Friday, February 18, 2022

Review - S 3542 Introduced – Criminal Drone Misuse

Earlier this month, Sen Grassley (R,IA) introduced S 3542, the Done Act of 2022. The bill would revise 18 USC to expand the coverage of the criminal code for misuse of unmanned aircraft. No funding is provided in this bill.

Moving Forward

Grassley is the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee to which this bill was assigned for consideration. This means that there should be sufficient influence to see this bill considered in Committee. Since the bill has two Democrats as cosponsors, the bill should receive some level of bipartisan support, but there should be some opposition from the UAV industry. I suspect that the bill would pass in Committee, but there could be significant changes made in the process.

This bill is not important enough to move to the floor of the Senate under regular order and there should be enough opposition to prevent it from being considered under the unanimous consent process. There is a chance that the bill could be included in some larger piece of legislation or offered as an amendment to another bill.


The new Intrusion on Protected Spaces offense includes an interesting provision. It includes ‘rules, regulations, and orders’ of DHS as types of Federal Law that could be used to establish areas where UAVs could be prohibited. There is not currently any specific authority for DHS to establish such areas beyond the very constrained authorization in 6 USC 124n(k)(3)(C)(i) limited to federal facilities protected by DHS.

The similar authority granted to the FAA could be important, if/when the FAA ever gets around to writing its regulation allowing critical infrastructure facilities to petition to be covered by a UAS-specific flight restriction as required by §2209 of PL 114-190 (120 Stat 634). Those regulations were supposed to have been done by January 11th, 2017.

For more details about the provisions of the bill, see my article at CFSN Detailed Analysis - - subscription required.

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