NYT: Proposed Rules Would Allow U.S. to Track and Destroy Drones

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    New York Times, 5/23/2017

    Summary: The White House has sent a proposed bill to Congress that would authorize government agencies to track, hack, and potentially destroy small drone aircraft.

    Suggested by Prof. Brian Harvey in the BJC Teachers Piazza forum, with the comment “There clearly is the possibility of bomb-carrying terrorist drones, which would have to be dealt with quickly.  But the devil is in the details, such as ‘guaranteeing’ privacy protection but disallowing judicial oversight of violations. I also wonder if this is an attempt to rehabilitate the idea of secret NSA malware after the WannaCry business.”

    Possible Discussion Questions:

    • What are some of the general advantages or benefits of using drone aircraft for observation? Who benefits from this technology?
    • What are some concerns you might have if drones were being used in your area?
      • What questions might you have about what data was recorded and how it was transmitted and stored?
      • What questions might you have about how the drone was protected from hacking?
    • What are some advantages of allowing the government to take over and destroy drone aircraft?
    • If this law passed, would it make you you less concerned about the potential dangers of drones, or more concerned?
      • What questions do you have about how the government would use this authority?
      • What provisions would you like to see in such a law to protect your civil liberties?

    Connecting to the CSP Framework:

    • LO 7.3.1 Analyze the beneficial and harmful effects of computing.
      • EK 7.3.1A Innovations enabled by computing raise legal and ethical concerns.
      • EK 7.3.1G Privacy and security concerns arise in the development and use of computational systems and artifacts.
      • EK 7.3.1J Technology enables the collection, use, and exploitation of information about, by, and for individuals, groups, and institutions.


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