You’re probably worried about drones as much as we are – these consumer owned devices have the ability to potentially snoop into homes and offices using their unprecedented access to high places. It’s actually not strictly legal to shoot down a drone that’s spying on you, even if it’s above your land.
According to Ryan Calo, a robotics and cyber-law scholar at the University of Washington,“You would probably have to be threatened physically, or another person or maybe your property, for you to be able to destroy someone else’s drone without fear of a counterclaim.”.
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A counterclaim in this case would mean that you’d end up getting sued, or even arrested, for shooting down a drone, regardless of whether you believe it to be spying on you or not. Over in the US a New Jersey resident was charged by police for shooting down a drone over his property back in October.
So then, just how are residents going to be able to protect themselves from the very real likelihood of drones being able to spy on them? Well, a new website is set to make it a lot easier to establish a very real ‘no fly zone’ around your land, hopefully preventing both spying and damage to drones in some cases.
The site, NoFlyZone.com, is endorsed by drone hardware and software developers EHANG, Horizon Hobby, DroneDeploy, YUNEEC, HEXO+, PixiePath and RCFlyMaps. However, most of these companies are quite small, and relatively unknown. The main companies behind drones, especially in the US, DJI and 3D Robotics, are yet to join up with the site.
NoFlyZone is quite handy if you’re a celebrity, or simply paranoid, and you don’t want drones making an appearance above your land. The site lets you register an address and creates a no fly zone around the area. It’s not really clear how this will be enforced, or if drones will physically not be able to enter the area and will be prevented by the onboard software. Of course hacked devices might not be affected.
Recently, Yeezus himself, Kanye West, expressed some concerns in his trademark manner concerning drones – exclaiming that he was worried that a poorly piloted paparazzo drone might drop into his pool and electrocute his daughter. You can imagine the scowl on his face during the conversation.
Whilst Kanye’s slightly far fetched worries might seem a bit outlandish, the common and garden celebrity is often targeted by drones these days. Perhaps if the rich and famous raise awareness of the issue, no doubt someone will make some kind of proper law regarding the devices soon. We’re looking at you, government.