Obama calls for drone regulation after White House crash

Obama calls for drone regulation after White House crash
# 27 January 2015 21:28 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. US President Barack Obama has called for unmanned aircraft to be more closely regulated, after a small drone crashed into the White House grounds, APA reports quoting Press TV.

Early on Monday, a "quadcopter" flying at low altitude crashed into the White House complex, prompting officials to declare a security lockdown.

The US Secret Service said an investigation is “under way to determine the origin of this commercially available device, motive, and to identify suspects.”

In an interview with CNN broadcast on Tuesday, Obama said the remote-controlled aircraft was the kind “you buy in Radio Shack,” urging a regulatory framework for drones.

Asked if the US president was confident that a drone armed with weapons would not crash into the White House in the future, Obama said, “This is a broader problem. I'll leave the Secret Service to talk about this particular event."

He said government agencies were working on establishing a system to ensure drones were not dangerous and not violating privacy rights of people.

"We don't yet have the legal structures and the architecture both globally and within individual countries to manage them the way that we need to," he said.

"Part of my job over the past several years and over the next couple of years that I'm still in office is seeing if we can start providing some sort of framework that ensures that we get the good and minimize the bad," he noted.

According to the New York Times, the crashed drone was operated by a government employee who told the Secret Service he did not mean to fly it over the White House grounds.

The man said he lost control of the drone before it crashed on the grounds of the White House.

Republican lawmaker John Mica said on Monday the Secret Service isn’t making any efforts to prevent a drone disaster.

“You have this capability. You could put light explosives on a drone and they could do an incredible amount of damage not only to the White House but to the Capitol and other government facilities,” Mica said.

The drone crash comes as the Secret Service is recovering from a series of embarrassing security breaches.

According to a report by the Washington Post, it took the Secret Service five days to discover that a man had shot seven bullets at the White House in 2011.

Another security lapse occurred in September, when a US war veteran was able to reach deep into the White House with a knife, an unprecedented security breach in recent decades.