Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen M. Nielsen, wrote in an op-ed piece, that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been worrying about the dangers of drones for years; so much so, that DHS has sought legal authority in the past (and continues to do so) to protect the U.S. and its citizens from corrupted drones. After the attack on Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro [view related post], Nielsen tweeted a link to this op-ed piece that had been published earlier this summer in the Washington Post.
Nielsen said that the technology is outpacing the U.S.’s ability to respond to drone threats. She says, “Without congressional action, the U.S. government will remain unable to identity, track and mitigate weaponized or dangerous drones in our skies.” Currently, DHS and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have limited capabilities when it comes to rogue drones. Largely, DHS, and DOJ lack updated tools to monitor and mitigate inbound threats in the national airspace. She added in her piece, “DHS should be able to access signals being transmitted between a nefarious drone and its ground controller to accurately geolocate both quickly. This could allow authorities to take control of the device or stop its operator on the ground to prevent a potential attack. Yet, current legal constraints prohibit us from doing so and from addressing other drone-threat scenarios, such as drone configured to operate without a human operator, which will require a separate set of solutions.”
Nielsen urges the legislature, “[L]et’s make sure [drones] don’t become an everyday threat.”