AMA Member Brendan Schulman comments on proposed New York legislation

It is useful to ponder what problem, if any, is trying to be solved by the proposed legislation.  If it’s so-called “peeping,” there is already an unlawful surveillance law on the books in Article 250 of the Penal Code, and it is technology-neutral as it should be.  If it is “stalking,” that is covered in Article 120 of the Penal Code.  There are also existing provisions for criminal nuisance (Article 240) and reckless endangerment (Article 120).  Tort law remedies are available if someone is actually injured by a drone (I believe that is exceedingly rare) or if property is damaged, just like it is for a baseball that is thrown through a window.  If the proposed legislation restricts the development and use of technology without solving an actual problem, it is a detriment to the state and its residents.  Not only do people fly model aircraft (drones) near schools and other areas on the list for purely innocuous recreational purposes that inspire careers in aviation (e.g. Burt Rutan), but many of the people who do so are also students engaged in science programs, including engineering and robotics.  Here is a middle school team that recently won a “drones for good” competition in Atlanta.



Brendan Schulman

(Written in my personal capacity only.  I am a resident of New Jersey.)