Personal Drones

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Dervish, Dec 27, 2015.

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  1. Alright, this thread isn't meant to be a shit show, so I'm just going to preface this sand mention it's not about government or other officially used UAVs or other such drones for spying and military purposes. If you want to discuss the finer points on the next entry in the Pixar Cars franchise about a Predator drone that can only express his feelings through Hellfire missiles, feel free to make a thread.

    So, this is about this rise of personal drones as a hobby and toy amongst the population and what your thoughts on drones are. For those of you who have been living in a Vault and have arisen to find the world isn't an irradiated wasteland full of bandits and Deathclaws, drones are little flying machines that are kind of like fancy remote controlled helicopters that often have cameras attached to them. In practice, they're pretty cool; I've seen some incredible videos and pictures taken with drones, such as this:


    And honestly, they look like a lot of fun to fly around. Some even resemble the Millennium Falcon. You'd have to be dead inside not to love that! But a lot of people are taking issues with them because of rising privacy concerns, as in they're bringing in a whole new world of unprecedented legal and ethical issues when it comes to privacy rights. There's been some instances like this man in Kentucky who shot down a drone flying over his property that have ended up in court battles; the judge in this case ruled that the man had a right to do so, and that he had a reasonable concern about his personal privacy being invaded by the thing, while the drone's owner obviously would be pretty livid about having such an expensive piece of property so cavalierly destroyed when he was just having fun with the thing... which brings up the whole argument of if intent should matter.

    Let me explain a bit by what I mean by intent. Does it matter if someone is just flying their drone for fun and isn't actively watching people with it but might be crossing property lines, or should there be some consideration given to how the drone was being used? After all, a lot of them have cameras, so the video should be about to be reviewed if it wasn't destroyed. It also begs to question; at what elevation does your property stop being your property? Is it 20 feet, as high as your house, the trees, all the way up to space? Airplanes cross people's properties all the time, because duh, but will something like a drone require new legislation as technology increases that these things can hover at high altitudes without being noticed but still manage to watch the ground with increasing clarity and magnification. Is this something that we should start creating preemtive legislation for, or do we even account for the fact that these things can be potentially abused as tools for peeping toms, private investigators, paparazzi, perverts, would be thieves, and other ne'er-do-wells that would be using it to observe people, their activities, and their properties? Do we nip this thing in the bud now at the expense of the countless people who are using them just for fun, benign purposes? It's a complicated issue that I would love to hear what you fine people think.

    This is going to go on an a tangent for a moment, but please bear with me.

    Now, as a firearms owner, I'm used to being on the wrong side of a lot of public debates and legal shenanigans for the fact that I own what are considered deadly weapons that some segments of the population like the RCMP and, not to generalize too much, left-leaning city residents whose primary knowledge and experience around firearms comes from the news or word of mouth about people getting shot and murdered, and many of those people believe that private firearm ownership should be outlawed because of the potential for misuse and abuse at the expense of the hundreds of thousands of law abiding gun owners who have never had a run in with the law (fun fact; a couple years ago, a rifle I did own was reclassified as prohibited from non-restricted literally overnight by the RCMP, effectively making me a criminal for owning it. The rifle simply looks like an AK-47 while functioning like any other semi-automatic sporting rifle that is non-restricted. It was simply banned for being scary looking. The issue has since been resolved with new legislation, and I get to keep a treasured piece of property). While I certainly am opposed to such view points, it brings an interesting parallel to this topic. Would something like wide restrictions or even permits be something that should be considered for drone use, or is this something that should be handled on a case by case basis? At what point do we decide to try and head off their potential misuse over dealing with criminal uses individually? Like a gun, it has the potential to be used negligently in the wrong hands, so do we treat all drones the same way, or do we set up some framework where all kinds of people can enjoy it but with restrictions on use, or do we just adopt a laissez-faire attitude and just let people do whatever they want with them?

    It's an interesting topic that's so new and relevant that I never really stopped to think about it recently, and I'm sure a lot of you guys never paid them much mind either. It's really one of those times in history where technology is surpassing our existing legal framework to properly account for something like this, and it's compelling stuff.

    So feel free to chip in, and please keep it respectful; you might not agree with 420xXxBlazeitxXx's post about his god-given right to ogle women sunbathing topless with his drone, and while you are certainly welcome to address why you have problems with that, don't be aggressive about it.

    I shouldn't have to say it, but in light of how general chat discussions usually go...
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  2. To me, a drone with a camera is hardly different than a normal guy with a camera. Is it legal for me to film your house from the street? Yes? No? Then a drone flying where I'm at is no different.

    Is it legal for me to stand on your front lawn and film your house? Doubtful, so I expect it to be illegal for a drone to do so too.

    Is it illegal for me to go in your house and film? Yes, and so is driving a drone in your house to film.

    For how high above your house is still your property, I don't know. Though I think it should be a bit linient as drones are difficult to maneuver at times. BUT if a drone flies high on a public street, I don't think anything can/should be done.

    Like a guy having a tall ladder on a sidewalk and climbing it with a camera. Is that illegal? I don't think so. Suspicious AF yes XD but that's about it really.

    So in other words, I dont think anything can really be done without being a hypocrite OR changing privacy laws all together.

    I don't get why people freak out though. I don't want people looking in my house/room. So what do I do? I CLOSE MY WINDOW! When I open it, then it's consequence is the ability to look in by human, animal, even machine.
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  3. A pretty fair opinion on the matter! People take pictures in public all the time wothout consent, why should drones be different?

    Oh, the article I linked has a bunch of legal situations that are worth looking at, like photographers catching photos of a forest fore but subsequently making it dangerous for water bombers to fly.
  4. Drones taking pictures/video of public property? Memorials, beaches, parks, etc? Seems legal.
    Private property? Not cool. But clearly a pellet gun would have sufficed, drones aren't very durable. Can understand the man's logic behind shooting it down though. The police would've come, the drone would've been gone, and finding who it belonged to with (what the home owner thought) was candid photos of his daughter would be next to impossible.

    Did some more link chasing reading your article where they had to suspend helicopter flights into a wildfire because of drones. Seems kind of extreme, the small models likely wouldn't pose a helicopter much threat I'd think? The larger ones definitely though.

    Personally I really want a drone. Just a small one to fly off my balcony and around the neighborhood. Don't want videos or pictures of anyone. Just the scenery from the sky.
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  5. I'm not sure what a drone can do to an aircraft, but it was probably wise to err on the side of caution. I've seen pictures of birds doing considerable damage to planes before, and maybe a drone poses a pretty big risk to the rotor.

    Some drones are pretty robust, they can carry a decent amount of weight. That Amazon delivery drone, for instance, and some police forces want to put non-lethal weapons on drones. The cheapo ones you can buy at The Source or whatever are usually really lightweight and plastic, but some are metal. Personally, if I felt the need to shoot down any drone, 12 gauge birdshot would probably be sufficient. I imagine some wouldn't even react to a air rifle.
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  6. It is a very interesting legal question. If Chicago is anything to go off of as far as legal precedent, the rail road company there owns a good deal of the land and rents out air to people wanting to build offices on that "land." So if the rail road company can own the rights to the air above their land, and sell that air without giving up the land, I would think the same extends to private citizens. That said, this encompasses more than just issues of land ownership, but I think that would be the first place to start.
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  7. Helicopters are very fragile things. Clip a rotor on one, and you're done. A strike to the body of the aircraft would damage and degrade its flyability. Likelyhood is low, but it's something you don't want to play with.

    As for the topic, I'm good with drones over public property and oppose it over private property. However, in emergency situations like the California wildfires, drones should not be allowed to enter the area. What is more important? Your pictures of the fire, or somebody's property?

    This is something my friends in law enforcement are worried about as well. Corrupting a crime scene, taking pictures and video of an active situation. Drones certainly are fun and great things can come out of their use, but they can also be dangerous.
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  8. In the US, shooting a drone out of the sky will get you into trouble with the FAA. Doing it anywhere is stupid for one simple reason: gravity. Your bullet has to come down somewhere and so does the drone.

    If you are really worried about privacy, worry about someone on a roof with a high zoom camera.

    Yes they may have cameras but the vast majority of the time the person flying it has no interest in trying to spy on you.

    As for safety with drones, a huge factor is just "don't be an idiot". Don't fly over crowds, in the vicinity of aircraft, etc.
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  9. I skimmed over the conversation, but drones have really good uses! Such as filming up high areas/sightseeing instead of unable people, recording cool but dangerous situations, etc.

    In fact, my father owns a drone (still without a camera, sadly) and I've taken a real shine to flying it. :D It's a bit too big to recording inside buildings, though...

    I guess the downside is the fact that yes, drones can be very easily misused, and they can be really hard to control in some cases. But you could probably hear the drone's buzzing if it's outside your window...

    EDIT: Also, they use up a lot of battery life. The person recording would be able to record for about 7 min. at MOST, without a custom battery, if they're flying a commercial/cheaper drone (I believe). I'm not really that familiar with them, though.
  10. I have the best use for these things. :3

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