The White House grounds are adequately protected from the threat of drone attack, spokesman Eric Schultz said Wednesday, days after a small quadcopter crash-landed on the South Lawn.
"This technology is not new to the Secret Service. This is something they've been working through for some time," Schultz said.
The Secret Service said Tuesday that a government employee had called the agency Monday morning to admit he was the one who had been flying the approximately 2-foot-long remote control quadcopter that crashed on the southeast side of the White House complex. The employee admitted to the agency that he had been drinking at the time.
But the Secret Service has not said whether jamming technologies protecting the White House were responsible for the craft being downed. The agency has faced tough questions about security in the aftermath of a series of breaches last year, including one man who was able to scale the fence and run into the executive mansion.
On Tuesday, President Obama said the U.S. needed to create a “regulatory structure” for the domestic use of drones.
“There are incredibly useful functions that these drones can play in terms of farmers who are managing crops and conservationists who want to take stock of wildlife." Obama said in an interview with CNN, noting companies like Amazon were experimenting with using drones to deliver packages. "But we don't really have any kind of regulatory structure at all for it."
The president said he had asked the federal government to work with outside groups to create a regulatory framework that “ensures that we get the good and minimize the bad." He said he wanted a framework that preserved privacy and safety while allowing for innovation, and likened the effort to the early days of the Internet.
"These technologies that we're developing have the capacity to empower individuals in ways that we couldn't even imagine 10 to 15 years ago," Obama said.
And on Wednesday, the manufacturer of the drone discovered on the White House grounds said it would release an update preventing the use of the aircraft within the District of Columbia, a restricted airspace.