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.

The FTC’s Annual Privacy and Data Security Update Highlights Enforcement and a Busy Future

On January 18, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released its Annual Privacy and Data Security Update, which highlights the agency’s enforcement efforts and puts companies on notice that the FTC will remain vigilant about new products and services.  As noted in its release, the FTC “is the nation’s primary privacy and data security enforcer and one of the most active privacy and data security enforcers in the world.” 

Autonomous Vehicles Are Coming…But How Will A Nation of Car Lovers React?

This week marked the public opening of “NAIAS,” the North American International Auto Show, which is the grand and proper name for the Detroit manufacturers’ hometown show.  But while Detroit has emphasized investments in autonomous and connected vehicle technologies, including with a splash at CES earlier this month, you’d be forgiven for wondering where all the driverless tech was on the show floor itself.

DOT Shifts Gears to Consider Future Infrastructure Needs of Automated Vehicles

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released a request for information (RFI) on infrastructure and automated driving systems (ADS).  Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao signaled at CES that the agency would release four RFIs focused on accelerating development and consumer adoption of ADS, and this is the first of the series.  Comments are due March 5, 2018. 

Cyber Attack Highlights Risks to Industrial Control Systems and Potential for Real-World Consequences

A recent cyber attack at an unnamed critical infrastructure location consisted of malware capable of causing real-world physical damage, according to a report released by the security firm FireEye.  While forensic investigators have not publicly attributed the incident to a specific threat actor, FireEye believes “the activity is consistent with a nation state preparing for an attack.”  

Just in Time for the Holidays, Drone Registration is Back

Thinking of gifting a drone this holiday season?  Drone owners should be aware that a new law brings back Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules requiring hobbyists to register their drones.  The application of the FAA’s drone registration rules to hobbyist drone owners had previously been vacated by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in the Taylor v. Huerta case. 

NIST’s Second Draft of Version 1.1 of the Cybersecurity Framework Would Apply to IoT Devices

On December 5, 2017, NIST released the much-anticipated second draft of its Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity Version 1.1 (“Framework Version 1.1 Draft 2” or “Draft 2”), along with a draft companion Roadmap for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity Version 1.1 (“Roadmap”), and a Fact Sheet on the proposed update.