The Domestic Drone Revolution: Risks and Rewards in Perspective

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Date and Time
September 27, 2016 10 AM - 12:15 PM EDT
Hayek Auditorium, Cato Institute
Panelists include Tim Adelman, attorney, LeclairRyan; Kristi Lane Scott, Deputy Director, Office of Privacy & Civil Liberties, United States Department of Justice; Patrick Eddington, policy analyst, homeland security and civil liberties, Cato Institute; Matthew Feeney, policy analyst at the Cato Institute; Travis R. Hall, telecommunications policy analyst, National Telecommunications and Information Administration; Arthur Holland Michel, co‐​director of the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College; Don Roby, training program manager, Airborne Law Enforcement Association; Stephanie Spear, commercial regulatory policy representative, National Association of Realtors; Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst at the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project; and Justin Towles, vice president, regulatory and legislative affairs, American Association of Airport Executives.

As of 2016 over a million drones have been sold in America—to individual consumers, private companies, nonprofits, universities, and law enforcement organizations at the local, state, and federal levels. New regulatory schemes—some mandatory, others voluntary—have been implemented to help these stakeholders manage the safety, privacy, and operational concerns expressed about the use of drones domestically. But recent developments raise critical questions about whether the full range of the possibilities—and the perils—of domestic drone use have been explored.

The recent mass shooting incident in Dallas involved the first use of an armed unmanned system on U.S. soil. Will the precedent lead police to seek to use aerial armed drones in the future? Technology is allowing drones to stay aloft for hours, even days at a time. Will such capabilities lead to persistent, pervasive aerial surveillance? And what about the economic promise of drones? How are they being used now in the commercial sector? Have aviation safety concerns been adequately addressed? Our panelists will explore these issues in depth.

10:00–10:05AM Opening Remarks
10:05–11:05AM Panel 1: Drones, Law Enforcement, and Civil Liberties

Tim Adelman, Attorney, LeclairRyan
Kristi Lane Scott, Deputy Director, Office of Privacy & Civil Liberties, United States Department of Justice
Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst at the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project
Don Roby, Training Program Manager, Airborne Law Enforcement Association
Moderated by Matthew Feeney, Policy Analyst, Cato Institute

11:10AM–12:15PM Panel 2: Drones: Commercial Applications and the Regulatory Landscape

Arthur Holland Michel, Center for the Study of the Drone, Bard College
Justin Towles, Vice President, Regulatory and Legislative Affairs, American Association of Airport Executives
Stephanie Spear, Commercial Regulatory Policy Representative, National Association of Realtors
Travis R. Hall, Telecommunications Policy Analyst, National Telecommunications and Information Administration
Moderated by Patrick Eddington, Policy Analyst, Homeland Security and Civil Liberties, Cato Institute

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