FCW – ‘The Internet of Other People’s Things’
Trade association NetChoice’s lawyer Carl Szabo advocated clean, limited best practices.
“If we’re going to have rules, they should be kind of neutral whether it’s commercial or noncommercial,” argued Szabo. “As we get into use limitations, that gets really dangerous.”
He also warned of court battles to come.
If he represented a company using drones to deliver a product from one location to another, Szabo asked, “I should go get the written consent of every landowner that lives below the public airspace [before each delivery]?”
“It’s not practicable,” Geiger countered, pointing to the extensive use of the word “reasonable” in his document to show that he wouldn’t place such a burden on a company. He added that companies should try to route flights over public lands when possible.
“You’re saying you can’t go door to door and knock on people’s houses?” Szabo fired back. “I’m saying that’s how this will be argued [in court].”
While Geiger, Stepanovich and others stressed that “best practices” were just that – suggestions for optimal behavior, not hard and fast rules – Szabo worried that lawmakers would simply lift the eventual NTIA best practices and turn suggestions into law.
“It’s very easy for legislators to take a document like this and start crossing out the word should and replacing it with the word shall,” Szabo warned.