The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), claiming the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) did not provide requested records of last November’s drone registration task force meetings, has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the agency. Filed yesterday, the lawsuit alleges that on Nov. 6, 2015, EPIC faxed
Filed yesterday, the lawsuit alleges that on Nov. 6, 2015, EPIC faxed a FOIA request to the DOT in which it sought “[a]ll documents related to the November 3-5, 2015 Task Force meeting, including, but not limited to, meeting minutes, paper or electronic handouts, and presentations.” EPIC says the DOT confirmed the receipt of the request three days later; however, 147 days later, the organization has still not obtained the records.
The DOT and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) first announced their drone registration initiative at an Oct. 19 press conference, where the agencies said they would be organizing a task force of industry stakeholders to come up with recommendations for the registration process.
EPIC notes that the DOT and FAA did not include “any public interest organizations or privacy experts” and that the group “met in secret” because their three-day discussions were not open to the public. The group’s recommendations were revealed in a public report a few weeks later.
In the comments, EPIC said it “has repeatedly warned the FAA of the privacy and civil liberties risks posed by the deployment of drones in the United States” and urged the agency to “move quickly to establish a nationwide drone registration system.”
Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of guys. The FAA has been playing it fast and loose. And as a result they are succeeding in getting the light to shine where no one really wants to look.
Yes they’ve got a nasty tiger by the tail but rules is rules (I honestly never, ever thought I would say that =) The lack of public comment, now stuffing the ARC and on needs to stop. It is going to be very interesting to watch them scramble to deal with the 2016 Reauthorization if it looks like what came out of the Senate.