In his Aug. 3 op-ed column, “Drones? Not over my back yard,” Eugene Robinson suggested that law enforcement would improperly use unmanned aircraft technology. To the contrary, law enforcement entities around the country have committed to using unmanned aircraft for limited operations that enhance public safety, such as conducting search-and-rescue missions, locating missing children and executing high-risk warrants.

The unmanned aircraft industry shares Americans’ concerns about privacy and is committed to helping ensure that this technology is used respectfully and lawfully. My organization recently supported legislation that reaffirms the Fourth Amendment protections when it comes to individuals’ privacy and the use of unmanned aircraft. It has also established a dialogue with privacy advocates to address the issue and work toward solutions.

The United States is a leader in unmanned aerial innovation. With growing international demand for this technology in countries such as Japan, Australia and Chile, where it is used in everything from agricultural to anti-poaching efforts, there is incredible job-creation potential. But if Mr. Robinson gets the “bureaucratic inertia and inefficiency” he is hoping for, the United States will lose out.

Michael Toscano, Washington

The writer is president and CEO of the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.


I’m appalled by the emerging drone culture and even more repulsed by the congressional cave-in on this issue. It is horrifying to visualize a future in which law-abiding Americans will be at the mercy of drone technology and watching the skies will become a way of life.

I recently wrote to my Baltimore City Council member to propose legislation that would make my city a “no drone zone.” Some residents of Buffalo have taken the matter to their Common Council and are demanding that these vile tools be outlawed from their community.

Americans had better wake up to reality and see what the future has in store if we foolishly give air space to drones.

Rosalind Ellis Heid, Baltimore