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Kentucky governor says news station drone invaded privacy

Commentary: Gov. Matt Bevin fumes that a local news station flew a drone over his house in order to cover what it says is news.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Kentucky Fancy Farm Picnic

The governor feels his privacy was invaded. 

Bill Clark

I think of Kentucky as the home of drone warfare.

It's where renowned (in his part of Kentucky) anti-drone warrior William Merideth shot down a drone that he said was spying on him and his family. A judge sided with him.

Now the state's governor is angry at what he says was a drone invading the airspace over his house.

Gov. Matt Bevin took to Twitter -- so you know this serious -- to complain: "The drone that was just flying over my home & filming my children was personally flown by @WDRBNews Director."

Could it be that a reputable news station had mustered the nerve to hover a drone over the governor's abode?

Well, the very director whom Bevin accused in his tweet also took to Twitter to respond, confirming that the station was behind the drone's flight.

".@GovMattBevin WDRB was flying a drone in accordance to the FAA rules to cover news happening at your home. There is NO video of children," tweeted WDRB news director Barry Fulmer, who didn't confirm he was the drone's pilot.

Neither Bevin nor Fulmer immediately responded to a request for comment. 

Why, though, might have Fulmer chosen to pilot his way over Bevin's home? 

One possibility is a story that aired on WDRB on Tuesday. It involved a controversy surrounding the true value of the governor's residence, which was purchased through a limited liability company. The local Courier-Journal referred to it as a possible "sweetheart deal."

What a fascinating portent it is of the world to come. Or, rather the one that's already here. Drones flying where helicopters fear to tread. Or, perhaps, where helicopters are just more expensive to fly.

Drones might, at least in Amazon's eyes, be so useful in delivering our every material need that they'll soon be, in Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' words, "as common as seeing a mail truck."

But their ability to snoop is one that is unparalleled. Why, a new Amazon patent offers the possibility that its drones will scan your house while they're delivering your chainsaw. 

I don't think William Merideth would like that at all. I'm not sure I'd like it either.

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