A Warning About Drones and Privacy at the Air Festival

first_imgSaturday’s Ocean City Air Festival at the Municipal Airport included one uninvited aircraft: a model drone that Ocean City residents Steve Fenichel and Georgina Shanley brought as part of their campaign to raise awareness about drones and privacy issues.Cape May Airport in Lower Township and the Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May are being considered as potential sites for testing the unmanned aircraft for safety, especially in commercial air space and over populated areas.Drones have potential non-military uses including law enforcement, agriculture, photography, communications and meteorology.But Fenichel and Shanley are part of a group urging legislators to ban the use of drones in the U.S. for surveillance and for weapons.They say they support the peaceful and practical applications of drones, but they would like to see a law passed to prevent the unrestricted use of the technology.Fenichel points to a model ordinance drafted by the Bill of Rights Defense Committee as a sample of potential legislation:http://constitutioncampaign.org/campaigns/resources/DronesAnnotated.pdf“We realize that the drone genie can’t be put back in the lamp,” Fenichel said. “All the positive drone applications must be acknowledged, i.e. fire prevention, hazardous material spill response, natural disaster response. But the use of drones for surveillance purposes and the potential militarization of them ( rubber bullets, tasers, tear gas, and missiles) creates an America we would not want for ourselves or future generations.”He is urging citizens to contact their local representatives “to say we need a no spy zone over our communities” and to attend the Cape May County Board of Freeholders meeting 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23.Fenichel and Shanley can be reached at 609-398-1934 or [email protected]last_img

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