Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The First Known Occurence of Drone Vandalism

Drone Vandalism.jpg
As a drone owner and tinkerer, I’ve always loved the freedom that comes with flying.  Even if I’m not up there with it, the exhilaration I get when flying drones is almost beyond compare.  It’s fun, safe (with the proper precautions), and shouldn’t intrude on anyone else.
So far regulation of drones has been pretty minimal and that’s been because drone owners have been respectful and careful.  That is, until lately.  Now it seems that more nefarious things are occurring in the drone world.
Recently a billboard in downtown Manhattan, NY was defaced by graffiti artist and vandal KATSU.  The feat was done to prove a point… that a drone, altered to hold a spray paint can with the nozzle depressed by some type of actuator, could be used to tag something that was previously unreachable.
The problem this presents is for law abiding drone pilots like myself.  I’m counting on increased legislation (control) over where, when, how, and who can fly these things all because some small number of rule breakers push the envelope.
I’m hoping nothing comes of this that affects drones.  I mean, it’s already illegal to deface a billboard and the “method” of defacing really shouldn’t be that important.  However, since drone usage is so new, my fear is laws being passed that affect things that in the big picture aren’t all the necessary.
Obviously, only time will tell on this one.  However, with the concern over small aircraft and what they can do vs. how difficult they are to detect, there will probably be some laws coming along sooner as opposed to later.

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