An MQ-9 Reaper drone in Nevada in 2007. Image: USAFIn the years-long conversation about President Barack Obama’s incredible drone wars, we’ve heard opaque, albeit scintillating, references to threat matrices and kill lists. But there’s one thing we’ve never heard: What is the president’s legal rationale for extrajudicial killing of Americans with drones?Finally, we can expect to find out soon. Today, US Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the New York Times and the ACLU in a Freedom of Information Act case levied against the Department of Justice, Defense Department, and CIA. The case was initially filed after the above agencies refused to comply with a FOIA request “seeking documents relating to targeted killings of United States citizens carried out by drone aircraft

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Gene Roberts with Texas EquuSearch’s drone. Image: Texas EquuSearchLast month, a Texas search-and-rescue team asked the Federal Aviation Administration for permission to use drones in rescue missions. Today, they demanded permission, suing the FAA in federal court over a cease-and-desist order the agency sent to the rescue group. In February, the FAA told Texas EquuSearch, a volunteer search-and-rescue organization that has used drones for nearly a decade to find human remains, that flying their drone on missions is illegal. The group is a nonprofit and does not charge law enforcement groups or families for searches, so it’s hard to cast them as “commercial” drone users, but that’s what the FAA did

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Looking to test out some camera gear before plunging in with the credit card? Try renting first. Several new companies are renting different types of photo equipment to shooters of any skill level.The post Can’t afford to buy a full-frame DSLR or aerial drone? These companies will rent you one appeared first on Digital Trends.

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Image: John Biehler/FlickrThe first of at least six commercial drone test sites has officially opened in North Dakota, the Federal Aviation Administration announced Monday. The site opens the door for officially-sanctioned FAA drone testing, which is the first step towards starting a government-approved drone company. Companies that use drones have been operating in legal limbo over the past few years, a situation that became a little more clear last month, when a federal judge ruled that there are no official laws against operating a drone for profit. That’s not the way the FAA has looked at it, however, as the agency still insists that the commercial use of a drone without FAA permission is illegal. The FAA’s test sites have always been part of its plan to officially integrate drones into American skies

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US Predator drone.

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The Obama administration must disclose the legal basis for targeting Americans with drones, a federal appeals court ruled Monday in overturning a lower court decision likened to “Alice in Wonderland.”
The Second US Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) claim by The New York Times and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), said the administration must disclose the legal rationale behind its claims that it may kill enemies who are Americans overseas.
“This is a resounding rejection of the government’s effort to use secrecy and selective disclosure to manipulate public opinion about the targeted killing program,” ACLU Legal Director Jameel Jaffer said in an e-mail.
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