The video above has a very good discussion on the topic of domestic drones; I think it’s a must watch. This is a privacy nightmare and gives local law enforcement way, way too much potential opportunity for abuse….and you should be very concerned. We wrote about this when it passed the Senate HERE. Domestic drones are in their infancy and they’re very, very inexpensive. The technology will only get more advanced….and there are no safeguards to prevent abuses of civil liberties. Time and time again – history has shown us that many local law enforcement agencies will push this to the max….and write this down – there will be multiple, significant controversies with this.
Public Intelligence has the scoop:
Ohio, in particular, has made attracting the drone industry a major component of its statewide economic strategy, hoping to encourage local economic growth and create jobs by making the state the premier location for drone testing and research in the U.S. To further these efforts, the State of Ohio has worked with several business development groups to create the Ohio Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Initiative to promote the state’s prominent role in the drone industry.
The Ohio UAS Initiative aims to make Ohio “the destination of choice for all UAS researchers, developers, manufacturers, suppliers, trainers and educators.” At a roundtable conference held earlier this year, proponents of the initiative argued that Ohio is uniquely positioned to be the national leader for future development in the drone industry. A talking points card instructs proponents of the Ohio UAS Initiative that the state has “assets that support all facets of UAS development and operations” and wants to become the leading center of innovation and collaboration in the drone industry.
There is already an ever louder chorus of U.S. citizens voicing concerns over the growing private surveillance contractor business which is really just an extension of the military intelligence complex. Have no fear…the military intelligence complex is one step ahead of you.
Public Intelligence reports:
A spokesman for the AUVSI recently told Salonthat the organization is initiating a P.R. campaign to counter negative perceptions of drones, particularly on topics related to privacy and their use in targeted killings overseas. The campaign will reportedly include advertising aimed at promoting positive applications of drone technology in disaster response and other humanitarian situations. Presumably, the potential for economic growth and job creation in local economies will continue to remain one of the drone industry’s most attractive attributes as they seek to create a more positive public image.
Computer World explains the bi-partisan vote that made this happen – article HERE:
The Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, signed into law by President Barack Obama last month, requires the FAA to permit the use of drones by law enforcement agencies, commercial organizations and hobbyists.
The statute will initially let law enforcement authorities and emergency services use drones that weigh less than five pounds and fly at an altitude of less than 400 feet starting in May. The law requires that the FAA have rules in place permitting the use of all varieties of drones by law enforcement and private entities by the end of 2015.
Over the next few years, thousands of drones are likely to be in use for varied applications like fugitive tracking and traffic management by law enforcement agencies, crop monitoring, land management, news reporting and filmmaking.
The Washington Post adds that the Supreme Court has already ruled this is Constitutional – article HERE:
Two of the most relevant Supreme Court cases, California v. Ciraolo in 1986 and Florida v. Riley in 1989, addressed law enforcement’s use of manned aircraft to perform surveillance of a suspect’s property. In both cases, the court held that observations made from “public navigable airspace” in the absence of a warrant did not violate the Fourth Amendment.
These precedents suggest, in a world in which UAVs will be inexpensive and plentiful, that government operators might have broad legal latitude to use them for surveillance. Nongovernment operators may have even fewer constraints regarding surveillance. And today’s cameras are far more capable than those of the 1980s and can acquire stunning high-resolution imagery from hundreds of feet away — imagery that can be processed using ever more capable computers.
You can read the full text of the Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 HERE.
You can find the roll call in the Senate for H.R. 658: FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 HERE.
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