NYPD to monitor backyard parties with surveillance drones

Originally published at: NYPD to monitor backyard parties with surveillance drones | Boing Boing


Can drones be jammed or commandeered with a (probably illegal) radio transmitter? It might be a less obvious way to knock 'em down.


I thought that “aircraft” flying below 500 is not allowed either.
But I’m not really up on the legal grey space drones occupy.


Better if the cops adhered to the law but since they won’t…

(Edited for a better version)


That’s not terrifying or anything. SHIT!!


It’s of a piece with “warrior training”, treating all non-cops as enemy combatants and insurgents.


Backyards? In New York?

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Yep. NYC isn’t only the borough of Manhattan (where you can also find backyards).


The bit about violating the POST Act is a real reach on the part of the NYCLU. Unfortunately the POST act is not an effective barrier to this kind of use.

The relevant text of the act is:

In situations where deployment of NYPD UAS has not been foreseen or prescribed in policy, the highest uniformed member of the NYPD, the Chief of Department, will decide if deployment is appropriate and lawful. In accordance with the Public Oversight of Surveillance Technology Act, an addendum to this impact and use policy will be prepared as necessary to describe any additional uses of UAS.
When UAS are used to conduct aerial surveillance of areas exposed to public observation, court authorization is not required prior to their use. Absent exigent circumstances, a UAS will not be used in areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy without NYPD personnel first obtaining a search warrant that explicitly authorizes the use of a UAS. After a search warrant is issued, a UAS may be used for a pre-warrant execution safety survey. The warrant will be obtained with the assistance of the prosecutor with jurisdiction over the matter.

If the Chief says it’s ok, it’s ok, and all they have to do is update the disclosure document to be in compliance. The interpretation of “public observation” and “reasonable expectation of privacy” can be leveraged too. NYPD says they’ll only be doing flyovers if they receive a complaint, which implies someone in the neighborhood saw or heard something, so there’s your public observation.


a better question would be:

crimes? in the backyard?

seriously, who does that? everyone knows people keep the best stuff inside.


DJI drones which police tend to use operate on wifi bands. Since jamming them can block people’s ability to call 911 (wifi calling), the penalties for doing so can be quite severe - upwards of $112K in fines plus imprisonment.


YES. What my grandparents grew in their Bushwick backyard (with lots of ‘play’ room to spare): Wonderful figs and tomatoes… and corn (as an experiment… but kind of sad and stunted). Tons of backyards in B’klyn and Queens.


Anti-drone Drones? Simply bashing into them? As incredibly dangerous as that sounds, I have a feeling we’ll see a bit of this.

Or blind their optics with laser pointers?

Large party canopies?


… nobody said they were large backyards, or that we didn’t have to share them with the neighbors


That means the Chief has to sign off on every application at every address prior to use, then they have to get a warrant, again prior to use.

Functionally, it means that they can’t just deploy drones to check on backyard parties. By the time they jump through the required hoops, the party’s long over.


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