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FBI director says surveillance drones used in U.S.

11 Comments

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The difference between traditional aircraft surveillance and drones is endurance limiters - drones are pretty much only limited by fuel. Remote operators can change shifts, maintenance is far lower on drones, and fuel consumption is far lower too - all providing vastly superior up-time.

Traditional aircraft surveillance is expensive, and tough to maintain, so it's carefully used. In my local area, police aircraft typically can maintain ready availability for only one in three aircraft; the others being down for service, or used for parts. I learned this during research for a startup company proposing a type of aircraft replacement for the police.

Up-time / endurance delimitation means more surveillance with less cost-based, or express purpose-based justification. This can frequently lead to invasive observation, i.e., finding stuff to do and getting into, or looking for "trouble".

Regardless of the situation, further enabling an entity that already has power over you requires serious consideration. Your default response should always be "no", and you should only assent when extraordinary justification is verified.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The problem is that in any human endevor there are going to be errors. Without the checking of the courts for warrants, etc. it is likely that people could be targeted for no good reason other than typing in the wrong address. Also, without checks and balances there's nothing to prevent a less than upstanding government from abusing the system and going after political enemies.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Way back in 2004-06 there was a documentary showing concerned US citizens who took the time to film some American muslims of the extremist ilk buying up unused land in very remote areas in the US and setting up "training" compounds on US soil. These same concerned citizens kept sending information to the FBI and asking why the heck they weren't doing anything about it. Hence the surviellance drones being used on US soil. So before everyone gets another hair up their hindquarters, at least find out the logical reasoning behind it. Still as I mentioned in another article, proceed with caution.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How is this different from the current and past use of airplanes, helicopters and poll cameras to conduct surveillance?

I'd almost be okay with it if they just used them in place of helicopters and aircraft as the police already do but considering this is coming from the FBI and also the fact that the director didn't spell out how and when the drones are used the burden of proof is squarely on the government to prove that they aren't being used in passive surveillance activities. And if they say that the warrants for drone surveillance come from a FISA court than all bets are off, I don't trust that rubber stamp sham of a court.

And for the record I'm against all forms of passive surveillance including poll camera's. Dash cams on cars are fine though, those are there to make sure that the police are held liable for their actions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good grief. How is this different from the current and past use of airplanes, helicopters and poll cameras to conduct surveillance?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is absolutely terrifying. There is effectively no expectation of privacy right now, and I cringe when I think that in the next 5 years it's going to get much, much worse. I used to listen to late night conspiracy theory radio for fun when I worked concrete testing, but now the "crazies" seem justified.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Plenty of Political drones around. Then using more drones in the air to spy with.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Orwell's "1984" was to be a warning to the sheeple, not a guidebook for the gangsters in the Military-Industrial-Political Establishment.

When will the frogs realize that the water is getting very, very warm ?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

On other sites I keep getting the argument that 'if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear' and frankly I'm getting tired of it. I shouldn't have to worry about some drone technician or NSA flunkies pegging me on some arcane pattern of life style observation technique based on my activities or phone calls.

When will the government kill me?

Unlikely, I'm more concerned about them seeing an upper-middle class hispanic guy spending a lot of time in a crappy neighborhood and assuming he's doing something shady. Or seeing that that very same person makes a lot of international calls to Asia and South America. I could easily see my everyday activities looking very suspicious when taken out of context. Then all it would take would be a single pulled passport or call to my employers for me to lose my job.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

When will the government kill me?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This just keeps getting bigger and bigger. I wonder when the missile strikes will start?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

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