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Daily Archives: December 13, 2015

Drone Sightings and Close Encounters: An Analysis

“The Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College is an interdisciplinary research institution founded in 2012 that examines the novel and complex opportunities and challenges presented by unmanned technologies in both the military and civilian sphere.” Drone Sightings and Close Encounters: An Analysis, Dan Gettinger, Arthur Holland Michel. 2015.

“This report represents the result of a comprehensive and detailed analysis of incidents involving unmanned aircraft and manned aircraft in the U.S. National Airspace System. We have collected records of 921 incidents involving drones and manned aircraft in the national airspace, dating from December 17, 2013 to September 12, 2015. We have organized these reports into two categories: Sightings, incidents in which a pilot or an air traffic controller spotted a drone flying within or near the flight paths of manned aircraft though not posing an immediate threat of collision, and Close Encounters, where a manned aircraft came close enough to a drone that it met the Federal Aviation Administration’s definition of a “near midair collision” or close enough that there was a possible danger of collision, even if an exact drone-to-aircraft distance was not reported. By these criteria, 35.5 percent of the incidents were Close Encounters, and 64.5 percent were Sightings. We found that over 90 percent of all incidents occurred above 400 feet, the maximum altitude at which drones are allowed to fly. A majority of the total incidents occurred within five miles of an airport (which is also prohibited airspace for all drones, regardless of the altitude at which they are flying). Incidents within five miles of airports occurred at lower altitudes than incidents beyond five miles of an airport. Our findings indicate that incidents largely occur in areas where manned air traffic density is high and where drone use is prohibited. We counted 158 incidents in which a drone came within 200 feet or less of a manned aircraft (two-thirds of all Close Encounters in which a concrete drone-to-aircraft proximity is given), 51 incidents in which the proximity was 50 feet or less, and 28 incidents in which a pilot maneuvered to avoid a collision with a drone. One hundred and sixteen of the Close Encounters involved multi engine jet aircraft, 90 of which were commercial aircraft (the majority of which have the capacity to carry 50 or more passengers). We also counted 38 Close Encounter incidents involving helicopters. The reports do not always clearly identify the type of drone involved in incidents, but of the 340 drones that were identified in the reports, 246 were multirotors (i.e. quadcopters, hexacopters, etc.) and 76 were fixed-wing. The locations with the highest number of incidents were large metropolitan areas. Two – thirds of incidents happened between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., local time…”

Modern Military Justice: Cases and Materials

Maggs, Gregory E. and Schenck, Lisa M., Modern Military Justice: Cases and Materials (2015). Modern Military Justice: Cases and Materials, 2nd Edition, 2015; GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2015-49; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015-49. Available for download at SSRN: “This textbook is about the modern military justice system of… Continue Reading

CDC – Landlines have ceded role to mobile

Wireless Substitution: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, January–June 2015 “Preliminary results from the January–June2015 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) indicate that the number of American homes with only wireless telephones continues to grow. Nearly one – half of American homes (47.4 %) had only wireless telephones (also known as cellular… Continue Reading

Details of NSA use of NSL to obtain ISP data released

ArsTechnica – “For the first time, as part of a First Amendment lawsuit, a federal judge ordered the release of what the FBI was seeking from a small ISP as part of an NSL. Among other things, the FBI was demanding a target’s complete Web browsing history, IP addresses of everyone a person has corresponded… Continue Reading

NY Gov Signs Executive Order Expediting Freedom of Information Law Appeals Process

“Governor Andrew M. Cuomo [on December 13, 2015]  signed an executive order to expedite the freedom of information law appeals process. The order fast-tracks FOIL appeals by requiring that all state agencies file notice of an appeal, settle the record on appeal, and file a brief within 60 days, absent extraordinary circumstances outside agency control.… Continue Reading

NY AG Requests Users Submit Internet Speed Data as Part of Internet Provider Probe

News release: “Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced his office has launched an online form where New Yorkers can test and then submit data on the Internet speeds they are receiving at home. In October, the Attorney General sent letters to Time Warner Cable, Verizon and Cablevision asking for documents related to whether the Internet… Continue Reading