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Poll: Thoughts On Drone Use in Missouri?

February 24, 2013 Featured, Politics/Policy, Sunday Poll 8 Comments

You thought drones were just for warfare in far away lands? Thank again. As I watched the CBS Sunday Morning report Drones: Eyes in the sky (w/video) I liked the idea of using a personal drone to get good aerial photos to use here.

ABOVE: A $299 personal drone from Amazon
ABOVE: A $299 personal drone from Amazon shoots 720p video

Suppose you’ve got a dangerous hostage situation; an unmanned aircraft can track the gunman. It can evaluate flooding, or help firefighters cheaply and safely without endangering lives, the argument goes.


But today, you or I could go online, order a drone kit for a few hundred dollars, and fly the thing anywhere, legally.

Terry Kilby, a smartphone app designer, and his wife, Belinda, an art teacher, use theirs to take bird’s-eye view photographs of Baltimore.

“We can get something that is a totally unique and fresh perspective on images that you would ordinarily think that you’ve already seen before, but now it’s a completely new take on it,” said Belinda. (CBS Sunday Morning)

Their photos shown in the CBS report forced me to imagine the possibilities, although the cost is too steep for my purposes:

Now they shoot with a custom hexicopter, an approximately $3,000 flying photography studio that can climb as high as 400 feet. It’s outfitted with two cameras, GPS to lock and hold an altitude, and a gyroscope to keep it level. There are goggles Kilby can strap on to see exactly what the drone is seeing. (Baltimore Sun)

But Amazon has one for $299 that I could control from my iPhone (pictured). But I also thought I’d be concerned about someone controlling a drone outside my 4th floor windows.  In December a bill was introduced in the Missouri House regarding drone use:

The bill proposed by State Rep. Casey Guernsey, R-Bethany, would require law enforcement officers to get a warrant before using drones to gather evidence or other information about criminal activities. It also would ban people, organizations and state agencies from using unmanned aircraft to conduct surveillance of people, farms or agricultural operations without the owner’s permission. (KMOX)

The bill is HB46.

The poll this week seeks your thoughts on drones. Would this bill protect your privacy or infringe your rights to use a drone? The poll is in the right sidebar, mobile users need to switch to the full layout.

— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "8 comments" on this Article:

  1. moe says:

    Once again the right proves their lack of intelligence. Notice that this bill is proposed by a farming area. While I agree with Steve about someone using their own drone to peek/spy on others , especially in suburban/urban areas with tall buildings, We shouldn’t have to close our blinds 24/7. However, agricultural, with their large acreage, one would think the farmers would want help patrolling their land….but then again, the rural areas helped defeat the humane animal act. There is a lot of bad going on out there from puppy mills to horrific pig farming, so of course they don’t want eyes on them.

    Quite frankly I will trust the police and other goverment agencies than I will any private entity. And in the world we live in today with Google, MapQuest, Onstar, GPS devices, etc….we are watched more from the private sector than from the goverment (state, local, and federal) combined. I would outlaw ALL private surveillance, esp in heavy traffic areas like airports, or such things like an accident where there are helicopters hovering about.

  2. JZ71 says:

    I suspect that any drone use in our gun-happy state will be “regulated” with shotguns . . . .

    • moe says:

      Interesting take JZ….but shotguns are splatter guns to quote John Wayne. A rifle with scope would do much better!

    • Alfred Fickensher says:

      On the late TV program HARRY’s LAW Harriett did just that when a Cincinnatti PD drone was filming in her neighbor’s bedroom window.
      BOOM 12-Ga and down came the little round electric motored camera drone.

  3. Michael M. says:

    Quadcopters are for sale in the mall. Many are cheap and difficult to trace. Regulations are too late to matter much.


  4. samizdat says:

    “It also would ban people, organizations and state agencies from
    using unmanned aircraft to conduct surveillance of people, farms or
    agricultural operations without the owner’s permission”.

    Right up until this little gem, I didn’t see too many problems with the wording you’ve quoted. Constitutionally speaking, a warrant is required (not that it matters in the post-Bush/Drone-bama world) for such searches. But I wonder if the good Senator knows about satellite mapping and observation. Unless we’re talking about a ‘situation’, the type of surveillance he envisions would probably require a warrant anyway. However, noting the text I’ve quoted, I suspect that the true intent lies with this sentence. That is, to limit the ability of activist investigation of illegal dog-breeding, conditions on large-scale animal farms, such as chicken and swine facilities: breeding, hatcheries, egg-laying and processing, processing of meat, etc. If fact, I believe there is a bill making its way through the bowels of the CSA MO Leg which would make it a felony to conduct under-cover investigations of animal processing/breeding, etc. operations, in addition to making it a felony to merely photograph, videotape, or in any other way conduct surveillance upon these facilities, whether those data-collection activities are conducted on private property or outside the property lines. Matter of fact, I believe the wording references the word “terrorist” and “terrorism” to describe these legitimate efforts of fact-finding citizens. Criminalizing the Constitutionally-guaranteed right to free speech is no way to run a country. Or a state.

    Not at all surprising that this comes from the usual contingent of Republican fascists stinking up our Legislature.

    • samizdat says:

      Of course, the larger issue of the unConstitutional program (started by Bush) of drone attacks of “suspected” terrorists, and continued by His Majesty the Executioner, Drone-bama, in addition to the wholly unConstitutional assassination (murder) of American citizens abroad–with vague, and entirely unbelievable promises not to bring such illegal activities home–remains unaddressed. Funny how these supposed patriots on the extremist right don’t say so much as ‘boo!’ to the murder of innocents (2000+ in Pakistan alone, with over sixty children alone confirmed dead in one such drone attack on a madrassa). Nor do they raise any questions about the illegal, permanent detention of people who have only the suspicion of violent activities (or were simply unlucky enough to run afoul of a neighbor, or business rival: “Yes, Mr. American Soldier, sir, that man is a terrorist”) keeping them locked up in Guantanamo, or some other hell-hole we don’t even know about. Of course, I have noticed that most people calling themselves supporters or fans of Mr. Drone-bama have remained silent on his crimes, as well, in spite of overwhelming evidence, and documentation, of the current administration’s blatantly illegal operations.

      Don’t even get me started on the illegal detention and torture of Pfc. Bradley Manning.

  5. sixshooterstang says:

    this is the crap that ticks me off. WE WHO FLY FPV RADIO CONTROLLED MODELS ARE DOING NO WRONG!!!! privacy laws are already in place so spying in peoples windows is illegal anyways and why ban FPV hobbyists when there has been NO repeat NO incidents by hobbyists only the government. LEAVE THE HOBBYISTS ALONE BECAUSE WE ARE DOING NOTHING WRONG AND PEOPLE HAVE NO UNDERSTANDING OF THE TECHNOLOGY!!! ALL HYPE!!!

    Watch and learn:



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