Welcome to the Surveillance Drone Group's Website

Group members are:

Very brief overview of some of the prominent regulations

Cutting edge technology being taken advatage of by the government

CHAPTER 3 - Networked Communications (Freedom of Speech)

Important Points from chapter pertaining to topic of drones
Social-Technical Solutions (ex. New technologies for new problems like spam filters for email)
       IoT, Commerce, Crowdsource opinions and funds
             Security of IoT? Are drones IoT?
Some technologies (like texting) can help Developing countries...does drone information collecting help?
Political Activism
      Talking about Drone program (hot topic in elections?)
Government Filtering communications and surveillance of others networked communication (ex. Through various controls on internet in different countries)

Examples from the sources

[8] This article paralells the chapter talking about the Pakistani non-profit that goes around and documents uses of drones for attacks or surveillance. The man disseminates the photos and videos on the internet and crowdsources opinions to raise awareness. The point of view of the article is that of a reporter who was contacted by an activist to show them on their networks.

Another interesting angle to look at surveillance is through the lens of the law. In [10], a company that aggregates research to be used by lawmakers in making informaed decisioons brings up the point of what happens after the information is viewed? So for example, if you are surveilled by a drone in a public place it may be legal but is collecting and storing all of this information the same as just viewing?Surveillance drones can watch a person for multitudes of time but is it a violation of privacy if the footage of that person or other people who may have involuntarily ended up in the footage to be stored without their knowledge, or furthermore shared and used by the government? It is an interesting angle to think about when taking about after the surveillance but one which our group thinks should be addressed.

The chapter goes into political activism and article [11] makes the case against drones from the viewpoint that the drone program is funneling a large amount of funding from other programs and that the government should divert funding from drones to other programs.

[13] This article applies to the chapter in an interesting context. The chapter talks about technology helping developing countries and ways that we could advance the process. The article speaks about the U.S. establishing drone bases in various countries, some of which would be considered “developing”. They are known to run missions tracking down and taking out noted world terrorists or strongholds but also run mission that could be seen as helping the countries like trying to deter pirates in the Somali region.
Drones could also be used to help developing countries by delivering things like health care supplies or imaging from remote areas. [19] If the drones could be modified to carry things they could be used to deliver life-saving medical supplies or collect samples to help diagnosis.


Drone Patents [36]

CHAPTER 5-6 - Privacy

UAVs present unique privacy challenges, due to the manner in which they may collect information .. the ability to gather information dynamically from unique vantage points would appear to distinguish UAV use from other video surveillance cameras ..

1986 - viewing from public air space does not count as search
2001 - view with thermal from public space counts as search
Cause tec was not available to public

U.S. Supreme Court, in United States v. Jones
Tracking device on car on public roadways = search
Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI)
issued an Unmanned Aircraft System Operations Industry 'Code of Conduct.'
No one to enforce
Ryan Calo - 'Cold tecnology embodiment of observation'
Data important to correlate to Smart phones
EPIC has stated that 'because drones possess unparalleled surveillance capabilities, the FAA should assess and prevent privacy risks before drones are further deployed.'
Worried about drone hacking
Drone License
List of things to put on application to do with privacy page 13
Different than manned aircrafts, their sight better than man's quote Thus ACLU recommends cool restrictions page 13

Referered to some pages those Arein this link


       Criminals, always looking to gain some sort of advantage over their victims, constantly use emerging technologies that others have yet to learned to protect themselves from. As the Internet has grown from a small educational network to a massive global network of 2 billion users [1], cyber criminals stay one step ahead of most users to exploit security flaws in systems.
      Unlike many other technologies, surveillance drones have not been used by criminals for their advantage. Perhaps this is because drones, let alone surveillance drones, don’t offer anything that a criminal could use to their advantage. It may also be that regulations on aircraft are too stringent, and that criminals are not willing to accept the punishment for crimes such as the hacking of a government aircraft [2]. Even the use of small drones can be punished by arrest and heavy fines in certain situations [3].
       That being said, drones are becoming more and more prominent in crime. In the United States, law enforcement agencies have used drones for surveillance to detect crimes, and as a tool to assist operations. One example of drones being used to detect crime is on the border between USA and Mexico to find illegal immigrants crossing the border [4]. Another example is the SWAT team’s use of a drone to locate and arrest a suspected criminal [5]. Both of these unconventional usages of unmanned aircrafts are interesting case studies to examine whether or not drones should be used in law enforcement.
        In 2011, the United states used eight predator drones for Customs and Border patrol. The drones used to protect the border are Predator B Drones, identical to those used in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan but unarmed. Despite the absence of weapons on board, the drones quickly proved their potential for danger in 2006, when an engine was shut off accidentally and the drone plummeted to the ground. It missed a residential area by only 1,000 feet [4].
      Despite this near catastrophic incident, major concerns about the use of drones over the border focus on privacy. Although most U.S. residents are unaffected by these drones in particular, those living along the border between USA and Mexico (a heavily populated area) certainly are. With a surveillance drone flying miles overhead, backyard sunbathers worry that they are losing their privacy. Advocates for drones, however, state that surveillance via planes and helicopters is already used, and citizen’s rights to privacy end when they go outdoors.
      An important factor in determining whether or not the drones are worth the risk of privacy and safety is the effectiveness on the border. Domestic drones have cost the government and estimated $240 million, plus $3,600 and one hour of maintenance per hour of flight [6]. In 2014, the Department of Homeland Security released a report on the use of drones on the border. They concluded that drones are not worth the cost of operation [7].
      In 2011, an American man was arrested with the help of a predator drone for the first time. After refusing to return cows that wondered onto his property, the SWAT team used a Predator Drone to find him and arrest him safely. Robert Bossart, the arrestee, claimed that the use of the drone was illegal. The courts, however, did not agree. In 2012, a U.S. District Judge upheld the use of the drone. Brossart was found guilty of terrorizing police.

CHAPTER 8 - Errors, Failures, and Risk

Data entry or retrieval errors
    Doesn’t necessarily pertain much to the surveillance side of drones. What happens if the wrong person or locations are fed to the drone and another person is watched? What happens if the person they miss because of wrong data is susceptible to terrorist acts that could have been caught?
    Another form of error to investigate comes with the drone’s reliance on a connection. It continually needs to stay in contact with the radio host controlling it or transmitting commands. What happens if it loses connection, doesn’t know what to do without commands, and crashes into a building with people in it?
Software and Billing Errors
    This section brings up a lot of interesting questions in regards to our technologies.
        Similar to the debates about autonomous vehilcles picking the “lesser of two eveils” in ethical decisons, drones do what you tell them to do. What happens if they are told to strictly stay in one spot but that spot is in the flight path of a passenger plane?
        With software errors think about what could happen if coordinates are entered incorrectly. For example, what if someone wants 37 degrees west but the program doesn’t sanitize 37 to -37 (relative to the meridian)? This drone now would head towards that location and spy in another country or have other unintended consequences. Does the intention justify the mistake? Similarly what if a pilot sees a plane coming towards the drone and the software wrongly interprets to climb x number of feet instead of fly down x number of feet and causes a crash?
Software Engineering
    Much of this section does not appear to be relevant to surveillance drones
    One section that is interesting to think about through the lens of drones is the section about gender.
        The Pew Research Center shows there is much of a gender gap in terms of support of the government’s use of drones. Only about half of women support use of drones while over two-thirds of men do. [21]
Software Warranties and Vendor Liability
    Much of this section doesn’t pertain to surveillance of drones but in more in-depth research of drones could be applied heavily to commercial and private use scenarios.

Examples from the sources

One big issue surrounding the risk of the use of drones is with property rights. The issues arise mainly with flying over private property. Since the Florida v. Riley case determined that flying over private property was not illegal citing that helicopters and planes do so often, there has been tensions over the fact that these many helicopters and planes most always do not record anything beneath them [16]. A further legal ramification stems off of this in terms of searching. To search a property, law enforcement needs a warrant issued by a judge but if police started using drones would they require a warrant to fly over and record a private property? This question is posed in [16] as well, in addition to the conversation over whether the FAA should have legal jurisdiction over any “American airspace” while they currently only hold it over major flight areas like borders, military bases, and airports.

So it’s legal to fly over property since planes and other aircraft do but should the altitude at which the flight occurs come into play? Certainly a case could be made taking into account someone trying to fly a drone at 10,000 feet overheads as opposed to 100 feet over private property. A new legal study has been prompted over drone technology as to whether or not a person owns a certain amount of airspace over their property when they purchase it. [16]. The only real clarification that has come out of this was all the way back in 1946 with the Causby v. United States trial which determined a person owns “indefinitely” the space above their property but at reasonable altitudes aviation could claim public domain as an “aviation highway”.

Another interesting risk and angle to view drones is in [13] entitled “Do Drones Undermine Democracy?”. It makes the point that operations revolving the Government’s foreign policy decisions have always had a healthy amount of checks-and-balances because things like surveillance have always involved sending actual people to carry out these missions. As of late, they make the case that with unmanned drones having such increased capabilities, that there has been less vetting and discussion over the use of drones for surveillance and war overseas and whether or not this undermines democracy due to people’s nonchalant attitudes over the outcome of various missions when you’re not putting people in harm’s way. With the consequences of these decisions always popping up in the news, it’s an interesting angle to follow in the near future.


       Drones and professional ethics are two topics that are closely related. It is no secret that drones are involved in, what some consider, unethical conduct. This unethical conduct can range from surveillance of backyards near the U.S.A. Mexico border to the use of a drone to kill in war. Behind every drone is a large number of professionals who have worked to develop, build, and control it. Each one of these professionals faced a moral dilemma, whether they knew it or not.
       Not all drones are created equal, and as such not all professionals involved in the production or development of drones face severe ethical concerns. However, many drones have cameras attached to them, as well as audio monitoring devices, speakers, etc. Despite the many productive uses that a camera mounted to a drone can have, such as wildlife conservation [26] and search and rescue assistance [27], any camera-equipped drone raises privacy concerns, usually from those who live close to where a drone flies. In addition to privacy concerns, all drones are associated with safety concern. All professionals working with drones must weigh these two ethical concerns with the benefit their drone will have. To analyze whether work on a drone is ethical, professionals may use act utilitarianism.
       Software engineers who work on data collection and drone vision face substantial ethical concerns. In the case of police drones, which are very likely to collect identifying information about people [26], software engineers must consider the crime reduction benefits versus privacy of those that are being monitored. In many cases, the public as shown to be disapproving of surveillance drones, which may help professionals involved recognize the privacy concerns. In Los Angeles outside of the Staples Center stadium, a crowd knocked a drone out of the air, believing it to be a police surveillance drone. Despite the fact the drone was neither owned nor operated by the LAPD [28], LAPD Chief of Police responded by stating "I will not sacrifice public support for a piece of police equipment," [29]. On the other hand, drones have been shown to benefit citizens as well as police. In an active shooter situation in Arlington Texas, the police department used a drone to find the location of the shooter. The information was passed on to the police officers, who used it to find themselves safer positions [29]. There are very clear possible advantages and disadvantages to surveillance drones, all of which software engineers, and anyone else involved professionally with drones, must consider before carrying out their work.
       In addition to privacy concerns associated with drones, there are also safety concerns about the aircraft themselves. Major safety concerns involve collisions in the air and on the ground. Many drones lack anti-collision transponders that are most often installed in piloted planes [30], making them dangerous to fly in an area where any other aircraft may be flying. A more common concern for the safety of drones is collisions with people on the ground. In December of 2015 during a World Cup slalom ski race, a camera drone fell from the air and nearly collided with a skier [31]. Perhaps if the software engineers had programmed the drone to detect when it is failing, and move to a safe area, the drone would have been substantially safer.


This chapter does not have to do with our topic a whole lot. The focus was about how machines will eventually replace people and our topic is about how drones can be used for surveillance. While it is possible, and even likely, that drones will take jobs from people such as delivery truck drivers, photographers, farmers, mailmen, and more, there aren’t a whole lot of surveillance jobs that they will take.

American Ultra (2015)

      American Ultra is a comedy about a government mission to kill a sleeper agent, Mike, who does not know that he is one. After Mike is reactivated, he puts up a fight and gives the government a very hard time with their mission, killing government agents and dodging planned attacks on him. When the head of the mission to kill Mike is frustrated in his failed attempts to kill him, he calls another CIA agent to call a drone strike on Mike’s house, where he is hiding.
      The head of the mission makes the decision in an instant. He picks up the phone, calls another agent, and demands that the drone strike be initiated. However Petey, the man in charge of carrying out the drone strike, shows hesitation. He faces the choice of either initiating a drone strike on American soil and killing a US Citizen, or losing his job and being charged with treason, which superior threatens him with earlier in the movie.
       Faced with the high price of rejecting his boss’ orders, Petey begins the drone strike by sending the drone into the air towards Mike’s house. In order to actually fire a missile from the drone, however, eight different people must initiate the strike. As the drone approaches Mike’s house, seven of the eight people controlling the strike approve the attack. Petey, however, sits at his desk watching remotely the view from the Predator drone. In an act of defiance, he slams his computer and does not approve the missile, causing the drone to fly directly over Mike’s house without launching the missile.
      Petey makes a decision at this point in the movie that I believe most people in his situation would make. Ignoring the fact that this is a movie, the situation he is placed in is cut and dry. He can either choose to kill a US citizen on US soil with a drone strike, or he can choose to deny a request from his superior. Although he is threatened with a treason charge, it is likely that, if this event were to happen, he would not be punished for this decision.
      The role of drones in American Ultra shows them as an extremely powerful, destructive, and advantageous weapon of war. The use of the drone would have quickly and succinctly ended the movie with Mike’s death and the success of the government mission. Predator drones are a symbol of a powerful and callous military that will kill remotely without any chance of the target fighting back. American Ultra highlights the power of these drones, and the implications that using them over United States soil could have, especially as a weapon instead of as a surveillance tool.

Unmanned: America's Drone Wars (2013)

This documentary follows the wordlwide impact of the U.S.'s drone programs and drone strikes across the globe. "The film reveals the realities of drone warfare-the violation of international law, the loss of life, the far-reaching implications for the communities that live under drones, and blowback the United States faces." The film focuses mainly on a teenager's death in Pakistan. The film also takes an in-depth look into how the U.S. government and Obama administration decides where, who, and/or how to use the drones in areas across the world. One interesting angle is the viewpoint of the U.S.'s use of drones violating other countries' laws.
ideas and quotes taken from : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3327442/ , http://www.bravenewfilms.org/unmanned

The Spymasters: CIA in the Crosshairs (2015)

This film is from the viewpoint of observing the CIA from the outside as the title implies. It revolves mainly around interviews probing about "controversial methods used by the agency after Sept. 11 with interviews with 12 former CIA directors, several operatives, and critics of the CIA." One of the more interesting interviews is with David Petraeus, the former Director of the CIA and 4-star general in the U.S. Army.

Drone (2014)

This film encompasses many similar aspects to Unmanned: America's Drone Wars and The Spymasters: CIA in the Crosshairs bringing in many aspects of the CIA's role in governmental drones and stories like that in Pakistan. To sum it up best, a critic describes the film as "The film covers diverse and integral ground from the recruitment of young pilots at gaming conventions and the re-definition of "going to war", to the moral stance of engineers behind the technology, the world leaders giving the secret "greenlight" to engage in the biggest targeted killing program in history, and the people willing to stand up against the violations of civil liberties and fight for transparency, accountability and justice." The recruitment process is a really interesting revelation as well as getting the engineering perspective on the morality of it from the view of ethics like we have learned in class.

Eye In The Sky (2015)

This film is especially interesting surrounding the topics that we have been discussing and thinking about in class. Much of the movie revolves around decisions on whether or not to launch drones and drone strikes when the people launching them know the risks and casualties involved. The decisions cover a large amount of scenarios from children entering the landing zone, Citizens from other countries being in the landing zones, and people not feeling able to make the decision.
http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/eye-in-the-sky-2016 , http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2057392/

The Giver (2014)

In the Giver Drones are implied to be watching the citizens. The government in Giver watches their citizens to make sure that they are acting properly. The government in the Giver is Orwellian, and dystopian, that is viewed as the villain in the movie. They are seen as controlling their citizens and against freedom. In this movie drones are depicted as tools the government can use to control their citizens through violation of privacy.

The Bourne Legacy (2012)

Aaron Cross, an operative belonging to a Defense Department black ops program, is assigned to Alaska for a training exercise where he is forced to survive extreme weather and terrain to arrive at a remote cabin which is operated by somebody called Number Three. Due to politics within the CIA and investigations of illegal CIA programs, the program leader of which Aaron Cross and Number Three are assigned, orders everyone associated with the program to be killed so as to protect the next generation of the project [17].
A drone is deployed to kill Aaron and Three. Aaron hears the drone coming and is able to escape in time however Three is killed. The drone is able to track Aaron through an RFiD in his arm and so Aaron removes it and gets a wolf to eat it. The drone kills the wolf and Aaron live [17].
How realistic was this scene? Well the weather was quite stormy so the drone probably should not have been deployed in such weather. It would be hard to fly and very difficult to see the ground from the air. Additionally, Aaron should not have been able to hear the drone. The drone was flying at a high altitude and sound should have been muffled by snow. Finally, drones are very expensive and having two drones deployed to kill only two people requires lots of money, paperwork, and a very good explanation [18].

9/9/16 Meeting

9/14/16 Meeting

9/21/16 Meeting

9/28/16 Meeting

10/1/16 Meeting

10/2/16 Meeting

10/5/16 Meeting

10/6/16 Meeting

10/7/16 Meeting

  1. Shipley, Todd G., and Bowker, Art. "Introduction to Internet Crime." Investigating Internet Crimes: An Introduction to Solving Crimes in Cyberspace. N.p.: Syngress, 2014. N. pag. Web. 26 Sept. 2016.
  2. "U.S. Charges Five Chinese Military Hackers with Cyber Espionage Against U.S. Corporations and a Labor Organization for Commercial Advantage." FBI. N.p., 19 May 2014. Web. 26 Sept. 2016.
  3. "Man Arrested for Flying His Camera Drone Over Crash Site, Allegedly Refused to Land." Php Bloginfoname RSS. N.p., 16 Apr. 2014. Web. 28 Sept. 2016.
  4. Booth, William. "More Predator Drones Fly U.S.-Mexico Border." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 21 Dec. 2011. Web. 28 Sept. 2016.
  5. Koebler, Jason. "North Dakota Man Sentenced to Jail In Controversial Drone-Arrest Case." U.S. News and World Report. N.p., 15 Jan. 2014. Web. 28 Sept. 2016.
  6. https://cpc-grijalva.house.gov/uploads/Drones_Fact_Sheet_FCNL1.pdf
  7. U.S.A. Department of Homeland Security. U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Unmanned Aircraft System Program Does Not Achieve Intended Results or Recognize All Costs of Operations. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
  8. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/11/24/unblinking-stare
    Interesting point of view of a journalist in Northwestern Pakistan near Afghanistan and the double-portrayal of events in the news. Behram reports on drone strikes that happen in Pakistan and points out possible flaws between the target the drones actually hit and the targets media outlets claim to justify the strike. “They can hover over their targets for hours, transmitting video feed of the scene below, and then strike suddenly. “ Unmanned drones vs. guerilla warfare of taliban. “Drone strikes have symbolized American arrogance”. Goes very very in depth of Pakistani and American sides in fighting the Taliban.
  9. https://epic.org/privacy/drones/
    Electronic Privacy Information Center detailing specifics about drones mainly pertaining to laws and capabilities. Cite some instances of Drones in the news and events. Most of the comments seem very against drones for any governmental capacity usually citing the disregard for citizens’ personal privacy. Cite most of the pertinent laws set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regarding the use of drones.
  10. http://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43965.pdf
    Insight by legal experts for congressional debates and legislation surrounding drones. Outlines different areas of life that drones play a part in and plays devil’s advocate as an objective, third-party take on drone laws. Also gives insights for both public and private uses of drones and there is a lengthy section on surveillance.
  11. https://epic.org/privacy/surveillance/spotlight/0805/
    Another E.P.I.C. article but focusing specifically on surveillance. Also has some interesting passages about surveillance along borders of US. Insights on things that can affect drone surveillance such as imaging and flying conditions.
  12. http://www.wsj.com/articles/government-issues-rules-on-commercial-drones-1466527150
    Interesting article outlining the gaps the most recent drones laws passed by the FAA have left. Indicates why these gaps are dangerous and where the laws could be improved.
  13. http://www.agriculturedefensecoalition.org/sites/default/files/file/drones_517/517V_2_2011_Africa_U.S._Assembling_Secret_Drone_Bases_in_Africa_Arabian_Peninsula_Officials_Say_September_20_2011_Washington_Post.pdf
    Talks about the US government setting up drone bases in foreign countries in Africa and the Middle East. Speculates as to why they might be doing it and what known missions the drones have accomplished. Speculates where they might deploy the drones and what adversaries they might be watching.
  14. http://www.agriculturedefensecoalition.org/sites/default/files/file/drones_517/517S_1_2012_Do_Drones_Undermine_Democracy_January_21_2012_by_Singer_NYTimes_THE_ANSWER_IS_YES.pdf
    Title sums it up, :Do Drones Undermine Democracy?”. Talks about solely the executive branch controlling the drone program whereas traditional style wars would be decided and checked by the whole government.
  15. http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/lbrr/archives/cnmcs-plcng/cn29822-eng.pdf
    Seems to be a PhD thesis on drones. Starts out with an overview of the drone market and the potential future directions the drone industry could expand into. Talks about drones and privacy concerns in both the US and Canada because the thesis was written in Canada.
  16. http://www.bu.edu/bulawreview/files/2015/02/RULE.pdf
    Legal aspect of drones written for the BU Law Review. Discusses possible legal ramifications for different drone scenarios.
  17. Gilroy, T. (Director). (2012). The Bourne Legacy [Video file]. Australia: Universal. Retrieved 2016.
  18. Mixon, J. (2013, November 28). Re: How realistic was the drone attack in the Bourne Legacy? [Web log comment]. Retrieved September 28, 2016, from https://www.quora.com/How-realistic-was-the-drone-attack-in-the-Bourne-Legacy
    The guy who wrote this is a ASAF Vet and is a published writer for The Huffington Post, Slate, BBC, and other major news outlets. He also writes about legal issues and law in everyday life
  19. http://theconversation.com/how-drones-can-improve-healthcare-delivery-in-developing-countries-49917 regarding drones being able to make an impact in healtcare and other humanitarian areas in developing countries.
  20. http://www.suasnews.com/2014/12/why-drones-are-the-future-of-the-internet-of-things/ Why drones are the future of the Internet of Things
  21. http://www.people-press.org/2015/05/28/public-continues-to-back-u-s-drone-attacks/
  22. http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/08/06/aclu-forces-us-government-release-secret-drone-playbook
  23. http://dronecenter.bard.edu/presidential-candidates-on-drones/
  24. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/11/technology/think-amazons-drone-delivery-idea-is-a-gimmick-think-again.html?_r=0
  25. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/05/technology/personaltech/giving-the-drone-industry-the-leeway-to-innovate.html
  26. Sandbrook, Chris. "The Social Implications of Using Drones for Biodiversity Conservation." Ambio 44.S4 (2015): 636-47. Web. 26 Sept. 2016.
  27. "Search & Rescue: UAVs / Drones for Fire Service, Monitoring Etc." Search & Rescue: UAVs / Drones for Fire Service, Monitoring Etc. N.p., n.d., Web. 26 Sep. 2016.
  28. Serna, Joseph, and Chang, Cindy. Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 16 June 2014. Web. 28 Sept. 2016.
  29. "Wall St. Cheat Sheet: Are Police Drones a Privacy Nightmare or a Safety Advantage?" Newstex Finance & Accounting Blogs (2014): n. pag. ProQuest. Web. 04 Oct. 2016.
  30. West, Jonathan P., and Bowman, James S. "The Domestic Use of Drones: An Ethical Analysis of Surveillance Issues." Public Administration Review Public Admin Rev 76.4 (2016): 649-59. Web. 29 Sept. 2016.
  31. "Hirscher Nearly Hit by Falling Drone; Kristoffersen Wins." Associated Press, 22 Dec. 2015. Web. 29 Sept. 2016.
  32. http://tealgroup.com/index.php/teal-group-news-media/item/press-release-uav-production-will-total-93-billion
  33. http://www.investors.com/news/technology/drone-sales-forecast-2015-to-2025-from-tractica/
  34. http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2016/03/29/403149.htm
  35. http://www.infoplease.com/us/government/spying-surveillance-timeline.html
  36. http://atintellectualproperty.com/drone-patents/
  37. http://tgs.freshpatents.com/Drone-bx1.php
  38. https://techcrunch.com/2016/07/20/amazon-patent-proposes-drone-perches-atop-streetlights-and-other-protruding-infrastructure/
  39. https://www.fiz-karlsruhe.de/en/im-blickpunkt/archive/hoehenflug-der-drohnen-patente-wer-sind-die-top-patentanmelder.html
  40. http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2016/04/06/drone-disabling-patents/id=67593/

Drone Milestone Timeline

Overall Conclusion

As the prices of drones drop and capabilities rise, their popularity has grown quickly. Government agencies have begun testing and implementing drones into their arsenal, making the topic of government drone surveillance more relevant than ever. However, new laws that have been passed to regulate drones have lacked concern for the public good, ignoring the privacy and safety issues surveillance drones bring. To protect Americans, privacy and safety problems must be brought to the forefront and considered in new laws.
Drones are a powerful tool which have been used in the United States for many different purposes in law enforcement. However, the United States Government has complete control of airspace, affording them nearly complete control over the space above public and private property. From our research in the many areas of government drone surveillance, we have concluded that more comprehensive laws and regulations must be put in place to limit the capabilities of government's use of drones for surveillance.

1 Year Outlook

Pentagon expects to spend $40 Billion on drones for foreign and domestic uses. We predict there will be a change in the direction of the government's use of drones. One reason is Obama's recent release of the Presidential Policy Guidance (PPG) widely regarded as "the Playbook" used by the President to influence his decision in drone matters [22]. As reported by the New York Times, Democratic Nominee Hillary Clinton supports drone usage in a similar capacity to the Obama administration and the Republican Nominee Donald Trump has advocated for an exapanded use of drones especially in Military uses. [23] The FAA is auspiciously attempting to keep up with the exponential growth of the drone market. As of now they have issued over 4,000 "permission slips" to companies and other agencies due to their inability to keep up with the demand for licenses and registrations [34]. The FAA has proposed some safety regulations but they have not yet been vetted and put into practice leading many to be disgruntled with the government who claim they are "hurting the competitiveness" of the drone market [34].

5 Year Outlook

The government will expand the areas in which it uses drones. Similar to Amazon's plan to attempt deleiveries with drones, there are some uses the government has reportedly started exploring such as using drones for the US Postal Service [24]. While many people belive loosening regulations would allow the drone industry to explode with innovation, many industry experts believe that increase regulations would allow more companies to start and offer products to the drone market. [25] One entrepreneur believes that with the development that would take place under these new regualtions, many current hesitations and issues the public has about drones would be outdated, such as "basic navigational problems" where a user has to geographically keep track of their machine. [25]

10 Year Outlook

A market study conducted in 2015 projects drone production will reach an estimated $123 Billion in the next decade with Military research accounting for $30 Billion of that sum [32]. This same study projects the bulk of that money will be spent developing new add-on technologies such as "radio frequency (RF) systems supplant EO/IR capabilities, and next-generation UAVs at all scales require much more sophisticated - and expensive - sensors." [32] These projections are based heavily in "a number of speculative new programs in the out-years, including estimates of classified programs." [32]This study definitely underscores our overall goal of rapid regulation of drones now in preparation for this explosive growth projection. A separate study cites the "two primary application categories in the commercial drone sector are aerial imaging and data analysis..." [33] which certainly falls in the government's favor in surveillance capabilities.