Under new federal rules, civilian drones will be banned from 133 military sites around the country—the first time the FAA has issued rules applying only to unmanned aircraft.
The restrictions, requested by the Defense Department and illustrated for drone pilots in an online map, have been “in the works for months,” an FAA spokesman said. They come as ISIS and other militant groups abroad weaponize drones with increasing success. “With the way these groups use social media, my worry is that they’re also putting the idea into people’s heads that this is something you can now do,” Steven Stalinsky, executive director of the Middle East Media Research Institute, a Washington nonprofit group that has studied the phenomenon, told the Washington Post.
The agency is also preparing to accept petitions to restrict drones over “critical infrastructure and other facilities.” Enforcing rules like this may not be simple—one Twitter user wondered how the new ban would impact military personnel who fly their own drones on base for fun. One answer lies in another burgeoning field of technology that the U.S. and a raft of companies are racing to develop, and that’s already used at sensitive sites like the White House: the anti-drone.
[Photo: Flickr user Greg Clarke]