Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite Save As Favorite View Article Stats
2 comments

General News

Boeing Helps Kill Proposed Law to Regulate Drones

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 1   News 1   Supported 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

Headlined to H3 3/31/13

opednews.com



Boeing, the aircraft manufacturing giant from Seattle, helped defeat a Republican proposal in Washington state that would have forced government agencies to get approval to buy unmanned aerial vehicles, popularly known as drones, and to obtain a warrant before using them to conduct surveillance on individuals.

Local authorities in Seattle and in King county experimented with conducting surveillance from Draganfly Innovations drones last year, only to cancel both programs in the fact of public protest. "I'm not really surprised that people are upset," said Jennifer Shaw from the American Civil Liberties Union, a human rights group that campaigned against the drones. "It's a frightening thing to think that there's government surveillance cameras overhead."

On February 7, 2013, David Taylor, a Republican member of the state legislature, introduced a bill to regulate drone use. The proposed law quickly won support from several Democratic party politicians on the state Public Safety Committee.

Alarmed by the growing bipartisan coalition, Boeing jumped into the fray. "We believe that as the technology matures, best practices and new understanding will emerge, and that it would be counterproductive to rush into regulating a burgeoning industry," Boeing spokeswoman Sue Bradley wrote in a statement. (The company makes a variety of drones from the Unmanned Little Bird and the A160 Hummingbird helicopters to the ScanEagle which has been used in Iran and Iraq and the proposed new X-45C combat aircraft)

After the company approached several lawmakers, Frank Chopp, the Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives in Washington state, canceled a scheduled March 13 vote on the bill. Instead Jeff Morris, another Democrat who chairs the House Technology and Economic Development Committee, was asked to lead a "more comprehensive study of surveillance issues."


"This is all about profit," said a disappointed Taylor. "This is about profit over people's rights."

While local and state use of drones has been limited to short pilot projects so far, concern about the federal use of drones has been on the rise in the last few months especially as the Obama administration has refused to divulge details on how drones are used by government authorities like the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection agency. Republicans in the U.S. Congress have even voted to ask the Pentagon to reveal whether it is using drones inside the U.S.

Privacy groups have raised questions about what might be legally possible. "We don't believe that there are actually any federal statutes that would provide limits on drone surveillance in the United States," says Amie Stepanovich, director of the Domestic Surveillance Project at the Electronic Privacy Information Center. "The privacy laws that do exist are very targeted [and] don't encompass the type of surveillance that drones are able to conduct."

To date lawmakers in some 32 states have introduced bills to restrict drone use. While none have been voted into law (North Dakota and Oklahoma both opposed such laws in order to attract more investment in their states), last month the city of Charlottesville, Virginia, pledged not to conduct drone surveillance and voted in favor of a resolution that calls on the federal and state governments to adopt laws banning "information obtained from the domestic use of drones from being introduced into a Federal or State court."

Some believe that the use of drones for surveillance is just the first step towards using them for more deadly purposes within the U.S. "The belief that weaponized drones won't be used on US soil is patently irrational. Of course they will be. It's not just likely but inevitable," writes Glenn Greenwald, the UK Guardian columnist and former constitutional lawyer. "Police departments are already speaking openly about how their drones "could be equipped to carry nonlethal weapons such as Tasers or a bean-bag gun.'

Greenwald applauds the proposed new laws to regulate drones that are being introduced in states from Texas to Massachusetts which he says "affords a real opportunity to forge an enduring coalition in defense of core privacy and other rights that transcends partisan allegiance, by working toward meaningful limits on their use."

 

http://www.corpwatch.org/index.php

CorpWatch: Non-profit investigative research and journalism to expose corporate malfeasance and to advocate for multinational corporate accountability and transparency. We work to foster global justice, independent media activism and democratic control over corporations.

We seek to expose multinational corporations that profit from war, fraud, environmental, human rights and other abuses, and to provide critical information to foster a more informed public and an effective democracy.

Click here for our 2010-2011 Combined Report
Click here for our 2007-2009 Combined Report
Click here for our 2006 Annual Report
Click here for our 2005 Annual report
Click here for our 2004 Annual report

Our guiding vision is to promote human, environmental, social and worker rights at the local, national and global levels by making corporate practices more transparent and holding corporations accountable for their actions.

As independent investigative researchers and journalists, we provide critical information to foster a more informed public and an effective democracy.

We believe the actions, decisions, and policies undertaken and pursued by private corporations have very real impact on public life -- from individuals to communities around the world. Yet few mechanisms currently exist to hold them accountable for those actions. As a result, it falls to the public sphere to protect the public interest.

In many cases, corporate power and influence eclipses even the democratic
political process itself as they exert disproportional influence on public policy they deem detrimental to their narrow self-interests. In less developed nations, they usurp authority altogether, often purchasing government complicity for unfair practices at the expense of economic, environmental, human, labor and social rights. 

Yet despite the very public impact of their actions and decisions, corporations remain bound to be accountable solely to their own private financial considerations and the interests of their shareholders. They have little incentive, nor requirement, for public transparency regarding their decisions and practices, let alone concrete accountability for their ultimate impact.



Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Boeing Helps Kill Proposed Law to Regulate Drones

H&M Responds Slowly to Bangladesh Factory Collapse Killing 1,100

ACLU Reveals FBI Hacking Contractors

Hedge Fund Managers Still Making Billions

CorpWatch : Commodity Scams: Barclays, Goldman & JP Morgan Under Fire

CorpWatch : GlaxoSmithKline Alleged to Pay Bribes in China

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
2 people are discussing this page, with 2 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

It was a Republican who stood up and created bill ... by Scott Baker on Sunday, Mar 31, 2013 at 4:01:15 AM
Boeing and the other euphemistically termed 'Defen... by Alan MacDonald on Sunday, Mar 31, 2013 at 1:37:23 PM