Three Al-Jazeera reporters have been arrested in the wake of the drones of Paris mystery. It’s likely the reporters were using drones to film the poorly thought-out segment on the mystery drones, not the original perpetrators. We have so many questions.
What were the journalists thinking? The “unknown drones” story was big international news, generating hysterical speculation from anchors and “experts” who couldn’t stop talking about whether drones could be packed with explosives and flown into the Eiffel Tower. In the midst of such a frenzy, flying a drone in a Parisian park wasn’t the smartest move on Al-Jazeera’s part. We can only assume they were dreaming of the sweet, sweet video traffic they would get from all that footage of Paris, a city no one has ever seen on film before.
What is the future of drones and news reporting? The journalists’ detention might not have happened in America, where the Federal Aviation Administration recently partnered up with CNN to talk flying unmanned. While the FAA has come out with increasingly stringent regulations on commercial drone usage, personal use is still largely unregulated. Not so in France, where the nighttime flights were considered highly illegal.
How long will the Wild West state of drones last in other countries? While we love our freedoms when it comes to control over potentially dangerous objects, we’re also a nation still taking off its shoes at the airport after a single foiled plot in the US 14 years ago. How long before fear-mongering starts about drones endangering lives and livelihoods? Is this the end of the era of free-range drones? [AFP]