Visitors look at a rotary unmanned aerial vehicle drone at Israel's International Security and Defense Exhibition in Tel Aviv, on March 22. The White House announced a national plan to address use of drones. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo
April 25 (UPI) -- The White House on Monday released its first national plan to address potential illegal activities by drones meant to protect airspace, privacy and civil rights.
The Domestic Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems National Action Plan seeks an expansion of safeguards regarding the use of drones where the law has not caught up with technology and called on Congress to fill in current legal and law enforcement gaps.
"UAS serve many beneficial commercial and recreational purposes," the White House said in a statement. "As has been the case with many technological advances, they can also be exploited for pernicious purposes.
"To protect our homeland and prevent their growing use from threatening the safety and security of our people, our communities and our institutions, this Counter-UAS National Action Plan will set new ground rules for the expanding uses of UAS and improve our defenses against the exploitation of UAS for inappropriate or dangerous purposes."
The plan calls for reauthorizing and expanding existing counter‑UAS authorities for the Homeland Security, Justice, Defense and State departments along with the CIA and NASA in limited situations.
The plans called for the establishment of a list of government authorized detection equipment, approved by federal security and regulatory agencies, to guide authorized entities in purchasing UAS detection systems in order to avoid the risks of inadvertent disruption to airspace or the communications spectrum.
The administration said it wants to create a National Counter-UAS training center to increase training accessibility and promote interagency cross-training and collaboration and an incident tracking database to have a better understanding of the overall domestic threats by drones.
The White House said it will work with Congress to enact a comprehensive criminal statute that sets clear standards for legal and illegal uses, closes loopholes in existing federal law and establishes adequate penalties to deter the most serious UAS-related crimes.
The plan said the White House will seek to work with the international community address issues globally.