Ever since drones reached the civilian market, they’ve managed to challenge our traditional notions of property rights and privacy. They will continue to do so as the cost of these gadgets drop, and more people consider buying them. At some point, we’ll have to decide where the boundaries of our personal space are going to lie, in a future filled with drones.
Those conditions are being debated right now after New York resident John Thompson decided to fly his drone over a house that had caught fire. He was filming the situation for about 10 minutes before the firefighters decided they’d had enough, and tried blasting the drone out of the sky with their water hose. Skip to the 12 minute mark to see the incident.
Thompson is now claiming that the fire department damaged his drone, and is demanding reimbursement. The police on the other hand, are trying to figure out if he broke any laws by filming a private residence. Thompson defended his actions on Facebook, saying “If the press is allowed to film a fire call I have the same right to do this. Look for the law that says I can’t.”
Aside from the hypocrisy of government officials questioning his right to “spy” on a private residence, do you think his actions were legal, or even ethical? Is this a case of citizen journalism, or did Thompson cross the line by surveilling private property, and interfering with the fire department?
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Contributed by Joshua Krause of The Daily Sheeple.
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger .