TV station recovers Florida man’s zombie drone

By Arturo Garcia
Tuesday, June 25, 2013 14:45 EDT
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TV station recovers Florida man's 'zombie drone' [WKMG-TV]
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An accidental discovery by an Orlando television station employee could lead to changes in a Florida state law regarding voyeurism.

WKMG-TV reported on Monday that an employee came across a small unmanned drone after it crashed into a tree, which the station later determined was built by a local student, Guimy Alexis.

“The only thing I wanna do is, essentially, record a flight, put some music on it and put it on YouTube,” Alexis told WKMG. “There’s nothing ‘nefarious’ going on.”

But Alexis also admitted to accidentally breaking Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules when a malfunction caused the drone to briefly act without his control, flying over Interstate 4, near his home in Altamonte Springs. The detour took the aircraft out of his sight, a violation of FAA policy.

“I was worried when it did go next to the highway, and that was a fear,” Alexis told the station. “I don’t trust it anymore, I’ll tell you that much.”

State Rep. Dana Young (R) expressed concern of her own over footage WKMG recovered from the camera Alexis added to the drone, including video of a woman sunbathing, apparently taken without her knowledge. Young wrote a state law passed in 2012 making it illegal for someone to record a person in secret for the purposes of “arousal, amusement, or abuse.” But current state law only monitors how police can use drones.

“Now that I know about this technology, and now that I can see that the limits are almost nonexistent, it does make me want to go back and look at the law we passed last year, and see if there are ways to tweak it,” Young told the station.

Watch WKMG’s report on Alexis’ errant drone, aired Monday, below.

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Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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