Like Causes?

Install the App
TRY NOW

house Bill H.R. 6620

Should Homeland Security Study the Threat of Drones to Critical Infrastructure?

Argument in favor

Drones are an emerging threat to U.S. security, and it’s important for Homeland Security to ensure Congress has the information it needs to make appropriate policies.

samdaman's Opinion
···
09/25/2018
Yes. We’re already behind in this area and we have a lot of catching up to do. But maybe they should tackle the more immediate threat of cyber security and cyber terrorism first. That is happening right now and we’re even farther behind in that respect.
Like (18)
Follow
Share
Merry's Opinion
···
09/25/2018
Haven’t they been doing this since 9/11 why are we still discuss it over & over & over again... Are we waiting fir China or Russia or Iran to start something first... More money stollen from desperately needed programs... Pathetic country we are!!! Atlas Shrugged all the way
Like (9)
Follow
Share
Alice's Opinion
···
09/25/2018
I want all Representatives of the people of the US of A to pay more attention to the devastating effects of climate change to stop deregulation of toxic waste from being spewed into our air and water and to protect our wild spaces and the wildlife therein
Like (8)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

There are already various anti-drone efforts underway in both the executive branch and various federal agencies, so there’s no need to task DHS with more research on the topic.

Rob's Opinion
···
09/25/2018
The government is going to have to earn some good will before they can prove to me they are capable of handling this. I think white nationalists are a bigger threat than drones, where's the bill for looking into white terrorism?
Like (42)
Follow
Share
doingmypart's Opinion
···
09/25/2018
The only security that matters these days is cyber security and election security. The rest can wait until someone with a working brain cell is in office.
Like (41)
Follow
Share
SSyar's Opinion
···
09/25/2018
Cyber security is more important right now.
Like (6)
Follow
Share

What is House Bill H.R. 6620?

This bill would require the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) to prepare a threat assessment related to unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), also known as drones. The DHS Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis would be responsible for working in consultation with other DHS officials to request additional information about the threats of UAS and other associated emerging threats from other federal agencies, state and local government agencies, and the private sector. The Under Secretary would then be responsible for developing and disseminating a security threat assessment on the findings.

The Under Secretary would also work with the DHS Chief Information Officer (DHS CIO) to establish and utilize a security communications and information technology infrastructure, including data-mining and other advanced analytical tools, to access, receive, and analyze data and information. This might include establishing a voluntary mechanism for critical infrastructure owners and operators to report information on emerging threats, such as UAS.

A year after the enactment of this bill, the Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis at DHS would prepare a threat assessment and report to the House Homeland Security Committee and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on the threat posed by UAS.

Impact

Unmanned aircraft systems; drones; terrorists; criminals; Department of Homeland Security; Congress; DHS Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis; and DHS Chief Information Officer.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 6620

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) introduced this bill to ensure that U.S. policymakers are adequately informed about the threat that UAS poses to national security. At a House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations hearing on the domestic use of UAS in 2013, Rep. Richmond expressed concerns about the privacy implications of UAS.

Criminals and terrorists are using drones for a range of criminal and terrorist activity, including  dropping explosives and hazardous materials, ferrying drugs, conducting surveillance against critical infrastructure and other potential targets, and sending contraband into prisons. Drones appeal to these actors because they’re cheap, and the federal response to them isn’t coordinated yet:

“Unlike military drones that can cost more than $15 million and look like small airplanes, mini quadcopters can be obtained for a few hundred dollars—and their capabilities are exciting the imaginations of bad guys. Criminals have used drones to drop drugs into prisons. Mexican smugglers have flown them above the border to spy on the movement of patrolling federal officers. ISIS used them to drop crude bombs on U.S. and allied forces in Iraq and Syria.
It is the widespread availability of commercial drones that poses the largest threat. Almost everybody who uses a drone in the U.S.—and the Federal Aviation Administration has licensed more than a million operators—flies by the rules. But not everyone, and perhaps the major lesson of 9/11 was to look for threats from unexpected places, especially overhead. Yet on drones, the federal response has been largely haphazard and behind the curve.”

The Heritage Foundation adds that recent UAS incidents have made it apparent that the U.S. needs more robust UAS detection, identification, and counter-attack processes:

“The increasingly common use of drones by terrorists to launch strikes abroad has raised concerns that domestic malefactors may plan and execute similar attacks. Some criminal actors, meanwhile, are using drones to smuggle drugs across the border or into prisons, or otherwise to support their nefarious enterprises. These incidents, as well as others, including unauthorized flights over sports stadiums and in controlled airspace near airports—and even a crash onto the White House lawn—have exposed both the vulnerability of sensitive facilities and critical infrastructure to hostile or recklessly operated UAS, and serious shortcomings in the capabilities of law enforcement and national security agencies to address these threats. Rectifying this will require national security and law enforcement agencies to develop robust means of detecting, identifying, and countering hostile or threatening UAS by disrupting, seizing control of, or even destroying them.”

The Pentagon is already working to develop and deploy technologies to defeat drones, and plans to spend $401.2 million on counter-drone initiatives in the current fiscal year. DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen says that DHS is already working to protect Americans from the emerging threat of drones:

“We know that terrorists are using drones overseas to advance plots and attacks, and we’ve already seen criminals use them along and within our borders for illicit purposes. We are working with Congress for the authorities needed to ensure we can better protect the American people against emerging drone threats.”

This bill passed the House Committee on Homeland Security by a unanimous vote with the support of one cosponsor, who is a Republican.


Of Note: A 2015 Presidential Memorandum on drones and privacy required all federal agencies to establish and publish drone privacy procedures by February 2016. Emphasizing the “privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties concerns” raised by UAS, President Obama ordered agencies to ensure that any federal government use of drones in U.S. airspace complied with “the Constitution, federal law, and other applicable regulations and policies.” However, as of June 2018, DHS and other federal agencies had failed to produce the reports required in the 2015 memorandum.

The U.S. military has already faced the drone danger abroad: Special Operations forces fighting to retake Mosul from ISIS in fall 2016 faced attacks by fleets of small drones carrying grenades and miniaturized explosives.

Domestically, the DOD has limited authority to protect its assets in the U.S. from UAV threats. However, these authorities don’t apply to DHS and the Justice Department.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / scanrail)

AKA

Protecting Critical Infrastructure Against Drones and Emerging Threats Act

Official Title

To require the Department of Homeland Security to prepare a threat assessment relating to unmanned aircraft systems, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
  • The house Passed September 25th, 2018
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Intelligence and Counterterrorism
      Oversight, Management, and Accountability
      Committee on Homeland Security
      Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
      Aviation
    IntroducedJuly 26th, 2018

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!
    Yes. We’re already behind in this area and we have a lot of catching up to do. But maybe they should tackle the more immediate threat of cyber security and cyber terrorism first. That is happening right now and we’re even farther behind in that respect.
    Like (18)
    Follow
    Share
    The government is going to have to earn some good will before they can prove to me they are capable of handling this. I think white nationalists are a bigger threat than drones, where's the bill for looking into white terrorism?
    Like (42)
    Follow
    Share
    The only security that matters these days is cyber security and election security. The rest can wait until someone with a working brain cell is in office.
    Like (41)
    Follow
    Share
    Haven’t they been doing this since 9/11 why are we still discuss it over & over & over again... Are we waiting fir China or Russia or Iran to start something first... More money stollen from desperately needed programs... Pathetic country we are!!! Atlas Shrugged all the way
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    I want all Representatives of the people of the US of A to pay more attention to the devastating effects of climate change to stop deregulation of toxic waste from being spewed into our air and water and to protect our wild spaces and the wildlife therein
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes absolutely they should.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    Cyber security is more important right now.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    We need to keep up with changing threats as technology advances.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    The only drones that threaten civilian infrastructure are owned and operated by the US military.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    Government is too intrusive already!! Back off!! Unnecessary & against the constitution!! NO!!
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    I own a couple of these. with just a few thousand dollars and not much smarts you could conceivably stage a denial of service attack or other hack against a WiFi network that isn't connected to the internet. That means military nrtworks, dam control networks, smart power meters, power grid networks, hispitals, etc. The US is woefully under prepared for a state sponsored cyber attack of this nature, or really of any nature. We need to up our cyber wafrfare readiness yesterday.
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    There are more pressing needs than to study an unlikely event.
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    You mean they haven’t already? What the hell are they doing over there?!
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    This is ONE of the things, besides cyber security and searching for terrorists, etc., that Homeland Security SHOULD BE DOING, instead of separating immigrant families and making their lives miserable for wanting a better life. Don’t think that Bush had this in mind when he created homeland security, but that’s exactly what’s happened under Trump
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    Most definitely. It is obvious that with a nefarious mind these tools can be weaponized. Why does this not surprise me that we have to have a bill come through Congress for those who are supposed to serve and protect to “study” something that is already a known threat?!?!
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    The idea of drones flying over us is unsettling to me. Their is a Russian arming small drones with automatic weapons and small muscles, he plans on selling on the open market throughout the world. Now imagine it takes one Angry person or mentally unstable person to fly one such drone into a public place and operate fire. That to me is unsettling. If you don’t believe me go on YouTube and type “ Russian weaponizes personal drones” and watch the video. Then vote your Conscience.
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    It is to be assumed this action was already being taken. Our number one concern should be cyber attacks. Upgrade our electric grid. Congress has failed to do its job for so long, the public’s expectations and trust are at low levels. Politics are more important to our elected officials. Greed and re-election have priority over what’s good for the country. Congress is too busy shifting funds around to support pet projects than doing what’s best for every American. Voters must take some of this responsibility for failure because we vote the same ineffective folks into office. It’s time to shakeup the politicians. Vote out these career politicians. Get some fresh ideas into play. Stop the wasteful spending. Stop the cutting of programs because Congress spent the money we the taxpayers invested into these programs. Cut Medicare to pay for detention centers for children. No. Medicare premiums are paid to fund Medicare.
    Like
    Follow
    Share
    Waste of money
    Like
    Follow
    Share
    We deserve...”homeland security”...don’t you agree? Then do it!
    Like
    Follow
    Share
    I think that imagination alone should guide congress on this matter. Why should funds need to be allocated to this matter when we have deeper and more complex issues like cyber security to address?
    Like
    Follow
    Share
    MORE