A new Report highlights problems with the drone program operated by Bureau of Customs and Border Protection. The Bureau has purchased 10 drones, costing approximately $18 million each, and has expended an additional $55.3 million for maintenance and operations. But according to the Office of Inspector General, the Bureau "needs to improve planning of its unmanned aircraft systems program to address its level of operation, program funding, and resource requirements, along with stakeholder needs." Also, despite the Bureau’s limited mission to safeguard the borders, the Bureau often flies missions for the FBI, the DOD, NOAA, local law enforcement, and other agencies. This practice made headlines last year when police in North Dakota used a Bureau drone to arrest a U.S. citizen. This week Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA) introduced bills in the Senate and the House to limit the use of drones for surveillance in the United States.. For more information, see EPIC: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Drones.
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Communications Law and Policy
Jerry Kang and Alan Butler