The Federal Aviation Administration has a range of excuses for its piecemeal transparency around domestic drone deployments. In the latest whopper, the FAA insists that exporting a list of agencies that have applied for drone waivers is a “large and voluminous” request requiring several months of delays.
The Drone Census project was born out of general resistance from government agencies — and the FAA, in particular — to transparency around domestic drones. It took two lawsuits from the Electronic Frontier Foundation plus an official inquiry letter from a congressman to get the FAA to release its lists of agencies that have applied for drone authorizations. But the most recent list released only goes through October 2012, and the FAA has authorized hundreds of waivers since then.
But when I asked the FAA for an updated list of government agencies with drone waivers in November, FAA FOIA staff threw up a number of oddly familiar excuses. Read the full story of delay and stonewalling at Motherboard.