Four Key Points for Regulators in the Wake of the First Self-Driving Car Pedestrian Fatality

Somber news out of Arizona this week as an autonomous Volvo modified and operated by Uber reportedly struck and killed a pedestrian.  Although this is not the first fatality in which a self-driving car played a role, this incident marks the first time a pedestrian has been killed by a car employing self-driving technology. 

“Open for Business” – FAA Encourages Industry-Driven Innovation in Lieu of Rulemakings at Annual UAS Symposium

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) held its third annual UAS Symposium last week in Baltimore, Maryland, in conjunction with the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).  As in past years, the Symposium brought together stakeholders from across the unmanned aircraft system (UAS) community to collaborate on how to move unmanned operations forward.

Will Congress Issue an Invitation to Hack the Department of Homeland Security?

On March 7, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is scheduled to hold a business meeting to consider H.R. 2825, the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act (“DHS Reauthorization Act”).  This bill passed the House of Representatives on July 20, 2017, and, if signed into law, would be the first reauthorization of the Department of Homeland Security since its authorization in 2002.

Suing over Technology Security Still Requires Standing, but For How Long?

We continue to see concern over technology and security, with an increasing focus on the Internet of Things (IoT).  Courts are becoming a popular forum for these disputes, with class-action litigants, like those in Edenborough et al v. ADT, LLC et al, No. 3:16-cv-02233 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 25, 2016), hoping that the courts will step in to set technology policy. 

NIST Hosts Second Botnet Workshop

Last week, the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) hosted its second workshop on enhancing resilience of the Internet and communications ecosystem.  The workshop focused on substantive comments from stakeholders on the draft Report to the President on Enhancing the Resilience of the Internet and Communications Ecosystem Against Botnets and Other Automated, Distributed Threats.  This is the last workshop before the final report is due to the President on May 11, 2018.

WRC-19 Insights March 2018 Roundtable

Please join our March 2018 WRC-19 Insights roundtable, where we will discuss with both industry and government officials the framework of the WRC-19. This will include providing roundtable participants with an overview and lessons learned from previous conferences, as well as reviewing the process of how to advocate positions and impact the outcome of this major global conference.

DOJ’s New Cyber Task Force Can Address IoT

On February 20, 2018, the Attorney General announced the creation of a Cyber-Digital Task Force within the Department of Justice (DOJ).  The Task Force will assess “the many ways that the Department is combatting the global cyber threat, and will also identify how federal law enforcement can more effectively accomplish its mission in this vital and evolving area.”  It will draw from numerous components across the Department and be managed by a chair appointed by the Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein. 

Botnet Report Comments Urge Additional Protections for Collaboration

With the proliferation of connected devices and services, policymakers are looking at creative ways to address threats, including through stronger collaboration and information disclosures. But stakeholders are pointing out barriers like legal liability and regulatory uncertainty, and calling for more creative solutions.  As the federal government advises the President on next steps, liability protection is an issue to watch.

Autonomous Drones Make It Easier to Fly, But Harder to Comply?

There is finally an autonomous selfie drone to help you take videos of yourself doing all of the things that your Instagram followers may or may not care about.  California-based start-up Skydio has unveiled the R1, a “fully autonomous flying camera” that uses 13 cameras and a supercomputer to “make intelligent decisions, plan real-time movements, and navigate complex environments” to capture 4K video of its subject.

Aerospace Industries Association Petitions FCC for Rulemaking on UAS Spectrum

On February 8, 2018, the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) filed a Petition for Rulemaking with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) regarding adoption of licensing and service rules for Control and Non-Payload Communications (CNPC) links in the 5030-5091 MHz band for command and control (C2) operations to support unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones).

UAS Integration Pilot Program Proposals Envision Medical Supply Delivery and Precise 3D Mapping

The final deadline has passed for applications to the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) and Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Integration Pilot Program.  Since the program was officially launched on November 8, 2017, the FAA has received over 200 lead applications from government entities and over 2800 notices from interested parties hoping to participate in the program. 

Drone Operator Near McCarran Airport Avoids Colliding with Plane, But Is Less Likely to Avoid Enforcement

Footage emerged on Friday of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operating directly above a commercial airplane making its descent into McCarran Airport in Las Vegas.  A local news outlet reported that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is currently investigating the incident, which raises serious questions under both federal and state law.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Way for Public Safety – and Commercial Entities – to Operate Unmanned Aircraft in the Washington, DC Area

People in the National Capital Region are probably aware of the restrictions of manned flights over the District of Columbia and parts of Virginia and Maryland.  The FAA imposes security-driven airspace restrictions nationwide via Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs), Prohibited Areas, and other mechanisms, but the Capital Region also has its own specific set of restrictions: the Washington, DC Flight Restricted Zone (DC FRZ) and Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) restrictions.