drones | WAMC


The book, “Bending the Arc: Striving for Peace and Justice in the Age of Endless War,” is a collection narrating how peace activists found their calling and why the world still needs peace activism. Drawing from diverse philosophical and spiritual traditions, contributors share their experiences of working for peace and justice and discuss the obstacles to both.

They address a wide range of contemporary problems, including the war on terror, killer drones, the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, mass surveillance, the human cost of war, political-economic impediments to peace, violent extremism, the role of women in peace-building, and the continued threat of nuclear weapons.

“Bending the Arc: Striving for Peace and Justice in the Age of Endless War” is also the title of The 2020 Kateri Peace Conference – which will take place on Zoom on August 21 and 22. Contributor Ann Wright and editor Steve Breyman join us.

One of the small drones operated by the Vermont State Police
Pat Bradley/WAMC

This week, Vermont State Police demonstrated two of their new “Unmanned Aircraft Systems” — which most people refer to as drones. The state bought 11 of the aircraft to be used in accident reconstruction and search and rescue missions.

A commercial UAV/drone flying at night.

Cutting edge investigative and crimefighting technology is cleared for landing in the Albany Police Department's tactical toolbox.

The University at Albany’s College of Emergency Preparedness Homeland Security and Cybersecurity has unveiled its new drone flight facility.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Drones are increasingly becoming part of everyday life, from security to commerce to recreation. And now there’s a new place to study drones in Albany.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Central New York's drone technology industry is growing.

Six companies announced plans to open or expand offices in central New York and the Mohawk Valley. 

Courtesy of the Center for the Study of the Drone

The Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College finds that U.S. military spending on drones in 2018 is set to outpace 2017 spending.

A commercial UAV/drone flying at night.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced this week that it is sending 22 drones across the state to “enhance environmental management, conservation and emergency response efforts.” The "unmanned aerial vehicles" have already proven their worth in hurricane-ravaged Texas.

Richard Unten | Flickr

A bill that would make Connecticut the first state in the country to allow police to use drones outfitted with deadly weapons has stalled.

The Hartford Courant reports the Legislature's Public Safety Committee held the measure on Monday, which is a parliamentary move that could hurt the bill's chances. It could possibly be brought up as an amendment later on in the session.


Those who attach weapons to drones in Connecticut could soon face a serious criminal penalty.

This is a picture of a drone
wikipedia commons

A former Central Connecticut State University student who was expelled after equipping a drone with a gun has filed a lawsuit seeking reinstatement to the school.

Is a drone a toy or a (tiny) airplane?

To the Department of Transportation, the question is far from complicated.

"Unmanned aircraft operators are aviators and with that title comes a great deal of responsibility," Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said on Monday while unveiling new drone registration rules.

A commercial UAV/drone flying at night.

If you live in Albany County and you're giving or getting a drone for the holidays, you have time to get it airborne before any "no fly zone" is imposed.  A bill before county legislators that would ban the devices has been grounded for the time being.

Women Against War is hosting news consultant, law professor and author Marjorie Cohn this weekend for presentations on Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal Moral and Political Issues.

Marjorie teaches at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, lectures globally on international human rights and US foreign policy and has done work on the complex issue of military drones. She has been a news consultant for CBS News and a legal analyst for Court TV, and has also provided legal and political commentary on BBC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, NPR, and Pacifica Radio.

She has testified before Congress and at military trials. She is deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. She is a former president of the National Lawyers’ Guild and she joins us this morning.

 Scott Shane is a national security reporter for The New York Times, based in Washington DC where he has worked for more than a decade. His new book is, Objective Troy: A Terrorist, A President, And The Rise Of The Drone. The book tells the story of Anwar al-Awlaki, the once celebrated American imam who called for moderation  after 9/11, but ultimately directed his talents to the mass murder of his fellow citizens. 


When it comes to unmanned flying vehicles, technology is moving faster than regulation. U.S. Senator Charles Schumer stopped by Albany FBI headquarters Wednesday, continuing his crusade to regulate drones.  "There are reckless drones on the loose in New York, and we've gotta take action to reel them in."

A commercial UAV/drone flying at night.

State Police say the operator of a small radio-controlled hobby drone flying over New York's Capitol last month has been charged with reckless endangerment.

  As robots are integrated increasingly into modern society on the battlefield, on the road, business, education, and health those who design the machines have a stark choice to make: They can design systems that enhance the quality of human work and life or they can design systems that replace humans entirely. Both approaches will reshape the modern world. 

In the new book, Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots, Pulitzer-Prize winning New York Times reporter John Markoff explores this issue and looks for an answer to perhaps on of the most important questions of our age; will these robots help us or replace us? 


Sen. Charles Schumer wants lawmakers to force drone manufacturers to implement technology that would keep the unmanned flying objects away from airports, parades and major sporting events.

A commercial UAV/drone flying at night.

Senator Charles Schumer is introducing legislation forcing the Federal Aviation Administration to require drone manufacturers to implement technology that would prevent the aircraft from entering "no-fly zones" like airports.

Simone Ramella/flickr

Federal officials are investigating after a pilot reported seeing an unmanned aircraft while approaching John F. Kennedy International Airport.


A 50-year-old Hudson Valley man has been cleared of attempted unlawful surveillance in connection with using a drone-mounted camera to shoot photos and videos of a medical office building.

  From drone warfare in the Middle East to digital spying by the National Security Agency, the U.S. government has harnessed the power of cutting-edge technology to awesome effect. But what happens when ordinary people have the same tools at their fingertips? Advances in cybertechnology, biotechnology, and robotics mean that more people than ever before have access to potentially dangerous technologies—from drones to computer networks and biological agents—which could be used to attack states and private citizens alike.

In The Future of Violence, law and security experts Benjamin Wittes and Gabriella Blum detail the myriad possibilities, challenges, and enormous risks present in the modern world, and argue that if our national governments can no longer adequately protect us from harm, they will lose their legitimacy. We welcome Gabriella Blum to The Roundtable.

Rockland County Legislator Proposes Drone Law

Apr 9, 2015
WAMC, Allison Dunne

Technology is improving faster than public policy can keep up, and that fault line is arguably most obvious in the national debate over drones. Supporters point to drones’ efficiency, but others worry about safety and privacy. Some concerned residents turned out to a public hearing in Rockland County Tuesday to suggest some rewording to ensure proposed drone legislation is not overly restrictive.


The Rockland County Legislature will hold a public hearing Tuesday evening about a proposed local law that seeks to regulate the use of drones within the county.

Drones Fly Into Limbo

Feb 13, 2015

The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to issue its draft rules for the use of small drones any day now — but that has been the status quo for months.   New York U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer has gotten involved, and it's hoped his clout may spur the FAA into making regulations official.

Drones — once the subject of science fiction, popularized on early 2000s TV shows like Dark Angel — are fast becoming common components of everyday life. But regulations have lagged behind technology’s cutting edge.

FAA Weighs In On Central Hudson's Possible Drone Use

Oct 15, 2014

The federal government says a utility in the Hudson Valley must seek permission before it implements plans to use drones to help inspect power lines and perform other tasks.

Courtesy of The Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College

The Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College has released a guide to key issues about drones. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with co-director of the center Dan Gettinger about the online and print publication called The Drone Primer: A Compendium of the Key Issues. The primer is free and available at http://dronecenter.bard.edu/publication/the-drone-primer/

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock discusses NYC police on drone use and Zephyr Teachout collecting the signatures she needs to challenge New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

4/29/14 Panel

Apr 29, 2014


  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, University at Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Reporter, Rosemary Armao and WAMC Newsman, Ray Graf.

Topics include:
Ukraine Sanctions
Grimm Charged
Drone Use
Sterling Update

Syracuse Airport Home For Remote Drone Pilots

Apr 10, 2014

Military drones piloted from Syracuse attack targets in Afghanistan. Griffiss airport in Rome tapped to test the safety of commercial drones.  With little fanfare upstate New York has become central to adaptation of unmanned aerial vehicles. Last night, the controversy over drones came to Utica.