Feeds

Murdoch accused of operating illegal US air force

Microdrone black ops threaten democracy

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Rupert Murdoch may soon have his front door kicked in by the US's Federal Aviation Administration, amid accusations that News Corporation has been operating an illegal air force.

According to this report down at Forbes, the media magnate's fondleslab-friendly e-rag The Daily is flying a md4-1000 microdrone (pictured), which back in May captured some aerial footage of storm-wracked Alabama.

The md4-1000

Nice vid, but The Daily may be in breach of FAA regs regarding "operations of unmanned aircraft in the National Airspace System". As Forbes notes, the FAA requires wannabe drone pilots to have an airworthiness certificate for their "Unmanned Aircraft System" (UAS) and an "experimental certificate" which limits them to "research and development, marketing surveys, or crew training".

The FAA notes: "UAS issued experimental certificates may not be used for compensation or hire."

The FAA's Les Dorr told Forbes: "Currently, 18 of those experimental certificates are active. An experimental certificate allows the holder to do tests, training and demos but not for-hire operations. Ops also must be conducted away from populated areas."

He later added: "We are examining The Daily's use of a small unmanned aircraft to see if it was in accordance with FAA policies."

The md4-1000 has a ceiling of 1,000 metres, and can operate within a radius of 1,000 metres (3,280 feet) via radio control for up to 70 minutes. Its maximum payload is 1,200g (2.64lb), meaning it can easily lift a camera and an electronics package such as that carried by the Wireless Aerial Surveillance Platform aircraft, aka WASP.

The WASP's compact computer may of particular interest to News Corporation since it is capable of sniffing Wi-Fi networks and intercepting mobile phone calls. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.