Government may gain new power to track, shoot down drones
An aviation bill that Congress is rushing to approve contains a little-noticed section giving authorities the power to track, intercept and destroy drones they consider a security threat, without needing a judge’s approval.
Supporters say law enforcement needs this power to protect Americans from terrorists who are learning how to use drones as deadly weapons.
Privacy advocates counter that the provision would give the government unchecked power to decide which drones are a threat and to restrict legitimate uses, including by news organizations.
The provision is tucked in a huge bill that provides disaster relief and authorizes programs of the Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates drones.