NBC Turns to Fearmongering on Drones

Image credit - NBC News

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

When you’re a major news organization like NBC News’ Today Show, there should be a certain amount of responsibility that comes with reporting the news. But the same organization that falsified crash test results on GM cars, is not trying to fear monger to get people to distrust drones. Is there a drone pilot spying on you? Probably not. But that’s not stopping NBC from making you worry about it.

Creeps are doing something pretty creepy, they’ve figured out a way to do it. They’re actually using them to go into your neighborhood and spy on people, even going up to your window and looking into your private moments. – Jeff Rosen, NBC

First, take a look at the sky is falling style video above. It’s making you think that a drone with a 4K camera could be spying on you as you walk out of the shower, while it’s perverted pilot is hiding getting his jollies. NBC News reporter even uses the term “terrorizing by an unknown drone.” Like a UAV is capable of a reign of terror.

Rosen also states that the FAA doesn’t check if drone operators are registering their UAVs with them, and that if people pay cash for a drone, there’s no way to trace them. OK sure. Technically that’s true, but it’s a literal flight of fancy designed to get people worried.

Frankly, I find it annoying that a news organization is crafting some far fetched theory about what people will use drones for.  Even Today’s host Savannah Guthrie wasn’t buying it, saying “you can just close your blinds, right?”

To be fair, it has happened. Rosen has found people who have been spied on, and referenced court cases where perps have been prosecuted for voyeurism by drone. But that’s a small segment of yahoos who are probably the same idiots that are trying to get footage of a brush fire.

The vast, and I do mean VAST, majority of drone pilots are not going to engage in this kind of behavior, especially if they want to make a living with it. That’s a sure ticket to a hefty fine or losing your drone pilot certification altogether. Besides, there are already laws on the books to address spying and stalking, and the FAA’s Part 107 rules, along with as local citywide regulations, already prevent drone flight in crowded population centers.

The likelihood of someone using a drone to spy on you is about as remote as being able to see a Phantom 4 Pro from 4KM away.  Sure, it’s conceivable, but you’re far more likely to see a drone fall out of the sky after flying away from its wayward owner.

Moreover, I’m far more concerned about near misses, or companies using drones to deliver pizza and aerial package deliver from Amazon, than I am with my neighbor wanting to see what’s going on in my back yard. And if push comes to shove, I can always whip out the shotgun, or a drone catcher.

At the end of the day, the Today Show’s reporting is designed to get the public to be suspicious of drone operators, to demonize them and force them in the shadows. As if we already don’t have enough of a challenge policing ourselves!

As FStoppers puts it, this kind of nonsense is why we can’t have nice things.

About James DeRuvo 801 Articles
Editor in Chief at doddleNEWS. James has been a writer and editor at doddleNEWS for nearly a decade. As a producer/director/writer James won a Telly Award in 2005 for his Short Film "Searching for Inspiration. James is a recovering talk show producer from KABC in Los Angeles, and a weekly guest on the Digital Production Buzz with Larry Jordan.

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