The Oregon Legislature is poised to strictly limit the use of unmanned drones in Oregon airspace this week, as the threat of machines monitoring American citizens from the skies has gripped imaginations on the right and left.
The legislature will consider its drone regulations on Wednesday, even as the issue gains national traction. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) made domestic drones a centerpiece of his 12-hour filibuster on March 6. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) has pushed the case that Americans need greater protections from military and spying skycraft.
One company in Clackamas County isn't waiting.
Amy Ciesielka of Oregon City founded Domestic Drone Countermeasures LLC in February to build anti-drone boxes designed to disable the machines from the ground.
The company caught the eye of U.S. News and World Report on March 15.
"We've already had many inquiries," Timothy Faucett, an engineer for the company, told the magazine, "a lot of people saying 'Hey, I don't want these drones looking at me.'"
Faucett told U.S. News that the anti-drone technology isn't meant to combat military drones, but smaller police monitoring.
"We envision it could be cheap enough for residential use very soon," he says. "It's quite possible to deploy it if you were shooting a movie and wanted to protect your set, or if you had a house in Malibu and wanted to protect that, we could deploy it there. If a huge company like Google wanted to protect its server farms, it can be scaled up for a larger, fixed installation."
Clackamas County has become a hotbed of drone preparation, on both sides.
The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office has applied with the Federal Aviation Administration for a drone license. It tells WW it wants to use drones for training and search-and-rescue.