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Drones In Civilian Airspace

Well, it finally happened! Starting in 2015, the US Federal Aviation Administration will allow the use of drones in civilian airspace. Some see it as the start of an exciting new technological era. But for others, it represents the beginning of the end of personal privacy. I'm Katherine Curtis, and this is a Naked News Commentary.

So far, the FAA is restricting drone testing to six states: New York, North Dakota, Alaska, Nevada, Texas, and Virginia. Makes sense - each location is geographically unique. There are all sorts of potential uses for commercial drones: weather forecasting, farming, firefighting, even tracking wildlife. It's shaping up to be a hugely lucrative business. Early estimates project the industry could be worth upwards of 10 billion dollars in the next three years and generate more than 70,000 jobs.

It sounds like a profitable future. But at what cost? Civil rights activists are understandably worried about drones being used to spy on people. And they may have a point. At a recent hearing in Congress, the chief of the FAA admitted he had no idea where this whole drone thing is heading. Not exactly the most reassuring revelation!

But one thing everyone from aviation experts to US senators can agree on is that the technology is growing much faster than the laws that govern it. Let's face it, regular old peeping Tom-type laws aren't going to cut it anymore. And with the Obama administration already embroiled in the NSA spying scandal, who's to say another branch of government won't use drones to keep tabs on people?

I'm not saying they will. But as the saying goes, "just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not watching you". What do you think? Will the use of drones in civilian life be a boon to our everyday lives, or the bane of our existence? Feedback@nakednews is where to reach me or post a comment to this topic on our Facebook fan page at