FAA Rule It a Federal Crime to Shoot Down a Drone

Almost a year ago now William H Meredith noticed a drone flying above his property, so with his shotgun, he removed it from the sky. This raised an interesting legal debate, given the drone was above his property at the time it was shot down, was it wrong of him to shoot it down or was the drone user invading his privacy? The FAA have now revealed the answer, saying it is a federal crime to shoot down a drone.

Meredith defended his actions saying that not only was the drone invading his privacy but that of his two daughters in his garden. David Boggs, the drones owner, however, states that he was flying the drone to take pictures of a friend’s house and even sued Meredith for the cost of the drone and then some.

Due to the FAA’s latest drone registry scheme, drones are deemed as aircraft, the same as any manned aircraft in the air. As a result, the FAA responded to a question confirming that shooting down a drone is a federal crime, citing 18 U.S.C. 32 titled Aircraft Sabotage. This escalates to the point where if you are deemed to be interfering with someone who is “engaged in the authorised operation of such aircraft” you could find yourself facing anywhere between five and twenty years in prison.

While no one has yet to be charged for this act, many drones have been shut down and people are now wondering where can you draw the line? Given that specialist task forces are being formed to deal with the threat of drones, both on people and on manned aircraft, is it ever justified to defend yourself from the threat of a drone?

Judge Supports Man Who Shot Down Drone

Drones are a hot topic, with both laws and companies trying to catch up on an evolving and increasingly more accessible market for the public. Back in August we posted about William Meredith, a resident in the USA, who after spotting a drone flying above his property, was prompted to shoot it down.

Meredith cited his right to privacy, stating that the drone was flying above his property on an afternoon while his daughters were in the back garden playing. It would appear that the Judge, deciding on Monday that the drone did, in fact, invade his privacy, giving him a right to shoot it. The judge made this decision given the two witnesses who testified that the UAV flew below the tree line of Meredith’s property.

The drone pilot and owner, David Boggs, is less than happy with this decision, stating that the Judge completely ignored video footage of the drone flying 200 feet above the ground. Aside from this drama Meredith states that his neighbours saw the drone making several flights over his land, explaining that the video could have come from a different flight and cannot be used to prove that it was the only flight or that all of them took the same pattern.

With the law trying to catch up with technology, instances like this may soon refer to this case a president for what to do when people take action to prevent drones on their property. We do not recommend though that you start using anti-drone weaponry on anything that flies near your house.

BitTorrent Wants to Offer More P2P Freedom on Mobile Devices With New App

BitTorrent just announced a new mobile app named Shoot that is based around P2P connectivity between individuals. While this sounds good to some people, others may think that this is a new means to start a piracy war on mobile devices. I mean, come on? Secure Peer-to-Peer connectivity on mobile devices and BitTorrent? What’s next, The Mobile Bay?

The company may have good intentions for releasing their new Shoot app to anyone looking to transfer photos and some big videos on the go, but I’m fairly sure the app will not be used exactly for what they have in mind. BitTorrent Shoot is said to be based on their Sync technology already available on all major mobile devices.

“Shoot allows you to send photos or videos directly between mobile devices, no matter what device you use or what network you’re on. Based on BitTorrent Sync technology, large items are no problem. And since files move directly between people without going through the cloud, it’s all fully private to you and the recipient.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOaOycHcNO0

BitTorrent Shoot is available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone and allows 3 sends for free. If you like to send more, you have to couch up $1.99. A good thing about it is that you can receive an unlimited number of files, even if you haven’t bought it. So what do you think? Is it really worth its price?

Image courtesy of BitTorrent

Colorado Police Cites Guy for Shooting His Computer

We have all been there, the old computer that should have been retired years ago is creating nothing but trouble. It bugs, hang, crashes and generally just doesn’t want to do as it should, and you get frustrated.

A man from Colorado Springs had that feeling and felt the frustration especially hard. The end-result after months of trouble, he shot his computer.

The police were called when people heard gunfire and after some initial investigation the police found the perpetrator. But it wasn’t a gang fight, robbery, or angry partner that caught the lover with another person, it was just a frustrated PC owner.

The 37-year-old Luca Hinch had taken his PC into a back alley after months of frustrations and yet another fight with his system. He couldn’t take it anymore and he simply shot it. I can count eight bullet holes, so it looks like he emptied his entire clip into the system.

Computers as such have no legal rights in our justice system, but it is illegal to just discharge your firearm within city limits, at least in Colorado. The man was cited for discharging the firearm within city limits, but won’t have to face any PC-slaughter allegations.

Thanks to KOAA5 for providing us with this information

Watch a Laser Cannon Shoot Down a Drone

The US Navy has a big new toy – the USS Ponce with its massive laser cannon.

This giant cannon can shoot objects from great distance, moving at speed and with incredible accuracy. In one of their tests in the video bellow, they fire at an object aboard a boat, alongside a dummy that comes away completely unscathed thanks to the laser’s precise shot.

Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder, chief of naval research, said:

“We ran this particular weapon, a prototype, through some extremely tough paces, and it locked on and destroyed the targets we designated with near-instantaneous lethality. Laser weapons are powerful, affordable and will play a vital role in the future of naval combat operations.”

Source: Gizmodo