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U.S. company seeks new authority to disable threatening drones

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The pinnacle of the U.S. Homeland Safety Division on Tuesday advised Congress that the company wants new authorized authority to trace threatening drones and disable or destroy them if vital.

Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen advised the Senate Homeland Safety Committee that DHS wants “clear legal authority to identify, track and mitigate drones that could pose a danger to the public and to DHS operations.”

“Our enemies are exploring other technologies, too, such as drones, to put our country in danger. ISIS has used armed drones to strike targets in Syria, and we are increasingly concerned that they will try the same tactic on our soil,” she stated.

A bipartisan group of senators together with committee Chairman Ron Johnson and the committee’s high Democrat, Claire McCaskill, stated that they had launched laws to offer DHS and the Justice Division authority to “to protect buildings and assets when there is an unacceptable security risk to public safety posed by an unmanned aircraft.”

Authorities and private-sector officers are involved that harmful and even hostile drones may get too near locations like army bases, airports and sports activities stadiums.

Nielsen added that DHS has “also seen drones used to smuggle drugs across our borders and to conduct surveillance on sensitive government locations.”

Division of Homeland Safety Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen testifies earlier than a Senate Homeland Safety and Governmental Affairs Committee listening to on “Authorities and Resources Needed to Protect and Secure the United States,” on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S., Could 15, 2018. REUTERS/Erin Schaff

Congress stated it should give extra authority to DHS to cope with drones.

“It is not enough to just tell drone operators not to fly in certain high-risk areas; we must give federal law enforcement the authority to act if necessary,” Johnson stated.

The invoice would cowl high-profile occasions just like the Tremendous Bowl and presidential inaugurations in addition to federal installations and the safety of officers. It will authorize officers to disrupt communications of threatening drones, seize management or destroy them if wanted.

Final 12 months, the Federal Aviation Administration barred drone flights over main U.S. nuclear websites. The FAA additionally banned drone flights over 10 U.S. landmarks, together with the Statue of Liberty in New York and Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.

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Additionally banned in 2017 have been drone flights over 133 U.S. army amenities. The Pentagon stated in August that U.S. army bases may shoot down drones that pose a risk.

The FAA stated in January that greater than 1 million drones have been registered. Final week, the U.S. Transportation Division picked 10 pilot initiatives permitting drone use at evening, out of sight operations and over populated areas.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Enhancing by Cynthia Osterman

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