President Barack Obama called for increased regulation on unmanned aerial vehicles Tuesday after a drunken federal employee crashed a small drone on White House grounds.
Off-duty at the time of the incident, the unnamed National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency employee reportedly lost control of the drone while intoxicated near the White House Monday.
According to the New York Times, a spokesman for the NGA confirmed the employee’s involvement and the ensuing interview with the Secret Service.
“The employee self-reported the incident Monday,” said Agency Spokesman Don Kerr. “The employee was off duty and is not involved in work related to drones or unmanned aerial vehicles in any capacity at N.G.A.”
In an interview with CNN, President Obama argued that a regulatory framework would be needed for civilian drone use in response to the federal employee’s behavior.
“We don’t yet have the legal structures and the architecture both globally and within individual countries to manage them the way that we need to,” Obama said. “Part of my job over the past several years and over the next couple of years that I’m still in office is seeing if we can start providing some sort of framework that ensures that we get the good and minimize the bad.”
The president went on to claim that several agencies such as the FAA were working to establish guidelines that would make personal drones safe while protecting peoples’ privacy rights.
Given the president’s savage assault not only on personal privacy but on innocent civilians overseas with weaponized Predator drones, the statements are not without irony.
In February of 2013, NBC News revealed a leaked Department of Justice document which asserted that President Obama had the authority to drone strike U.S. citizens merely suspected of terrorist activities – even on U.S. soil.
According to some estimates, as many as 36 innocent civilians are killed per 1 suspected terrorist, although estimates from research groups in the Middle East assert the ratio to be closer to 50 people per single terrorist.
While many agree with the construction of a basic framework for drone use, questions arise as to whether the man running the largest privacy violation and deadliest drone campaign in human history is best for the job.