Open Letter to Eric Schmidt Regarding the Prohibition of Private UAVs

    Eric Schmidt recently suggested that the government should limit the use of unmanned aerial vehicles to private individuals due to possible security and privacy concerns. “Imagine you are at odds with a neighbor. What can you say if a neighbor goes and buys a drone for video surveillance of your house - and starts it from his lawn. A drone will fly over your house every day. How will you feel? ”

    Small UAVs with video cameras are already on open sale. According to Schmidt, the state should introduce a restriction on their use also because of the threat of terrorism.

    The statement of Eric Schmidt was hostile to activists of aircraft modeling clubs and fans of robotics. DC Area Drone User Group Members PublishedAn open letter to Eric Schmidt with a convincing explanation of why private drones need to be given complete freedom. In short, it is a technology with explosive growth potential that can revolutionize the world. “Flying robots in personal ownership today can change the balance of power between people and a large bureaucratic machine in much the same way the Internet did in the past,” the open letter said.

    Full text
    As your like-minded people in the idea of ​​the transforming power of technology, we at Drone DC Group User Area were surprised and saddened to read your latest comments urging you to tighten restrictions on the use of small drones. It’s especially surprising that such words are heard from the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Google in the light of the wonderful support that your company provides to the World Wildlife Fund in the fight against poaching through the use of drones and the Matternet project to deliver drugs to the inhabitants of Africa using unmanned vehicles.

    Ironically, it’s now due to FAA restrictions that it’s personal drones that are better suited to publicly important tasks in the US than government or company-owned drones. Our group is currently implementing a project to create a video surveillance system with an overlay map on the map to help the local park track plant and animal species that live in the park. The park itself, as a legal entity, now does not have the right to launch its drones without going through the licensing process at the FAA, which in practice is too complicated and expensive for a small state organization. It is also illegal for them to hire a contractor to carry out these works, as the rules currently prohibit the commercial use of unmanned aerial systems. However,

    You believe that terrorists can use drones for vile purposes. However, such technologies have already been available for many years. Radio-controlled military aircraft, land vehicles, and ships have existed for decades, and people have equipped them with cameras and other useful tools. And just because terrorists today use Gmail for communication, as they used to use phones, does not mean that the world would be better if we limited the use of email and telecommunication technologies, allowing them only to the government and big business. Do you think that any new technology should be suppressed because it can be used against society? The answer to these challenges is the ban on terrorism, murder, theft, and invasion of privacy, which has already been done.

    What your comments demonstrate is a trend sadly prevalent in our society when some people are afraid to provide universal access to tools that in the past were the exclusive prerogative of the government and large corporations. As drones become cheaper, more compact and easier to use, we see that ordinary citizens and public organizations can independently cope with tasks in which they previously had to rely on others. Farmers can check the status of their own crops from the sky without paying for expensive manned aircraft services. Conservationists can value natural resources without having to buy expensive satellite imagery.

    Personal flying robots today can change the balance of power between humans and a large bureaucratic machine, as the Internet has done in the past. And just like military researchers who developed GPS for guiding ammunition, they could never have imagined that their technology would be used in the future to help carry out medical research in the poorest countries of the world or to help find partners for love in richer countries , there are a huge number of socially important, useful and simple applications for drones that we have yet to open. We should take this chance, not push the opportunity in the bud. We hope that you and other Google executives will accept this technologically sound agenda in the future, rather than trying to strangle it.

    Timothy Reuters
    President and Founder
    DC Area Drone User Group

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