CBS TV of Philadelphia reported that Russell J. Percenti of Seashore Road, Lower Township, N.J., shot down his neighbor's drone helicopter in the lands of 80s big hair Bon Jovi after the unneighborly neighbor spied on Percenti by repeatedly flying the drone over Percenti's house. The unneighborly neighbor of Percenti called the cops who came and arrested Percenti on charges of both criminal mischief and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
In New Jersey, 2C:17-3. a. (1) and (2) defines anyone guilty of criminal mischief if that one purposefully or knowingly damages tangible property of another or damages tangible property of another recklessly or negligently in the employment of fire, explosives or other dangerous means.
Oddly, cops didn't arrest the unneighborly neighbor for trespass nor invasion of privacy. The unneighborly neighbor seems guilty of 2C:18-3. c. by peering into windows or other openings of dwelling places adapted for overnight accommodation.
Unfortunately, New Jersey law regarding invasion of privacy seems antiquated, offering no punishment in the era of privacy-invading drones and upskirt video perverts. New Jersey invasion of privacy law (2C:14-9) only accounts for video reproduction of any kind when the victim has exposed intimate parts or who is engaged in sexual penetration as well as sexual contact in which a reasonable person would not expect to be observed.
It shall be interesting to see what defense Percenti shall offer. Percenti's lawyer better conjure up images of imminent threat, like a pitbull wandering on his parcel.
Of course those in favor of drones invading the lives of everyone should like to see Percenti convicted and jailed. Anyone in favor of privacy and freedom should like to see Percenti walk.
In the USA, at a minimum, piloted flying machines must adhere to visual flight rules. Regulation requires a visual flight rules pilot to "see and avoid" obstacles and other aircraft under minimum visual meteorological conditions.
There are two rules governed by FAA reg 91.119, known as the 500 feet rule and the 1,000 feet rule. An aircraft must maintain an altitude of 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. When flying in the latter, aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure. An aircraft must maintain an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons.
Since drones are piloted, shouldn't drone pilots adhere to VFR rules as well as the 500 feet and 1,000 feet rules? Why shouldn't drone pilots be required to follow the same rules as other piloted vehicles? Why should hobbyist drone voyeurs be exempt from FAA regs except on their own parcels of land in which they have property, which is the right of ownership?
Wars of all kinds always seem to be the drivers of technological advance. Likely, drones won't escape this. I can think of a future whereby homeowners have jamming devices, which broadcast signals to protect themselves from spying drones, which fly too low over their houses.
You can be sure that ever newer drones shall have ever greater flight capabilities with ever better cameras. Before long, drone voyeurs should have drones with zooming cameras flying at heights that let their drones go undetected. At some point in future, hobby drones shall fly overhead and you won't know it. Their voyeur cams will zoom in on your face and see your zits. Their voyeur cams will zoom elsewhere and see your ...
It's hard to see the difference between those flying drones in public who engage in voyeurism and those who use video cameras to record upskirt videos of unwitting female victims.
Enjoy this confrontation between a drone voyeur and a beach nudist.