The Rant: Drones and the law

You are sunbathing in your back yard while your children are playing in your pool, when a whirring sound overhead alerts you to a drone hovering over your property. You suspect that your privacy is being violated by a drone that is recording your private activities. What do you do?

According to California law it is illegal for the drone operator to fly over your property, but it is not a crime. Recent legislation criminalizing unauthorized surveillance of private property by drones was vetoed by Governor Brown. He justified his veto by essentially saying California doesn’t need more criminal statutes, not even to regulate drone abuse.

You can’t just shoot down the drone. It’s illegal to shoot down a drone even if it’s snooping by your bedroom window. Nearly all drones are subject to Federal Aviation Association (FAA) regulations, which exercise federal authority over national airspace, including unmanned aircraft systems (UASs or

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