H.R. 658: FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 enacted by the 112th Congress, 2011–2012 was designed:
To amend title 49, United States Code, to authorize appropriations for the Federal Aviation Administration for fiscal years 2011 through 2014, to streamline programs, create efficiencies, reduce waste, and improve aviation safety and capacity, to provide stable funding for the national aviation system, and for other purposes.
Background info on why this bill was passed:
- Hill Republicans supported the bill only after forcing the adoption of controversial provisions that will make it more difficult for airline and railroad workers to form unions.
- Explaining his “no” vote, Senator Harkin stated that Republicans are “determined to destroy organized labor.” This bill takes them one small step closer to that goal.
- Reauthorization Bill (FAA) pdf
So how did we get from the point of making it difficult for workers to form a union to having a drone capable of hovering over our homes, seeing right through our walls into our living room, bedrooms, or bathroom using face recognitions systems and thermal imaging cameras? This is an invasion of privacy laws isn’t it?
Q. First, what is a drone?
A. A drone is “An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone, is an aircraft without a human pilot on board. Its flight is either controlled autonomously by computers in the vehicle, or under the remote control of a navigator, or pilot (in military UAVs called a Combat Systems Officer on UCAVs) on the ground or in another vehicle.
UAVs can be powerful surveillance tools, capable of
- carrying face recognition systems,
- license plate scanners,
- thermal imaging cameras,
- open WiFi sniffers, and other sensors.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit on January 10, 2012 against the Federal Aviation Administration. As a result of the lawsuit, the FAA released for the first time a list of the names of all public and private entities that have applied for authorizations to fly drones domestically. Some of these government licenses belong to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a component of the Department of Homeland Security.
Drones have been used by CBP to patrol United States borders since 2005, and the Agency currently owns 10 drones. A May 2012 report issued by the DHS Inspector General found that CBP “needs to improve planning of its unmanned aircraft systems program to address its level of operation, program funding, and resource requirements, along with stakeholder needs.”
Also, despite the Bureau’s limited mission to safeguard the borders, the Bureau often flies missions for:
- the FBI,
- the Department of Defense,
- local law enforcement, and
- other agencies
In December 2011, the CBP made headlines when reporters discovered that the agency’s drones were being used to assist local law enforcement in North Dakota without receiving prior approval from the FAA or any other agency.” 
Used properly, responsibly, and with security being of an utmost priority, drones are a good tool.
For instance performing search and rescue operations at sea and domestically makes it an outstanding tool.
But with its advanced technology available, including tracking systems, they can also be deadly against an innocent person especially if these drones are in the wrong hands with wrong intentions.
“CIA drone strikes have become an almost daily occurrence around the world, but little is known about who is killed and under what circumstances,” said James Ross, legal and policy director at Human Rights Watch. “So long as the US resists public accountability for CIA drone strikes, the agency should not be conducting targeted killings.”