Claim: FAA conspiring with Police to limit news access to Black Rock


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This Forbes article alleges that the FAA is improperly using it's authority to close airspace over the Standing Rock protest site to news outlets in co-operation with law enforcement for he purpose of restricting media reporting.

the article is behind an "adblock free" barrier - I've read it on another site but for various reasons connected with earthquakes in New Zealand (true....I could explain but it would take pages!) I can't access it now. I'll post some content and another link when I can.

It alleges that the FAA is not authorised to restrict airspace for such purpose - I'm not completely au fait with the appropriate legislation....but if true then here is, finally, a proper "conspiracy" of "da Gubmint" abusing its powers to repress the people....

further it alleges that up to 8 drones have actually been shot down by police.
I have access to my original source now, which is the November 28 issue (# 236) or Flight Safety Information sent out by Curt Lewis & Assoc but can't provide a link - there appears to be no archive.

However the article being commented on is available here:


The FAA has imposed a 4-nautical mile Temporary Flight Restriction, (“TFR”), in airspace up to 3500 feet above sea level, over the Standing Rock Protest in North Dakota. The land in that area sits approximately 1600 feet above sea level, meaning about 1900 feet of the sky above the protest is off limits to any aircraft other than those permitted to fly — namely, aircraft in support of the law enforcement activities.

Neither the mainstream media, nor citizen journalists, nor activist hobbyists may fly in that area to document what law enforcement is doing. In essence, a “giant tarp” has been laid over the site, allowing law enforcement to act with impunity and without any witnesses. There is something very troubling about that, especially given the widespread accounts of militaristic law enforcement tactics, many of which have already been documented by drones.
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The commentary in the Curt Lewis Newsletter includes:

Keeping the media from documenting law enforcement actions is not part of the FAA's mission. Nor is it a legal basis for issuing flight restrictions. Although that's exactly what it was caught doing during the violent protests that followed the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri. Transcripts on a recorded air traffic control line show that the air traffic control center responsible for issuing the temporary flight restriction - or TFR - knew that the restrictions were requested to keep media out and actively assisted in wording the flight restrictions to keep media out. If you don't believe me, read the transcripts obtained by the Associated Press, and quoted in a recent post by Peter Sachs writing in the Drone Law Journal.
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is this TFR happening NOW? this blog mentions it but it ended Nov 4th.
The FAA closed the airspace a couple of days after authorities said a drone approached a helicopter monitoring the protest in a “threatening manner,” according to the local sheriff’s office.
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Only response aircraft in support of law enforcement activity are authorized in the airspace, according to the order.

“There are pilots who have concern for their safety when drones are being flown near them, which is an FAA violation,” said Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier
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ok looks they they started implementing another one last Saturday - Dec 2nd.

But there are reporters (and 5000 protesters) on the ground taking photos. I dont really see the issue with a no fly zone.

and your dronelaw link says
It does not take a degree in rocket science to realize the effect of the TFR is that it blocks any documentation of the protest from the sky. Whether that is also the reason it was requested and granted is a matter of opinion, of course
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so, i personally am going to agree with him that it is a matter of opinion. unless new evidence comes to light. I read the ferguson transcripts and i see nothing that indicates it was ordered for anything other than safety.
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