Boozey Intel Agent Crashes Drone at White House, Which Spurs Call for Regulations


Yesterday, a small, toy drone crashed on the White House grounds, an event which has prompted the White House and various others folks to call yet again for comprehensive regulations governing small, toy drones.

As The New York Times reports:

Obama said he had told the agencies to make sure that "these things aren't dangerous and that they're not violating people's privacy." He said that commercially available drones empower individuals, but that the government needs to provide "some sort of framework that ensures that we get the good and minimize the bad."…

"There are incredibly useful functions that these drones can play in terms of farmers who are managing crops and conservationists who want to take stock of wildlife," the president told CNN's Fareed Zakaria….

But he noted that the drone that landed at the White House was the kind "you buy at Radio Shack." And he said that the government had failed to keep up with the use of the flying devices by hobbyists and commercial enterprises.

"We don't really have any kind of regulatory structure at all for it," Mr. Obama said.

And oh yeah, about the guy who was operating the drone (a quad-copter model that was about two feet across and weighed all of two pounds)? It turns out he's an employee of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, which itself uses drones for all sorts of stuff, but that's fine because you know, it's the government.

He told Secret Service investigators that he had been drinking at an apartment nearby before he lost control of the craft, the officials said.

The man told investigators that he went to bed despite fearing that the drone had flown over the White House. After friends told him about news reports on the drone Monday morning, he contacted the authorities.

More here.

Friends don't let friends drone drunk, especially when it might lead to a crackdown on non-commerical use of private unmanned aerial vehicles.

Hat tip: Mike Spinney's Twitter feed.

Last spring, Jerry Brito made the case that drones should be allowed to live free.

In 2013, Reason TV's Paul Detrick explored and explained why drones are just for bombing people anymore. Take a look now:

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  1. You see, if even a drunken bureaucrat can’t handle these drones, there’s no way a normal civilian will be able to do it!

    1. Sounds more like a firefighter moonlighting as an arsonist.

      ‘Drunken’ bureaucrat guarantees future job opportunities for himself as a)drone regulator or b)lobbyist for drone companies subject to new regulation or c)crony venture capitalist allocating money to new ‘market-based’ drone ventures.

      I’m waiting for the next drone news story. Bureaucrat arms a drone using weapons bought at a gun show and then lets it loose. That will be a DC show thats worth a bit of popcorn.

  2. Oh, intelligence agent. I thought you meant someone from Intel.

    1. I have trouble imagining Intel employees are big enough dicks to refer to themselves as ‘Agent’.

      1. Well, it was just in the headline, so I don’t know if this Intel employee or contractor was referring to himself as an agent. Perhaps it’s a new kind of blackmail/lobbying? More Koch shenanigans?

      2. Intel employee here, my business card reads “code monkey/janitor”.

  3. If you love something, set it free…

  4. DWI – Droning While Intoxicated.

  5. Last week I was on vacation in Hawaii and some jackass was trying to show off for his friends by hovering just above the waves.

    Along came an extra big wave and it managed to dunk the drone. It was only about 10 yards or so out in the ocean but because it was so rough and it was so rocky the dude was out of luck for retrieving it.

  6. When did toy helicopters/airplanes become “drones”?

    1. Seriously. And man, when I was a little kid, Radio Shack seemed like just about the coolest place on earth.

    2. When one crashed on the White House lawn and the news needed it to sound scary?

  7. “We don’t really have any kind of regulatory structure at all for it,” Mr. Obama said.

    And this is the only thing he actually gives a shit about as President.

  8. Late, I know, but: Alt ALT TEXT: “Another drone”

    1. I’m just wondering about the pink stealth bomber?

  9. As was said on Chicken Man, “If you’re gestunkena, don’t fly; if you’re flying, don’t get gestunkena.”

  10. “In 2013, Reason TV’s Paul Detrick explored and explained why drones are just for bombing people anymore.”

    Wait I thought they weren’t just for bombing people now.

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