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The FAA is in no hurry to let the public know which police departments, universities and other government agencies have applied for drone waivers, much less which have received them. It took a lawsuit in April 2011 to get the first list released at all, and the FAA hasn’t released an updated one since January 2013....A status of “Active (Approved)” confirms that the agency received a waiver to fly drones in a particular geographic area. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), for instance, which reported spending some $600,000 on unmanned vehicles as of May 2013, has two active drone waivers that expire in April 2015 and January 2016, respectively. ATF had not appeared on previous FAA lists..
Then there are the corporations. Forbes points out that companies like Google could ditch their Street View cars and start deploying advanced, autonomous drones to roam the country for incredibly thorough mapping. If the idea of fleets of corporate-owned drones monitoring us from above doesn’t scare you, then you are a much less paranoid person than I.
According to a former drone operator for the military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) who also worked with the NSA, the agency often identifies targets based on controversial metadata analysis and cell-phone tracking technologies. Rather than confirming a target’s identity with operatives or informants on the ground, the CIA or the U.S. military then orders a strike based on the activity and location of the mobile phone a person is believed to be using.
Proclamation 7463 of September 14, 2001
Declaration of National Emergency by Reason of
Certain Terrorist Attacks
By the President of the United States of America
A national emergency exists by reason of the terrorist
attacks at the World Trade Center, New York, New York,
and the Pentagon, and the continuing and immediate
threat of further attacks on the United States.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the
United States of America, by virtue of the authority
vested in me as President by the Constitution and the
laws of the United States, I hereby declare that the
national emergency has existed since September 11,
2001, and, pursuant to the National Emergencies Act (50
U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), I intend to utilize the following
statutes: sections 123, 123a, 527, 2201(c), 12006, and
12302 of title 10, United States Code, and sections
331, 359, and 367 of title 14, United States Code.
Twelve years after the worst terrorist attack in American history, President Obama yet again extended his predecessor’s Declaration of National Emergency for another year. The declaration, which was originally put into place on September 14, 2001, was renewed on Tuesday.
Police plan to use them at crime scenes such as stand-offs, shootings and whenever a person is barricaded inside a building. Both vehicles are equipped with air conditioning and heat, Watkins said.
“I hope it is intimidating,” Watkins said.