New legislation needed to counter domestic drone threats

Drones have changed the way we work, play and do business in the United States. Every day, we help deliver packages, inspect pipelines, monitor crops, perform search and rescue operations, and perform a myriad of other useful tasks. But drones also pose an ever-increasing risk to our public security and national security.

Outside the United States, weaponized drones are already being used to attack heads of state and government officials. He is the Prime Minister of Iraq in November, the President of Venezuela in August 2018, and the Public Security Secretary of Mexico in July 2017. Attacked law enforcement officers and civilians using a Mexican drug cartel commercial drone. In January, a news site showed a clear picture of a drone dropping four explosive devices at a drug cartel camp in Michoacan. This is an attack from the Jalisco New Generation Cartel and is considered to be the most dangerous and powerful in the country. They have also been used against the US military and interests.

In the United States, criminals and other malicious attackers use drones to conduct illegal surveillance and industrial espionage, promote criminal activity, target critical infrastructure, and cross southern borders. And smuggling drugs is increasing.

The trend is clear: the domestic threat posed by drones is real. I can’t afford to wait for action.

To meet the growing needs of the country, the Biden administration recently announced its first government-wide plan to counter the threat from drones. The National Action Plan for Domestic Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems secures airspace, protects civil rights, promotes civil freedom, and promotes commercial innovation.

This comprehensive plan to address the increasing threat of drones to ensure the protection of the public, telecommunications infrastructure, and the sky is federal from security and operations agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice. Developed by industry-wide subject matter experts. , Defense, Energy, and to state, especially regulatory and safety agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Communications Commission. Counter-drone technology that shares R & D efforts to streamline federal-wide efforts, take steps to create a list of “safe equipment” to counter drones without interfering with aviation and communications. Federal Training Center for Training.

The Federal Training Center develops a standardized training curriculum, enables sharing of best practices, and offers counter drone techniques and techniques, legal considerations, privacy and protection of civil liberties. Support the federal sector that is authorized to carry out drone activities. If Congress agrees to expand authorities to allow state, local, tribal, territorial, or SLTT law enforcement agencies to detect and mitigate drone threats, Congress will also serve as their national training center. There is a possibility.

We need the cooperation of Parliament to ensure that this plan is fully implemented. Federal law today was enacted long before the advent of advanced drone and counter drone technology. They focus, among other things, on communication bans, interceptions, obstructions, or aircraft damage. These outdated laws deny many government agencies, including state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies. Critical infrastructure operators can use many drone detection and mitigation technologies.

What this really means is that most federal agencies can use many existing counter drone systems to take legal action to safely intercept and thwart harmful or malicious drone activity. There are no state or local law enforcement agencies. This leaves most of the United States exposed in the face of increased risk. For example, DOJ and DHS gained legal authority to mitigate and detect drones in 2018, but due to resources and other restrictions, one of the 121,000 events that state, local, and federal authorities requested special events. We were able to support less than%. Evaluation Evaluation. Events such as the Super Bowl, the Daytona 500, Times Square’s New Year’s Eve celebration, and the July 4th fireworks event.

One of the eight recommendations of the National Action Plan is a new legislation submitted to Congress in April to determine who has the legal authority to detect and mitigate drones and which entity. We are focused on closing this gap by expanding to. We call on Congress to act and promise to work as quickly and closely as possible to pass legislation that can prepare us to address the challenges of domestic drones today and tomorrow. To do. We are also working to ensure complete information sharing to allow for close scrutiny by Congress.

Our common goal is to prevent the misuse of drone technology that can threaten the lives, livelihoods, safety and security of our community while allowing Americans to fully benefit from the many positive benefits of drones. Must be able to get.

Liz Sherwood Randall is President Joe Biden’s Homeland Security Adviser.


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