Law and Public Policy

Google and Amazon Drones: Regulation vs. Innovation

Greg McNeal Drones StanfordOn February 9th I will be making a presentation at Stanford Law School.  The title of the talk is “Google and Amazon Drones: Regulation vs. Innovation.”  

The event is free and open to the public, so please stop by if you are in the area.

Details
February 9, 2015 12:45pm – 2:00pm
Room 95

Professor Greg McNeal will be speaking about the interplay between regulation of private drones and the steps that private companies are taking to use drones in commerce. Commentary will be provided by Prof. Hank Greely.

Google and Amazon Drones: Regulation vs. Innovation Stanford Greg McNeal 

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Law and Public Policy

Drones And the Future of Aerial Surveillance

UC Davis Law LogoTomorrow at UC Davis School of Law, I will be presenting my paper “Domestic Drones and the Future of Aerial Surveillance.”  The event will begin at 12 noon and Professor Elizabeth Joh will be providing commentary.  The event is open to the public, however the hosts are requesting pre-registration here.

Here is an excerpt from the paper abstract:

The use of drones systems raises serious questions about modern conceptions of privacy. This article examines the constitutional doctrine related to aerial surveillance and technology, and finds that current doctrine is unlikely to prevent the use of unmanned systems. The article proposes a series of legislative solutions intended to place surveillance by drones on the same legal footing as surveillance by manned aircraft — a status quo solution. The paper then analyzes the circumstances under which that new status quo may break down, and proposes remedies that could be implemented depending upon the nature of the emergent privacy harms.

 

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Law and Public Policy

School of Law’s Greg McNeal Awarded Grant For Research On America’s Targeted Killing Policy

Greg McNeal Research GrantGreg McNeal, associate professor of law, has received $165,000 from the Carthage Foundation to research the U.S. practice of targeted killings. The research and resulting book will educate policymakers and the public about America’s use of lethal force against suspected terrorists.

Professor McNeal’s research is grounded in the idea that when the United States government kills people on traditional and non-traditional battlefields, bureaucrats play a key role in the killings yet have little visibility into the analytical processes that precede their final decisions. The book will be based on archival and field research and will explain, examine, and offer recommendations for enhancing the success, accountability, and effectiveness of U.S. policies conducted pursuant to America’s new way of warfare.

The research builds upon previous work conducted by Professor McNeal for his article “Targeted Killings and Accountability,” which was featured in the Georgetown Law Journal and won the 2013 Article of the Year award from the American National Section of the International Association of Penal Law. Professor McNeal also recently appeared on MSNBC to discuss the FAA’s selection of civilian drone testing sites in nine states.

Professor McNeal is an expert in international security with an active scholarly agenda focused on national security, warfare, surveillance, and new technologies. Since arriving at Pepperdine, he has twice been called upon to testify before Congress on matters related to national security and frequently consults with elected officials regarding proposed legislation. He recently consulted with and contributed to the development of two U.S. military field manuals aimed at preventing harm to civilians in conflict. He teaches criminal law, criminal procedure, and courses related to national security law and international affairs.

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Law and Public Policy

A Discussion About Civilian Drones, Privacy and FAA Test Sites

Professor Gregory McNeal appeared on MSNBC to discuss the FAA’s selection of civilian drone testing sites in nine states.  During the six minute interview McNeal discussed the positive uses of drones, and some of the privacy concerns raised by drone critics.  One of his articles in Forbes was excerpted during the interview and was a central part of the discussion with MSNBC host Craig Melvin.  Professor McNeal has testified before Congress about the integration of civilian drones into U.S. airspace and has written about military drones in an award winning article forthcoming in the Georgetown Law Journal.  His research about military drones is funded by a $175,000 grant and will be published as a book next year.  

http://player.theplatform.com/p/2E2eJC/EmbeddedOffSite?guid=n_melvin_drones_140104

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Law and Public Policy

McNeal Testimony Regarding Drones Privacy and Surveillance

I recently testified before the House Judiciary Committee regarding drones and domestic surveillance.  Pepperdine ran a story on the testimony which I’ve pasted below.

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Associate Professor of Law Gregory McNeal testified before the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary on May 17 regarding the use of unmanned aerial systems, known commonly as drones, for surveillance purposes inside the U.S. Professor McNeal, an expert in national security law and policy, cautioned against the use of broadly worded warrant requirements as a tool to protect privacy or public safety. Instead, he recommended surveillance legislation that would require more transparency in the use of these systems by law enforcement.

McNeal’s testimony offered various considerations for pending legislation, including arguing against blanket prohibitions on the use of drones for the collection of evidence or information unless authorized by a warrant, and the argument that broadly worded use restrictions that prohibit use of evidence gathered by drones exceed the parameters of the Fourth Amendment and may not serve to protect privacy. Furthermore, McNeal argued that Congress should eschew drone specific legislation and instead look to legislating what places are entitled to privacy protection and clearly define search terminology including terms such as surveillance and private property.

“What’s interesting about working in national security is that there is a foreign affairs and international law aspect to my work that was one strand of my research, drones being used on battlefields,” McNeal said. “But, national security also encompasses domestic law enforcement, homeland security, and all manner of government surveillance and tracking. Those issues also relate to my teaching, specifically criminal procedure and criminal law.”

McNeal noted that his writing on the topic began when policymakers became interested in how drone technology would be used in the United States and what the legal implications of such use might be. That writing, he said, was in the form of short essays that have appeared in Forbes and longer draft papers that will soon be published law review articles. The writing provided an opportunity for McNeal to speak at the Association of Unmanned Vehicles International national conference.

“This was the biggest gathering of manufacturers in the aerospace industry and my panel was focused on privacy law and surveillance,” McNeal said. “From that experience I began hearing from legislators at the federal level and from various state governments, to the point where about once every other week over the past year I’ve been fielding a phone call or an email from someone asking me to comment on draft legislation. All of that came to a head last week with my invitation to testify before the House Judiciary Committee.”

McNeal is a professor at Pepperdine University where his research and teaching focus on national security law and policy, criminal law and procedure and international law. He previously served as Assistant Director of the Institute for Global Security, co-directed a transnational counterterrorism grant program for the U.S. Department of Justice, and served as a legal consultant to the Chief Prosecutor of the Department of Defense Office of Military Commissions on matters related to the prosecution of suspected terrorists held in the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He is a Forbes contributor where he writes a column about law, policy and security.

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Law and Public Policy

Drones and Due Process

On Wednesday June 5, 2013 I’ll be participating in an event sponsored by the Los Angeles Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society and the Libertarian Law Council.  The event is entitled “Drones and Due Process.

Speakers:

  • Prof. John C. Yoo, Professor of Law, UC Berkeley School of Law
  • Prof. Gregory S. McNeal, Associate Professor of Law, Pepperdine University School of Law
  • Ahilan Arulanantham, Deputy Legal Director, ACLU of Southern California
  • Moderator: Jeremy B. Rosen, Partner, Horvitz & Levy LLP

At this luncheon, John Yoo (UC Berkeley), Greg McNeal (Pepperdine), and Ahilan Arulanantham (ACLU) will discuss the due-process, privacy, and national-security implications of drone use for targeted killings overseas and aerial surveillance at home.

Location:
McCormick & Schmick’s
4th & Hope Streets
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Registration details:

Please respond by sending an email to la.fedsoc@gmail.com if you wish to attend.

The cost of the luncheon is $25. Public employees, public-interest lawyers, students, and law clerks may pay a discounted rate of $20. Payment (cash or checks only) will be accepted at the door.

MCLE Credit: One Hour

 

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