John Stossel

"Commercial use" is illegal, says government (regulators don't like business). Fortunately, some entrepreneurs ignore the restrictions. Martin Scorsese used a drone to videotape parts of "Wolf of Wall Street." It's great when people practice civil disobedience against idiot regulators.

The FAA is right to worry about air safety, but that can be handled less intrusively with rules that ban drones near airports.

Of course, private drone use can get creepy. A woman in Connecticut recently attacked a drone operator at a beach because she was angry about being spied upon.

Like a good libertarian, Sen. Paul realizes that ambiguous property rights are the real problem. He jokes that his neighbor has a drone: "If I see it over my property, my shotgun's coming out."

America already has peeping-Tom laws. I can look through my neighbor's window, but I can't legally get my stepladder and spy over his fence. State courts will work this stuff out.

As usual, the market will probably produce the best solutions, just as algorithmic anti-spam programs proved more effective than useless anti-spam laws.

An aerospace engineer emailed me that he's created a Drone Shield you can use to spot unwelcome intrusions.

That will get trickier as drones become smaller and quieter -- I've seen video of new ones that resemble hummingbirds. But detection technology will improve as well. That constant feedback and competition is how all technology advances.

Technology itself is rarely a bad thing. What matters is the endless power of the market to refine and improve how we use it.

If government will just relax its regulatory chokehold, private citizens will find safe ways to deliver food, rescue lost cats and fill the skies with happy new possibilities.


John Stossel

John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "No They Can't: Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed." To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at >johnstossel.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. ©Creators Syndicate


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