Celebrity gossip site TMZ is applying for a surveillance drone permit, a move that is frightening Americans concerned about their privacy as Congress paves the way for increased drone use over American soil.
According to a report by Gary Martin, a staff writer for Hearst Newspapers - and Viveca Novak, an editorial director with the Center for Responsive Politics, the gossip website was "seeking to use drones" and had an "application for a permit."
FAA officials confirmed that TMZ doesn't have a permit yet.
The FAA has predicted that 30,000 drones could be flying in the United States in less than 20 years.
UPDATE: TMZ has responded to the reports in a statement posted on their website
TMZ is NOT 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. There are several major websites citing a story first published in the San Francisco Chronicle ... which says TMZ filed an application with the Federal Aviation Administration seeking to use a drone device.
UPDATE II: The FAA revealed in a statement they have no record of a TMZ drone permit application
"TMZ does not have FAA authorization to fly an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), and we have no record that TMZ ever requested or inquired about an authorization."