Breaking from Keith Olbermann's Countdown on CurrentTV:
(UPDATE 1: video of segment now viewable at bottom of diary)

The FAA is investigating Murdoch for flying a drone with a camera on it in the United States.

Forbes magazine reporting it. Using it to look at natural disasters among other things. They fly too low and are illegal.

Forbes also reporting that an ex-airforce official worked with Murdoch to make a drone that could capture cell phone signals, unlocked wi-fi signals, etc. Holy effing crap - Rupert thinks he's his own airforce! Smug bastard - kind makes me think of Borat going, "King of the castle! King of the castle!"


I will post the Forbes link the moment I find it

Here's the link to the Forbes article:


a small excerpt:

The News Corp’s The Daily has a drone that it’s sent out a few times, as noted by The Observer. After The Daily broadcast some incredible footage of Alabama after it was devastated by storms, UAS Vision reported that The Daily owns a MicroDrone MD4-1000. The Daily sent it out again in June to bring back video from Minot, North Dakota after intense flooding there. (Total non-sequitur: Drones can hack cell phones now, you know.)

Taking footage for news-gathering purposes seemed like a commercial use of a drone, which is a no-no, as I understand it. I followed up with the FAA asking if News Corp was one of the companies with an experimental certificate. The inquiry got lobbed to the FAA’s legal department…

“We are examining The Daily’s use of a small unmanned aircraft to see if it was in accordance with FAA policies,” said Les Dorr in an email today. A Daily spokesperson has not yet responded to an inquiry about ownership and licensing of the company’s drone.


Many thanks to Diogenes2008 for the Countdown clip:


A bit more on the law regarding private drones from G2geek in the comments:

Private drones are ILLEGAL in the US. This I know from reading articles about entrepreneurs and hobbyists who want to experiment with drones and remotely-piloted aircraft:  

There is a very narrow category open for experimentation, but it's not even wide enough to allow the hobbyists and entrepreneurs to get into the game.  Basically all it allows are the kinds of model airplanes you can operate from the ground while being able to see them at all times.   Nothing more.

If Murdoch and his minions are doing anything more than what hobbyists are already doing with RC model aircraft, he's in deep doodoo up to his evil eyeballs.  


A HUGE thanks to Keith Olbermann and Forbes Magazine for breaking this story.

Photo-illustration of German-made drone Forbes says Murdoch deployed in the US:
(h/t Flint for finding the company's website) (Fox logo added by diarist as visualization aid)


As Dood Abides points out in the comments, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), charged with investigating Murdoch's probable crimes involving the drone use, has just been partially shut down by the Republicans in Congress. I STRENUOUSLY doubt this is a coincidence.


Andrea Mitchell just said moments ago on MSNBC that this FAA shutdown has put 74,000 of their employees out of work. You tell me if that isn't a wrench in the works.

Double bonus for Murdoch: Hindering investigation of his crimes WHILE making US unemployment rate/economy that much crappier.


Murdoch has launched other drones besides that nifty German model. He has also deployed a Parrot AR.Drone “quadricopter”, which sounds from its description to be equally Orwellian:

From The New York Observer:

Sources say the publication (Murdoch's The Daily) is experimenting with an investigative secret weapon—namely, the Parrot AR.Drone “quadricopter” that all the geek blogs salivated over when it debuted at CES early this year.

The Parrot does indeed look pretty cool. It comes equipped with two cameras (one facing forward, for steering; another facing down, for those OJ-in-the-Bronco news moments), an on-board WiFi transmitter, two interchangeable hulls, and an “ultrasound altimeter.” Best of all, it can be controlled with an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad (synergy!).

link to article:


Is Rupert Murdoch pressuring/muscling the FAA to get them to change the law before he gets pinched for it? Efforts are under way in both Nevada and Oklahoma to get the drone laws changed! Giant h/t to kurious who found the link in the Forbes article. And here is an excerpt:

I have been blogging about Nevada's efforts to pave the way toward driverless vehicles in that state. Nevada recently become the first state to pass a law tasking the Department of Motorvehicles with developing a set of standards to license autonomous driving on the state's highways. In other words, Nevada is hoping for an early mover advantage in cornering this emerging technology.

Reports are now surfacing that Oklahoma has taken steps to reserve an air corridor for the domestic use of autonomous drones. If approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, this would free up an 80 mile stretch for the military, hobbyists, and others to operate drones in U.S. airspace. One estimate places the number of domestic drones at 15,000 by 2018.

link: http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/...

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