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Civilian Drones, Privacy, and the Federal-State Balance

October 2, 2014 Comments off

Civilian Drones, Privacy, and the Federal-State Balance
Source: Brookings Institution

Some say the federal government should be principally responsible for regulating drones, nongovernmental actors, and privacy; others have suggested a blended approach, with states taking center stage and the national government cast in a supporting role. This essay takes essentially the latter position. As drones are folded further into American airspace, states should take the initiative, both by applying longstanding liability rules and by devising new ones. But we also should take advantage of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (“FAA”) small but growing competence in nongovernmental drones and privacy—and have the agency perform a kind of superintendence function.

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CRS — The No Fly List: Procedural Due Process and Hurdles to Litigation (September 18, 2014)

October 1, 2014 Comments off

The No Fly List: Procedural Due Process and Hurdles to Litigation (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

In order to protect national security, the government maintains various terrorist watchlists, including the “No Fly” list, which contains the names of individuals to be denied boarding on commercial airline flights. Travelers on the No Fly list are not permitted to board an American airline or any flight on a foreign air carrier that lands or departs from U.S. territory or flies over U.S. airspace. Some persons have claimed that their alleged placement on the list was the result of an erroneous determination by the government that they posed a national security threat. In some cases, it has been reported that persons have been prevented from boarding an aircraft because they were mistakenly believed to be on the No Fly list, sometimes on account of having a name similar to another person who was actually on the list. As a result, various legal challenges to placement on the list have been brought in court.

New From the GAO

September 30, 2014 Comments off

New From the GAO
Source: Government Accountability Office
Reports

1. Afghanistan Equipment Drawdown: Progress Made, but Improved Controls in Decision Making Could Reduce Risk of Unnecessary Expenditures. GAO-14-768, September 30.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-768
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666236.pdf

2. Bureau of Prisons: Information on Efforts and Potential Options to Save Costs. GAO-14-821, September 30.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-821
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666255.pdf

3. Unmanned Aerial Systems: Department of Homeland Security’s Review of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Use and Compliance with Privacy and Civil Liberty Laws and Standards. GAO-14-849R, September 30.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-849R

4. Elections: Observations on Wait Times for Voters on Election Day 2012. GAO-14-850, September 30.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-850
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666251.pdf

Press Release

1. GAO Makes Appointment to PCORI Governing Board. September 30.
http://www.gao.gov/press/pcori_governing_board_2014sep30.htm

Drones — U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx Announces FAA Exemptions for Commercial UAS Movie and TV Production

September 30, 2014 Comments off

U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx Announces FAA Exemptions for Commercial UAS Movie and TV Production
Source: Federal Aviation Administration

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced that the Federal Aviation Administration has granted regulatory exemptions to six aerial photo and video production companies, the first step to allowing the film and television industry the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System. Secretary Foxx made the announcement on a conference call with FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and Chris Dodd, chairman and chief executive officer of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc.

Secretary Anthony Foxx also determined that the UAS to be used in the proposed operations do not need an FAA-issued certificate of airworthiness based on a finding they do not pose a threat to national airspace users or national security. Those findings are permitted under Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012.

New From the GAO

September 25, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office
1. Aviation: Impact of Fuel Price Increases on the Aviation Industry. GAO-14-331, September 25.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-331
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666127.pdf

2. Data Center Consolidation: Reporting Can Be Improved to Reflect Substantial Planned Savings. GAO-14-713, September 25.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-713
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666122.pdf

3. Cloud Computing: Additional Opportunities and Savings Need to Be Pursued. GAO-14-753, September 25.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-753
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666132.pdf

4. Overseas Real Property: State Department Needs to Improve Guidance and Records Management. GAO-14-769, September 25.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-769
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666159.pdf

5. Littoral Combat Ship: Navy Complied with Regulations in Accepting Two Lead Ships, but Quality Problems Persisted after Delivery. GAO-14-827, September 25.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-827
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666100.pdf

New From the GAO

September 18, 2014 Comments off

New From the GAO
Source: Government Accountability Office

Reports

1. Inspectors General: Improvements Needed in the Office of Inspector General’s Oversight of the Denali Commission. GAO-14-320, September 18.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-320
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665909.pdf

2. Secure Flight: TSA Should Take Additional Steps to Determine Program Effectiveness. GAO-14-531, September 9.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-531
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665677.pdf

3. Secure Flight: TSA Could Take Additional Steps to Strengthen Privacy Oversight Mechanisms. GAO-14-647, September 9.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-647
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665674.pdf

4. VA Health Care: Actions Needed to Address Higher-Than-Expected Demand for the Family Caregiver Program. GAO-14-675, September 18.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-675
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665929.pdf

5. Large Partnerships: With Growing Number of Partnerships, IRS Needs to Improve Audit Efficiency. GAO-14-732, September 18.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-732
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665887.pdf

6. Depot Maintenance: Accurate and Complete Data Needed to Meet DOD’s Core Capability Reporting Requirements. GAO-14-777, September 18.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-777
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665916.pdf

Testimonies

1. Healthcare.gov: Information Security and Privacy Controls Should Be Enhanced to Address Weaknesses, by Gregory C. Wilshusen, director, information security issues, before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. GAO-14-871T, September 18.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-871T
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665878.pdf

2. Secure Flight: Additional Actions Needed to Determine Program Effectiveness and Strengthen Privacy Oversight Mechanisms, by Jennifer Grover, acting director, homeland security and justice, before the Subcommittee on Transportation Security, House Committee on Homeland Security. GAO-14-796T, September 18.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-796T

Press Release

1. GAO Names New Members to PCORI Methodology Committee. September 18.
http://www.gao.gov/press/pcori_methodology_comm2014sep18.htm

Reissue

1. Critical Infrastructure Protection: DHS Action Needed to Enhance Integration and Coordination of Vulnerability Assessment Efforts. GAO-14-507, September 15.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-507
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665787.pdf

New From the GAO

September 12, 2014 Comments off

New From the GAO
Source: Government Accountability Office

Reports

1. Missouri River Flood and Drought: Experts Agree the Corps Took Appropriate Action, Given the Circumstances, but Should Examine New Forecasting Techniques. GAO-14-741, September 12.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-741
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665762.pdf

2. Air Traffic Control System: Selected Stakeholders’ Perspectives on Operations, Modernization, and Structure. GAO-14-770, September 12.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-770
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665784.pdf

Press Release

1. Team of Independent Auditors Gives GAO “Clean Opinion” on its Quality System. September 12.
http://www.gao.gov/press/pr_clean_opinion_sep_2014.htm

Reissue

1. Federal Rulemaking: Agencies Included Key Elements of Cost-Benefit Analysis, but Explanations of Regulations’ Significance Could Be More Transparent. GAO-14-714, September 11.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-714
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665744.pdf

On September 12, 2014, this product was revised to correct the statement in the Highlights referencing the period July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2013.

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