posted on Jun, 11 2006 @ 12:47 AM
There are all kinds of problems with this of course.
1. No 'streaming' anything is secure over a sophisticated electronics environment (i.e. Radio Shack and Spy Emporium type shops). Whether to
spoofing of the link itself or 'sampling'.
2. SWAT does a lot of nominally hard target stuff that can cover for other things and is generally unacknowledged in these secondary missions until
caught (Our own Denver PD has shot people in the 'wrong house' after tasking by an officer that _knew_ it was the 'wrong house' but had a personal
motivation, Miami's HRT has gotten so deep with private drug wars and excesses of power, including kidnap and torture, that they effectively
disbanded the team.).
3. 'Your Fellow Citizens' all sign NDA's on hire and are institutionally closed-ranks biased by personality type (authoritarian bully complexes).
Additionaly, _particularly_ for robotic orbit systems; operators can be replaced in the blink of an eye and have to choose between either not knowing
what went on and facing civil or criminal penalties for voicing a suspicion (certainly at the cost of their job). Or accepting a 3-monkey condition
for 'lapses in awareness' brought on by an invitation to leave the room or GCS control vehicle for a few minutes. That this could happen via even
more rabidly centrist 'federal agencies' who scoop up assets and asset gathered data all the time as is is equally implicit to netcentric intel
systems as any 'world wide expert analysis' argument.
4. Nobody with an ounce of sense really believes the threat of drugs (which is where this is most likely to generate street-dealer useful video),
like human smuggling, is anything but artificially induced, controlled and _profitable_ industry. Which leads to the potential for 'watching the
market' to adjust payoff ratios and bring new criminals 'into a system' of officialized corruption as much as anything useful.
5. As soon as video goes full digital, probably as a function of bandwidth, there will be no means to identify manipulated from authentic sourced
6. Most of the early systems at least had no stabilization or even pan and tilt. Which means 'pointing the camera' means pointing the aircraft and
multispectral cameras required changeouts of entire payload modules (whose cost in the I2R variety will about double the drone price). Where this
changes, the nature of miniaturization will support ever smaller, MORE intrusive capable, followons.
7. Such systems could invoke an increasing reliance upon 'standoff community management' whereby a drone overhead replaced police presence whose
very bully-for-us INTIMIDATION is used to keep things quiet with black and whites. Whether for economics or simple 'not worth it for the risk'
defacto sheep-to-the-wolves sacrificial policies in some low-rent areas of an urban sprawl. You cut back on in your face patrolling of a barrio or
hood in trade for containment and crime rates will rise where they can least be afforded, even as 'unfair surveillance techniques' civil complaints
and general sense of oppression will also rise. Assuming that the tapes are ever revealed because evidence of a crime may be a _bad thing_ for a
strictly budgeted judicial system.
8. 5 minute assembly times are worthless for realtime pursuit. Unmentioned is total loiter window. This makes the whole 'no intent to launch Big
Brother surveillance efforts' quote a lie on it's face. Because the NUMBER ONE investment area (fuel cell technologies specifically) in unmanned
systems is in MAV vehicles. Not Mediums but _Miniature/Micros_.
And the only reason industry would invest in such technology is because you see readily that the civillian market for 'virtual policing' is _VASTLY_
larger in a husband-the-herd sense of the helpless if not innocent being denser on the ground and thus needing more 'minding' than the terrorists
and active combattants (who not only have the intent but the weapons to accurately shoot back with).
9. We are now in a situation wherein the legislation which granted 100K death benefits to GWOT soldiers also _manditorially_ included provisions for
state licensing bureaus to comply with future Federally Mandated biometric ID specs (or face losing funding across a range of subsidized programs).
When video matches faces to bodies (real or digitally imagined) _in a civillian populace_ which was heretofore assumed 'innocent until proven
otherwise'; the _basic tools_ of tyranny will be in place to allow one evil man or group to exploit a system erected in fearful panic or economic
desparation to dictate the course of what is said, by whom, 'with proof'. Or else (we will put you in-frame with a crime, or pull you out of a
demonstration on a guilt by convenience basis).
This is only the beginning, desensitization, stage of 'unoffending, inconspicuous, harmless overwatch to save small children and hazmat spills'.
Once the system is in place, the bureacracy which supports remote surveillance will have both it's own mass and inertia to the point where it will be
impossible to pull free from the body politick.
If you wanted to do this legally, you should have mandated a SPECIFIC CASEPOINT for drone overhead and _strictly_ enforced that single employment
scenario, geographically as much as by need, with FULL SCALE (i.e. unsuitable for most 'civillian' agencies) UAV and a huge paper trail of all
The obvious area is of course border patrol with at least a Shadow if not ERMP type system.
For which California is the worst possible State to choose as a demo-program due to the large hispanic community.
Yet even here, the basis of creating a solution rather than eliminating the need for it dangerous. Because if you want to make Mexico sit up and
behave, tear up NAFTA and enforce a 1 million dollar per man aid package penalty for border crashers until they clean up their own damn problems.
UAV technology is too dangerous for what it ultimately does to the public trust in data information (if we believe it at all, we still feel oppressed
by it's omnipresence and our lack of control over it's use) for civillian use.
It should remain in the military whose nominal peacetime powers within our nation are highly abbreviated without declared emergency.
You have been warned by an acknowledged UAV/UCAV 'nut' that civillian policing UAVs inside CONUS is the beginning of a VERY BAD IDEA.