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Domestic Drone Information Center

wcc-in-jail_small NACDL's Domestic Drone Information Center aims to be a one-stop source of cutting-edge information on the proliferation of drones inside the United States. It collects news from leading publications across the nation; features a comprehensive listing of legislative developments; and contains sections devoted to relevant case law, government documents, scholarship, upcoming events, and data on drone usage. The Domestic Drone Information Center also aggregates existing material from other websites, making it a launching pad to additional information about domestic drones on the web.

As domestic drones become an issue of increasing concern – the FAA predicts that 30,000 drones will be deployed within 20 years – we hope that you find this material useful. Please contact us at drones@nacdl.org if you are aware of important drone information that we have not yet added. This project is supported by the Foundation for Criminal Justice and the Open Society Foundations.

Legislation & Bill Map
  • The Bill Map features links to legislation at the federal level, in each of the states, and in select municipalities.
 View the Map 

Draft Legislation: NACDL's draft legislation to protect individual privacy against unwarranted governmental intrusion through the use of drones is available here.

Podcast Overview of the Domestic Drone Information Center

In this episode ofThe Criminal Docket, we explore NACDL's recently launched Domestic Drone Information Center. Show notes.

Criminal Docket Podcast  

Government Documents (Including FOIA Requests)

Other Data

  • Autonomy Research for Civil Aviation: Toward a New Era of Flight - The National Academies Press This report develops a set of integrated and comprehensive technical goals and objectives of importance to the civil aeronautics community and the nation. Autonomy Research for Civil Aviation will be of interest to U.S. research organizations, industry, and academia who have a role in meeting these goals.

  • Emerging Applications for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Across Global Government and Commercial Sectors - Research and Markets The significant potential and benefits of UAS have led to increasing implementation since the mid-1980s. Through the years, these platforms have proven successful on numerous missions, leading to growing popularity. UAS now has a significant role for numerous military units worldwide. A decrease in military expenditure has, however, nudged UAS manufacturers to look towards commercial markets. The shift from military implementation has and will be gradual. Government and law enforcement have begun the shift, pressuring regulatory bodies to finalise interim legislation. This will facilitate the commercialisation of the UAS and application thereof to fields such as precision agriculture and journalism.

  • Drone U (The New America Foundation) - The Drone Census Behind the headline grabbing drone news there is a complex ecosystem of users, industry, legislation, and research. Filter by the stakeholders driving the drone movement and zoom in on what's happening in your neighborhood. Includes interactive map.



The Domestic Drone Revolution: Risks and Rewards in Perspective
  • Date & Time: September 27, 2016, 10:00am - 12:15pm
  • Location: Hayek Auditorium
  • Host: Cato Insitute 

Event Description:  Multiple panel discussions exploring arming drones, persistent aerial surveillance, and the economic promise of drones. 

Legal & Regulatory Considerations of Drones & UAVs
  • Date & Time: Steptember 6, 2016
  • Location: Las Vegas, NV
  • Host: The Seminar Group 

Event Description:  Seminars on various topics relating to drones. 

Drone Regulation: For the Birds? Seeking a Better Approach to U.S. Drone Policy

Event Description:  Panel discussion of crucial questions on drone regulation. 

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Commercial Applications and Public Policy Implications

Event Description:  Hearing on “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles" 



U.S. Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Integration, Oversight, and Competitiveness

Event Description:  Hearing on “U.S. Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Integration, Oversight, and Competitiveness" 


Game of Drones: The Uses and Potential Abuses of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in the U.S. and Abroad
  • Date & Time: March 20, 2014, 1pm - 5pm
  • Location: Albany Law School
  • Host: Albany Law School 

Event Description: Presented by the Albany Government Law Review, Game of Drones will bring law professors, practicing attorneys and other experts together to discuss such topics as the use of drones for targeted killing, domestic drone use, and drone journalism.


Using Drones in the News and Entertainment Industries: The Legal and Regulatory Issues

Event Description: This groundbreaking event will focus on the legal and regulatory themes involved in the use of commercial drones (technically, remotely piloted aircraft systems or RPAS) for the purposes of news-gathering, media, advertising, and entertainment production.



Subcommittee on Aviation Hearing on 'The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012: Two Years Later'

Event Description: The Subcommittee on Aviation will meet on Wednesday, February 5, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. in 2167 Rayburn House Office Building to receive testimony from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General (DOT IG ), and Government Accountability Office (GAO) . The Subcommittee will hear from the witnesses regarding the progress the FAA has made in implementing provisions in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (Reform Act ) 1 in the last two years.


U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Hearing: The Future of Unmanned Aviation in the U.S. Economy: Safety and Privacy Considerations

Event Description: The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold a hearing on Wednesday, January 15, 2014, at 2:30 p.m. to examine the growth of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), commonly referred to as “drones”, in the United States, including the potential economic benefits of drone operations, and the progress of steps taken to facilitate the development of the industry through the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-95). The hearing will include consideration of safety and privacy issues surrounding the operation of drones in the United States.


News Of Interest

"Swarms of Drones, Piloted by Artificial Intelligence, May Soon Patrol Europe’s Borders," by Zach Campbell, The Intercept, May 11, 2019.

"Despite North Carolina Program, Runway Not Yet Clear for Widespread Use of Drones to Deliver Blood," by Kristen Rasmussen, Corporate Counsel, April 2, 2019.

"Pentagon Says All of Google’s Work on Drones Is Exempt From the Freedom of Information Act," by Sam Biddle, The Intercept, March 25, 2019.

"Who’s liable in a drone crash?," by Jeff Ellis, Texas Lawyer, March 12, 2019.

"Drones and the Fourth Amendment: Do ‘Eyes in the Sky’ See Too Much?," by Lauren Sonnenberg, The Crime Report, February 21, 2019.

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