White House Seeks Expanded Powers to Counter Drones

    Photo: AFP/Getty Images [via Newsweek]

    The Facts

    • The WH released an action plan on Mon. that would expand the number of agencies that can track drones and their airspace. The Biden admin. said the proliferation of drone technology has created new risks to public safety, privacy, and homeland security.

    • The plan was developed in coordination with multiple agencies, the intelligence community, and regulatory professionals to close "critical gaps in policy and law" that impede the government's ability to "defend vital national security interests," according to a WH official.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    This action plan must be codified into law for the safety and security of the US. Sure drones make great toys and have many business uses, but they can also easily be turned into instruments in terrorist plots and cyberattacks.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    There's an element of irony here. In the past decade, the US drone fleet has grown exponentially, and the number of innocent people killed in America's air wars swelled far more than the Pentagon will admit. Drones were originally billed as a tool that could kill with precision from thousands of miles away, keep American service members safe, and get them home in time for dinner.

    Narrative C

    It's important to protect the privacy and other civil rights of domestic drone operators, who fly these craft with good intentions. Hopefully this will be addressed before this action plan becomes law.

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