US Justice Department gives new guidance to federal agencies on intercepting rogue drones

A statement by the US Attorney General directed at official US agencies says they can intercept drone communications and seek approval to use counter drone technologies for asset protection.

The new guidance issued by the Department of Justice guidance to its agencies relates to the use of counter-unmanned aircraft systems (C-UAS). In the Preventing Emerging Threats Acts of 2018, Congress provided the DOJ and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with the necessary legal authorities to detect, track, and mitigate threats from small UAS, according to a report published by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI). The latest guidance, which DOJ released on 13 April 2020, outlines the process to request designation of facilities or assets to protect with the technology.

In addition, agencies need to coordinate with the US Department of Transportation and the FAA when any C-UAS action might affect aviation safety, operations, aircraft airworthiness and the use of the airspace. They are also required to provide personnel with training on privacy and civil liberty matters, as well as testing and procurement processes. The guidance applies to DOJ agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Agency and the US Marshals services.

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