Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the FAA has released a list of institutions that have asked for Certificates of Authorizations (COA) to fly drones in the US.
Drones are most commonly known for military intelligence missions, military airstrikes, and homeland security border protection by observing human activity from above. We all are well aware of their existence, but we never would have thought that we would see “Big Brother” flying over our own homes to observe American citizens – but that day has come.
The FAA revealed that unmanned drones are flying from 63 launch sites in 20 states – including Texas, and that they have granted authorizations to operate drones in the U.S. to the military, Border and Customs Patrol, NASA, the FBI, Texas Department of Public Safety and 25 universities – including Texas A&M and Texas State University. Why universities? It could be that the government is subsidizing programs at the universities to develop more advanced drone technology.
Since 9/11 drones have become a common weapon in America’s arsenal against terrorists, and we should have known that they would eventually be common in our own airspace.
I may starting dressing nicer when I take the dog for a walk early in the morning – I never know who might be taking my picture.