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Members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee introduce bill to act on emerging threats associated with drones

On 14th May 2018, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Ranking Member Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), and Sens. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) introduced the Preventing Emerging Threats Act of 2018.

The bill provides the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) with the authorities they need to protect buildings and assets when there is an unacceptable security risk to public safety posed by a drone or other unmanned aircraft.

“The threats posed by malicious unmanned aircraft are too great to ignore,” said Chairman Johnson. “It is not enough to just tell drone operators not to fly in certain high-risk areas; we must give federal law enforcement the authority to act if necessary. By providing the DOJ and DHS with more tools in their toolbox to keep up with emerging security threats we are working towards our shared goal of a safer and more prosperous America.”

“Advances in technology improve the lives of all Americans, but those advances can also create new ways for terrorists and other bad actors to attack our country,” Ranking Member McCaskill said. “This bill is about ensuring that we can quickly and responsibly respond to those emerging threats and keep communities and families around the country safe.”

The bill also requires DHS to conduct several assessments to evaluate emerging threats that drones may pose to state or private critical infrastructure entities.

The bill text can be found here (PDF).

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