralight flights and can be risky to the personell on board ).

I think in general a healthy skepticism is a good thing, but I also think drones can serve to better the general welfare of the populace if limited in their application. So I am glad that this is a route people are choosing to take. As always though, the devil is in the details.

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Begun the Drone War has…

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2014: Congress authorises use of drones for “specific investigations against a named individual or a specified premises for a limited duration. following judge-issued warrant”

2015: FISA court approves NSA drone warrant on 90 day rolling basis

2016: Number of drones exceeds US population

2017: GCHQ drones follow every American citizen from birth in the contiguous states, whilst in the UK, NSA drones follow all people at all times, thereby clarifying the “internal / external” reciprocal spying arrangements.

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It’s a legacy name from a distant ancestor. In the fossil record, you can see the full form of the two extra vestigial rotors that proved to be evolutionarily disadvantageous.

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If it’s illegal for the police to have weaponized drones, then only criminals will have weaponized drones. Am I doing this right?

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I’m wondering if the wording is such that they could just use a third party private company to do all the spying and indefinite storage of data.

Hmmm. New business idea coming to me…

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