Journalists Arrested Over Paris Drone Sightings

Three journalists were reported arrested in Paris for supposedly flying a drone without permit. This came on the heels of the mysterious sightings of drones over Paris’ landmarks recently.

According to news, three Al Jazeera journalists were arrested Wednesday for illegally flying a drone, as police hunt for clues into the mysterious devices seen over famous landmarks in the French capital. Al Jazeera said in a tweet that the journalists were filming a report about the city’s mystery drones. Read more at:

Paris’ Famed Eiffel Tower

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Another report said that at least five of the unmanned aerial machines were spotted between midnight on Monday and 0600 on Tuesday, and none of the operators has been caught. The first appeared over the US embassy and there were later sightings near the Eiffel Tower and Place de la Concorde. French police believe the drone flights could be linked. Read more here:

Illegally flying a drone under French law is punishable with a fine and imprisonment. Flying any aircraft below an altitude of 6,000 meters (19,700 feet) is prohibited by law without a license and punishable by up to a year in prison and a fine of about $85,000. No nighttime drone flights are allowed even by licensed operators, LA Times said in its report.

What makes these unexplained drone sightings all the more a cause for concern is they happened at a time Paris has been tightening its security following the tragic terrorist attacks on the newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which has left most Parisians still uneasy to this day.

These are also the kinds of incidents that give drone haters an ace up their sleeve in pushing for drone restrictions, if not total ban, and put the lid on a burgeoning industry. In an earlier report, it is said that if New York City Council Member Dan Garodnick gets his way, drones will be banned in the Big Apple, except for police with a warrant, as soon as this year. Read more at:

According to the same report, Garodnick is concerned about law enforcement not being able to hold drone operators responsible for illegal or bad acts, especially in a crowded city like New York.

Authorities should at least get in touch with drone operators and meet them personally, such as the various meetup groups all over the country, the NYCDUG being one so they’d see how most of these serious drone makers and flyers are observing responsible, safe drone flying.  It would be unthinkable for drones advocates, such as those promoting drone photography services, to put the fledgling industry at great risk through impudent use of their flying machines, James, publisher of The Droneologist says.

Back to Paris, reports say there was no apparent link betwehen the arrests and the flights over central Paris on Monday and Tuesday nights, said Agnès Thibault-Lecuivre, the spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor. “One mustn’t conflate the two,” she said. See more:

 

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