Hide your kids, hide your wife, hide your grow op. Drones are flying across American skies and there's nothing we can do about it. The head of a drone company especially doesn't care about your privacy concerns because you don't have anything to hide, right?
Douglas MacDonald is the director of special operations and president of a North Dakota chapter of Unmanned Applications Institute International, a company that trains people how to fly and operate drones, and he really doesn't care about your privacy.
"If you're concerned about it, maybe there's a reason we should be flying over you, right?" is a question MacDonald proposed (rhetorically) to the Star Tribune's Mark Brunswick. "But as soon as you lose your kid, get your car stolen or have marijuana growing out at your lake place that's not yours, you'd probably want one of those flying overhead." Drones are becoming more and more common on domestic soil, and they're being used mostly for surveillance. The most common ones aren't big and gray like the ones the Army use, but instead resemble model airplanes.
If you'd like a full list of organizations that are legally allowed to operate drones in the U.S., you can go here. The story in which MacDonald gave that delightful quote is about the rise of drone use in North Dakota. The University of North Dakota was the first to offer a degree in piloting drones, and one was used recently to assist police in the arrest of a man who was in a 16 hour standoff. No one knows what role the drone played in the arrest, but a judge is expected to rule in a few days whether or not police were right to use the plane without a warrant.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.