Berkeley Tries To Ban Drones

From private hands, too, this being Berkeley


As drone technologies continue to improve and as the official use of drones continues to extend its reach some are sounding the alarm that the birds'-eye view, high-definition surveillance poses an increasing threat to personal privacy. And rather than wait for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to take action, Berkeley, California is attempting to take the lead and proclaim the sky above their city a 'No Drone Zone.'

The resolution was put forth at a December 18th Berkeley City Council meeting by the city's Peace and Justice Commission who declared that "drones will not be purchased, leased, borrowed, tested or otherwise used by any agency of the City of Berkeley over the City of Berkeley, including drones in transit." Anyone in violation would face fines up to $10,000 and jail time up to a year. The resolution makes an exception for drones flown by hobbyists, but only as long as they are flown in designated areas away from residential areas and are not equipped with cameras or audio surveillance devices. The resolution remains only a proposal at the moment, but it includes a charge to the City Attorney to begin the necessary legal action to turn the declaration into city legislation.