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May 30, 2018

Say cheese!

Recently, in an effort to combat contraband, the South Carolina Department of Corrections supplemented its undermanned workforce by sprinkling the perimeters of some of its prisons with state guardsmen. The volunteers added eyes and ears to an agency desperate to keep cellphones, drugs, and apparently sexual stimulants (see “A growing problem” in our May 21 […]

Apr 19, 2017

Drone be gone

Recently the Federal Aviation Administration issued an order making it illegal to fly unmanned aerial systems over more than 130 U.S. military installations. The penalties will be both civil and criminal, the feds say. But the penalties may not be swift. That’s why a similar bill banning the aerial vehicles — more commonly known as […]

May 23, 2016

Privacy fears: Panel has advice for drone operators

DALLAS (AP) — A panel of privacy experts and technology companies organized by the Obama administration has issued guidelines for using drones without being overly intrusive. The suggestions are voluntary, but some business interests involved in the debate hope the guidelines head off tougher regulations that they fear could smother the drone industry in its […]

Feb 15, 2016

Drones pose new contraband, smuggling challenge for prisons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Wily inmates and their associates on the outside are deploying drones to deliver drugs, cellphones, and other contraband to prison yards, leaving prison guards and correctional authorities scratching their heads over how to deal with the new technology. After smuggling incidents around Maryland, Ohio and Oklahoma prisons last year, Illinois lawmakers […]

Jan 18, 2016

Drone suit seeks to resolve issues of trespassing, privacy

HILLVIEW, Ky. (AP) — A lawsuit filed against a man who shot down a drone over his Hillview home last summer seeks to resolve what expectations homeowners have to privacy as their property is seen from the air. The Courier-Journal reports a local judge previously dismissed charges against William Merideth for firing a gun within […]

Dec 1, 2015

Drone users: May I see your license, please?

Pressures are mounting for everyone involved in the unmanned aircraft systems industry, as increasingly severe penalties and new registration requirements force recreational and commercial users of UAS to adapt to evolving laws and regulations. With a recent $1.9 million penalty levied for improper drone use, together with the FAA’s anticipated registration requirements, those who fly […]

Jan 20, 2015

15 years for man accused of flying drone to prison

A man has been sentenced to 15 years behind bars for trying to use a drone to smuggle contraband into a maximum security South Carolina prison.

Dec 12, 2014

SC prison gets new equipment after drone incident

COLUMBIA (AP) — State officials are installing new equipment at the Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville after someone used a drone to try to smuggle contraband into the maximum security prison. The State newspaper reported ( two new surveillance towers and thermal imaging cameras are being added to help prevent the smuggling of cellphones, drugs […]

Oct 7, 2014

Eyes on the sky

Some people hear the word “drone” and imagine militarized aircraft on combat operations too risky for human involvement. Others see dollar signs. If estimations are close to accurate, remote-controlled robots taking to the skies in coming years could spark the economy. But before the money starts flowing, state and federal governments need new laws in […]

Jul 31, 2014

Drone carrying contraband crashes at SC prison

COLUMBIA — A drone carrying cellphones, marijuana and other contraband into a South Carolina maximum-security prison never made it inside the 12-foot-high razor wire fence, and authorities said Wednesday they are looking for one of two people accused in connection with trying to sneak it in. The search has been ongoing since April 21, when […]

May 17, 2013

Mixed signals on domestic drone use

The growing use of unmanned surveillance "eyes in the sky" aircraft raises a thicket of privacy concerns, but Congress is getting mixed advice on what, if anything, to do about it.

Apr 29, 2013

State wants in on drone-testing action

South Carolina is one of about three dozen states that want to become a testing site for using unmanned drones for domestically.

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