Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Google Executive Chairman on Private Drones and Government Armed Drones

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt is urging lawmakers to regulate the use of unmanned aircraft by civilians.

He posed this hypothetical situation to The Guardian: 'You're having a dispute with your neighbor. How would you feel if your neighbor went over and bought a commercial observation drone that they can launch from their backyard. It just flies over your house all day. How would you feel about it?' Schmidt went on to bring up military and terrorist concerns. 'I'm not going to pass judgment on whether armies should exist, but I would prefer to not spread and democratize the ability to fight war to every single human being. It's got to be regulated... It's one thing for governments, who have some legitimacy in what they're doing, but have other people doing it... it's not going to happen.'"

Two points here.

1.There does need to be some form of recognition of "sky rights" above ones property, relative to private drones. I presented what I considered initial discussion on the topic, in January.

2. It is noteworthy that Schmidt is concerned about private drones but displays less concern about government armed use of drones.

Rules for private drone use certainly need to be developed, but the problem of government armed drones is a problem of significantly greater magnitude on the value scale of concerns, one would think, of most people concerned with the ever expanding role of government in our lives and the growing willingness of the government to kill outside the restraints of the court system.

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