TMZ has denied it is working on a celebrity drone to help the company learn even more secrets about the stars. Foreign paparazzi are using the technological devices to spy on the rich and famous from afar, and TMZ had allegedly filed an application to use a drone of some sort with the FAA, according to reports.
"Paparazzi are already using small drones on the Riviera to shoot photos of celebrities in hard-to-access areas," The San Francisco Chronicle reported. The Federal Air and Aviation agency has reportedly "been flooded with applications from police departments … even the celebrity gossip site TMZ, all seeking to use drones that range from devices the size of a hummingbird to full-size aircraft."
TMZ, however, has a completely different story and has adamantly denied "getting in the drone business. We don't have a drone. We don't want a drone. We never applied for a drone … despite a bogus report to the contrary," editors posted on its website.
"Truth is … while drones are, in fact, awesome … it just ain't true. We could drone on and on … but you get the point," they continued.
It seems that TMZ actually has its story straight; FAA spokesman Ian Gregor later told Politico that TMZ never "requested or inquired about an authorization" to fly a drone.
The use of drones by government and other domestic agencies has set off a nationwide debate. Do they violate personal privacy or keep the nation safe? President Obama has used more drones during his first term than any other president, and other countries are taking notice.
Pakistan, for example, has aired its grievances after numerous innocent citizens were killed by United States drones targeting terrorist cells. Now that domestic agencies want to jump on the bandwagon, where will it end? Some states already use them to monitor trouble areas without their citizens' awareness, showing that someone is always watching.