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A landmark court case comes down on the side of drone owners

A landmark court case comes down on the side of drone owners
image courtesy of shutterstock

Drones are all over my newsletters and my radio show lately! That's because more and more people are interested in owning these fun and useful flying machines. But they go hand in hand with concerns over privacy. Now a jury has ruled in favor of a drone owner in an important case.

David Beesmer, a New York mobile home salesman, was arrest last year after he flew his personal drone close to a medical facility. Residents inside the building noticed the small drone peering into windows and flying around the area.

Beesmer denied any wrongdoing, claiming that he was performing a test flight with his fancy new machine and couldn't see into the darkly tinted windows in the first place. He was charged with attempted unlawful surveillance and would have faced up to a year in jail if the jury found him guilty.

Lucky for Beesmer, that wasn't the case! The jury decided that he was not guilty of the charge against him. This ruling was great news for Beesmer and interesting news for the rest of the drone owners all around the United States.

Hopefully this "not guilty" verdict means that the government is working to expand its set of laws regarding this new type of technology. That's something the 2013 Congressional Service Report asked of lawmakers. The report urged lawmakers to revise dated laws that have to do with harassment, stalking and wiretapping to reflect new drone technology.

Drone privacy laws are not a new idea. In 2013, Justice Sonia Sotomayor spoke to Oklahoma City University students and staff about what these flying gizmos will do to our traditional sense of privacy. She implored them to get involved in privacy debates around the country.

Sotomayor told them, "There are drones flying over the air randomly that are recording everything that’s happening on what we consider our private property. That type of technology has to stimulate us to think about what is it that we cherish in privacy and how far we want to protect it and from whom."

I think that privacy laws should be overhauled to include provisions about drone use. But what about you? Do you think that drones are going to take over our airspace and our private property or do you think that they're nothing to worry about? Let me know what you think about this hot topic by leaving me a note in the comments section below.

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Source: Slate
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