American Drone


Drones cover a big world, but the new documentary Flight Plan: Charting a Course for Drones in Washington focuses closely on one state that's already a hub for the devices, exploring users both private and public, from hobbyists to federal agencies.

Drones are making agriculture, commercial fishing, and firefighting cheaper and safer, and have pushed the once-poorest county in Washington into boom times.

But drones have a dark side-they enable government surveillance, police abuse, and the dangerous expansion of the power of innocuous-sounding agencies like the Department of Ecology. Flight Plan doesn't settle the question of whether it's possible to protect privacy without decimating the drone economy, but it does offer a sharp critique of modern journalism. Legacy media, such as newspapers and cable news, tend to breed paranoia around new tech, while new media, such as YouTube, highlight the good news. -Zenon Evans

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One response to “American Drone

  1. yarh..You’re right. Drone is really dangerous. The threat in recent years of pilots blinded by high-powered lasers may soon be superseded by this potentially more fearsome prospect: drones finding their way into restricted airspace around airports. Each month, pilots and air traffic controllers report more than 100 drone “sightings” to the Federal Aviation Administration, which has begun compiling and releasing periodic reports on these encounters.

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