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'drones' Articles

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Seeking New Anti-Drone Legislation in National Security Effort

In a renewed effort to clamp down on potentially threatening drone use, the United States Department of Homeland Security today will be urging Congress to approve new anti-drone legislation. Specifically, the proposed legislation would give the U.S. federal government new powers "to disable or destroy" any drone perceived to be "threatening" (via Reuters). The DHS deputy general counsel Hayley Chang and undersecretary for intelligence and analysis David Glawe are set to speak on behalf of the department in an effort to seek "new authority" on the drone issue. Specifically, the DHS is looking at national security threats that can and have emerged from drone flights, as well as the use of drones by terrorist groups. According to the prepared testimony seen by Reuters, the officials argue that drone terrorism use is a "looming threat" that the U.S. is "currently unprepared to confront" because of "outdated legal restrictions." Senate homeland security committee chairman Ron Johnson further urged action for new legislation: “The federal government does not have the legal authorities it needs to protect the American public from these kinds of threats. The threats posed by malicious drones are too great to ignore,” Johnson said. “It is not enough to simply tell operators of unmanned aircraft not to fly in certain areas; we must give federal law enforcement the authority to act if necessary.” According to Johnson, the number of drone flights over sensitive areas jumped from eight in 2013 to around 1,752 in 2016. In the testimony, the DHS cites numerous recent