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WP: Stadiums See Drones As Major Threat
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Mark The Droner
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The following article was in this morning's Washington Post (print edition) - here are some highlights and a link is below...

On the Sunday after Thanksgiving, Sacramento resident Tracy Mapes drove to Santa Clara, flew a drone over Levi’s Stadium and dropped a payload of leaflets espousing his conspiracy theories over the San Francisco 49ers-Seattle Seahawks game.

He then headed across the Bay to the Oakland Raiders game intent on doing the same.

A year ago this month , a San Diego bartender crashed his drone into a fan at the Padres’ Petco Park.

While Mapes was later arrested and the bartender was fined, team security and local police were unable to stop the flights — whether with high-tech jammers or other means .

“Federal law prohibits local law enforcement from disarming or disabling drones, even if they are in restricted airspace,” said National Football League Senior Vice President Jocelyn Moore. “This loophole in federal law puts the safety and security of millions of sports fans and eventgoers at risk.”

The same prohibitions also apply to the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and most other federal agencies.

The Trump administration on Wednesday tapped 10 pilot projects, from mosquito control in Florida to food delivery in California, that it hopes will offer lessons for how to sharply expand drone use nationwide. But major league teams are increasingly anxious about the more than 1 million drones that government officials estimate are already in use. They are asking Congress to give local law enforcement permission to seize or reroute drones flying over stadiums. And they are trying to get in a position to protect themselves.

...

“There’s technology out there that we can use, and we do use,” said Cathy L. Lanier, the NFL’s senior vice president of security, including tools to detect when drones are flying nearby. “But the technology we really need is not yet legal to use.”

The Defense Department was freed over the past two years, in certain cases, from prohibitions against intercepting electronic communications and “sabotaging” aircraft to address drone threats.

The Trump administration has proposed giving the departments of Homeland Security and Justice similar powers.

...

Lanier said the incident at the 49ers game was just the latest reminder of the risk. “There are a lot of other things that could have been delivered that way that could have been a lot worse.”

...

The FAA fiercely guards its control of U.S. airspace, and officials there say such consistency contributes to the nation’s stellar safety record. Allowing aircraft — in this case, drones — to be interrupted raises safety issues, some aviation experts said.

...

FBI director Christopher A. Wray, testifying before a Senate panel in September, noted terrorists’ use of drones overseas and said, “I think the expectation is it’s coming here imminently.”

...

Mapes posted videos showing test runs of his leaflet drops in the days before he headed for the 49ers game. “I had bombed the Sacramento Area, Capitol TV Stations for 1 month prior to the 2 NFL games in November,” he wrote in an exchange of messages with The Washington Post.

...

“These leaflets were passed out in quite a scary way for us,” Santa Clara police Capt. Wahid Kazem said. “We’re not only worried about what is coming down from the sky from this thing. We’re worried about how people are reacting to that in the seats.”

Even spooking a tiny fraction of the crowd could lead to tragedy, he said.

“You get 500, which is just a drop of what’s in there, running or trying to get out of the seats and into the aisle and into the concourse and out the door — you’re probably going to have people falling, injured, trampled,” Kazem said.

...

Authorities found Mapes near the coliseum, and he was later charged with a misdemeanor. Federal officials opened an investigation, which continues.

Mapes once worked in news video and now lives in an 8-by-7-foot shed after his rent was raised, he said.








2018-5-13
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Mark The Droner
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Mapes once worked in news video and now lives in an 8-by-7-foot shed...


I'm sure this is just a coincidence.  The next guy who flies over a stadium and drops leaflets will be a bank president.
2018-5-13
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AlanHd
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A small amount of idiots are going to end up making it so we can’t fly anywhere
2018-5-13
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