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Domestic use of aerial drones by law enforcement likely to prompt privacy debate

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posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 12:53 PM
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Domestic use of aerial drones by law enforcement likely to prompt privacy debate


www.washingtonpost.com

But by 2013, the FAA expects to have formulated new rules that would allow police across the country to routinely fly lightweight, unarmed drones up to 400 feet above the ground - high enough for them to be largely invisible eyes in the sky.


Such technology could allow police to record the activities of the public below with high-resolution, infrared and thermal-imaging cameras.

(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 12:53 PM
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Welcome to "1984" come to life people...

Pretty soon, we will have our every movements spied on and under surveillance if this nonsense continues to be approved.

And I'm sure there will be those who chime in with the usual, "If you have nothing to hide, then why worry" apathetic approval of such Police state, big brother, endless invasions of our lives.

Imagine, only a couple of years from now where just above you, a drone is constantly flying over your neighborhood and home, and recording everyones activities, using thermal imaging tech to look right through your roof and view you in the privacy of your home, etc., etc....Fun times ahead.

Look up, smile and say "cheese!" heh

www.washingtonpost.com
(visit the link for the full news article)
edit on 23-1-2011 by DimensionalDetective because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 01:04 PM
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reply to post by DimensionalDetective
 

They have a lot more than video cameras on board. Look at this "All Seeing" airship that flies 4 miles up for upto a week at a time:




The Air Force hopes that the extra size should give it enough fuel and helium to stay aloft for as much as a week at a time at nearly four miles up. (Most blimps float at 3,000 feet or less.) Staying up so high for long is all-but-unprecedented. But it's only a third of the proposed flight time for a competing Army airship project.

The Army's "Long Endurance Multi-intelligence Vehicle" relies on a more complicated, hybrid hull. Blue Devil's complexity is in the hardware and software it'll carry aboard.

Sensors will be swapped in and out using an on-board rail system that connects pallets of electronics. Defense start-up Mav6 LLC is doing the integration work. In addition to an array of on-board listening devices, day/night video cameras, communications relays, and receivers for ground sensors, the Blue Devil airship will also carry a wide-area airborne surveillance system, or WAAS. These sensors - like the Gorgon Stare package currently being installed on Reaper spy drones - use hives of a dozen different cameras to film areas up to two-and-a-half miles around.

Source:



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 01:38 PM
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Originally posted by DimensionalDetective

Welcome to "1984" come to life people...

"If you have nothing to hide, then why worry"


This cant be repeated enough. Its just a matter of time before they require cams on the tv's in our own homes to see what we do in them. This is getting out of hand, and like you have said, there will be many sheeple who say "Well, I dont do anything wrong...yada, yada, yada."

That is not the point. Maybe you arent doing anything wrong, right now but one day you might be percieved to be doing something that is wrong and thats all it takes. Think about it. Not 15 years ago you could and most likely did bring a liquid hand soap with you in your carry on and now this is percieved as a terrorist threat in many cases if you some how sneak it past the security (the xray of your carryon, the pat down, and the full body scan) and decide to pull it out and use it to clean your hands after you eat the free peanuts or something. 15 years ago we would have thought that somebody carrying a small bottle of hand soap on a plane and being perceived as a terrorist was absurd.

Another example would be that HMS sent out that memo after the election a couple years ago saying that people with Ron Paul bumper stickers are most likely homegrown terrorists and part of militias that are out to destroy the government. You see, its the perception of a threat to the people in power that is what gets classified as "doing something wrong." What happens when the amount of salt that you use in your food one day is perceived as a "threat" and you get thrown in jail? I know this is an extreme example and it takes a bit of imagination to believe that the government would actually find a way to find out such absurdities and tptb viewed such a thing as an offense but the question still remains, what if?

The government has allready set up a stool-pigeons site of its own where anybody can go to and narc on their friends and family if they think that they are "getting out of hand" so to speak with their ideas of who should be in the government and what ideals that these people should have. Heck, if you want a historical lesson, just do some reading on the east german stasi and how many narc's they had working for them, often times husband and wife telling on each other over trivial bs. Now add this recent development that your local government is going about with daily flyovers to check in on you. When does it end? When do you get outraged? Are you that afraid allready to not say something about this obvious invasion of privacy?

What about all the people that were complaining about wasted government spending just not but a couple months ago? Does the country really need this type of spending right now in local districts while most if not all the country is still deep in a recession? Where is the outrage over the spending and upkeep of these drone planes?

What about all the people who compain about the commies that are taking over our country? Has anybody ever read about what the old Red's in Russia used to do to spy on their own? Does anybody remember the propaganda that was taught in our school systems not so long ago about what the Russian government used to do? So is okay to complain about such attrocities yet if we do it to ourselves its okey-dokie?

The silence of the people is deafening in these increasing efforts to invade our privacy.



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 01:45 PM
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I would say most certainly this will bring up privacy issues and a host of others as well. For example, property rights: who owns the airspace above our property? How far up? Can property owners to defend the airspace over their properties? By what means? At a 400 foot ceiling, many non-weaponized responses can be utilized, although I'll bet there's a whole bunch of folks out there that would take to the skies at that range. Might provide some fun for skeet enthusiasts.
Not recommended - the "fallout" could be enormous.

ganjoa



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 02:05 PM
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I heard one of these flying over my neighborhood in Spring 2004, at first sounded like a neighbor was running a weed-eater or small 2-cycle of some kind. Around 3 AM I was outside smoking a cig as I was not sleeping well at the time. I could not see it as there was a low cloud ceiling. But as I listened, it was making a grid pattern over the block, getting closer and closer. It was definitley overhead, and passing back and forth. If it was not an extremely still night, or if you were inside, you would never hear it.

I had already read about the technology, and I knew what it was. Probably looking for "hot-spots" on peoples roof's, or kids making out in their backyard, whatever.

This is nothing new, and the fact that it's being released now is no surprise (to me): It's already been used on US for years. The typical time-frame, 5 to 10 years after the fact.

Good find and I hope people catch on to this!!!
edit on 23-1-2011 by 1SawSomeThings because: surprise (to me)



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 02:16 PM
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every one here has brought up some good points. I actuallu surprised that this isnt already being used. For some reason I thought that they were used in certain area of the US, and that the courts had already ruled.

It has to do with an expectatin of privacy. Xray cameras that look into your house from thedrone, likely will be ruled illegal. Inrared cameras that can judge temperature differences, likely will be ruled perfectly legal. You can buy them yourself privately and point them at any ones house you want. No expectation of privavcy regarding the temperature of your abode.

One Supreme Court case states that the 4th amendment protects 'people, not places'



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 02:17 PM
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I believe the use of the drones could be a valuable tool for observation of high crime areas and for large gatherings. The problem with that is the 400 ft limitation. Three story buildings and cell towers will be extremely difficult to navigate, I would expect.(But, then again I am horrible at video games. Others may have no trouble.)

While there is no expectation of privacy, while outdoors in public places and little more while in indoor public places, a person's home is an entirely different matter.


“At the very core” of the Fourth Amendment “stands the right of a man to retreat into his own home and there be free from unreasonable governmental intrusion.” Silverman v. United States, 365 U.S. 505, 511 (1961).


SCOTUS 99-8508

The above source, titled Kyllo v. U.S., is a case involving the warrantless use of a thermal imaging device to "view" into a private residence. The Agent used the device to determine if the resident was using heat lamps in a marijuana grow operation. He, then, obtained a warrant using his observations as probable cause.

The SCOTUS ruled that the warrantless use of the thermal imaging device was unreasonable, thus removing its applicability as probable cause. Bravo!

Justice Scalia wrote the opinion included these key statements, relevant to the topic at hand.


The present case involves officers on a public street engaged in more than naked-eye surveillance of a home. We have previously reserved judgment as to how much technological enhancement of ordinary perception from such a vantage point, if any, is too much. While we upheld enhanced aerial photography of an industrial complex in Dow Chemical, we noted that we found “it important that this is not an area immediately adjacent to a private home, where privacy expectations are most heightened,” 476 U.S., at 237, n. 4 (emphasis in original).



It would be foolish to contend that the degree of privacy secured to citizens by the Fourth Amendment has been entirely unaffected by the advance of technology. For example, as the cases discussed above make clear, the technology enabling human flight has exposed to public view (and hence, we have said, to official observation) uncovered portions of the house and its curtilage that once were private. See Ciraolo, supra, at 215. The question we confront today is what limits there are upon this power of technology to shrink the realm of guaranteed privacy.


He goes on to address the dissenters' opinion that the Agent had only observed heat which was "radiating" through the exterior walls. Scalia compares that argument to a previous case, Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347 (1967), wherein the warrantless "eavesdropping" on a telephone conversation, taking place inside a closed telephone booth, using surveillance equipment placed on the exterior of the booth, was ruled unreasonable.

Scalia makes it quite clear that the person's expectation of privacy in his/her home is paramount.


We have said that the Fourth Amendment draws “a firm line at the entrance to the house,” Payton, 445 U.S., at 590. That line, we think, must be not only firm but also bright–which requires clear specification of those methods of surveillance that require a warrant. While it is certainly possible to conclude from the videotape of the thermal imaging that occurred in this case that no “significant” compromise of the homeowner’s privacy has occurred, we must take the long view, from the original meaning of the Fourth Amendment forward.


And we should not accept anything less than "a firm line at the entrance to the house".



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 02:39 PM
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I accept the begining of the property I own... Just because I hav open air does not mean they can view it...

Its not you it is me...

I wonder if anybody has won to over owning the airspace from your land...

(Airspace, land, mineral rights)

I also wonder what would happen if people had the jammers... and say em pulsers for the fly overs....

In texas you can shot and ask questions later... if they did not id themselves pre-entry... but that is just speculation..

Those would be some interesting cases...

(I am so proud of my dads home state... I love yall... wipes tears from eyes....)


The violation of privacy is not an established area.... Some states such as texas and florida have an interesting problem... Defense versus privacy and where it begins......

the aerial drones are a violation of privacy if they fly over private property with out permission...

I disagree with the stating of where privacy rights on property begins...

Could we agree to cover this so i know how my response plays with the theme of the thread..

I may have misunderstood where thread was going... thank you



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 02:40 PM
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reply to post by WTFover
 


Although I largely agree with the premise of your post in regards to crime areas, I will single out "large gatherings" bolded below.



I believe the use of the drones could be a valuable tool for observation of high crime areas and for large gatherings. The problem with that is the 400 ft limitation. Three story buildings and cell towers will be extremely difficult to navigate, I would expect.(But, then again I am horrible at video games. Others may have no trouble.)


What if the large gatherings are protesting Government policies, and are trying to redress grievances against the currently standing administration? Like anti-war protesters, anti-tax protesters, anti-immigration, anti-obamacare protesters.......;

Could not the drones be used to selectively reduce the population of activists who may be looking out for the best interests of the Republic? Are they assuredly not carrying airborne weapons packages?

How would we know if they did? They could be blamed on some fool bypasser(s) or home-grown terrorists.

These drones have taken out people overseas, why not here???




edit on 23-1-2011 by 1SawSomeThings because: moar....



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 02:47 PM
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reply to post by DimensionalDetective
 


I knew this would be a matter of time,but i'm sure the big brother agency's already dispatch drones above us all the time,sure why not.

Drones= more drug busts,more probable cause to search your property and home.
Drones= more money,power and control.

What gets me is,we pay these A**h@LES to work for us,and all they do is abuse our money,our people and country!

All these pieces of garbage should be fired and imprisoned for all the tyranny abuse and lies!
I see one of these things over my property,I'm shooting it down.



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 03:11 PM
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Originally posted by ripcontrol
the aerial drones are a violation of privacy if they fly over private property with out permission...


Let me begin my explanation with a couple of questions. Have you ever flown in a commercial plane? How about a private plane?

The airspace is considered to be public, permitting air travel, freight, etc. and, therefor does not require "permission". While in a plane, anyone is able to view activities occurring below them, not covered by a structure. Since anyone has that capability, law enforcement is permitted to conduct aerial surveillance, without a warrant. Also, consider a person's private property that can be seen from a a window or rooftop of a tall building. There is no expectation of privacy there.

With that said, there is case law on the use of technology to enhance a human's capability to observe, i.e. telephoto lenses, binoculars, night vision, etc. I will have to do some research to provide that, as I can't immediately recall the info.

But what it comes down to is expectation of privacy.



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 03:26 PM
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reply to post by 1SawSomeThings
 


Where I saw their value, in the case of large gatherings, is to protect those people's "right to peaceably assemble". The use of the drones would enable LE to accurately identify those who would use such an event to do violence and cause property damage, and to extract those individuals from the "peaceable" gatherers.

Without them, as is the current tactic, everyone is expelled from areas where the non-peaceable and illegal activities are occurring.

As far as the weaponizing of drones for civilian law enforcement. I highly doubt any local governing body would permit that, for everyday use. Yes, there are armed robots, however they are only used in specialized situations such as in a hostage crisis.



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 03:27 PM
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Originally posted by WTFover

Originally posted by ripcontrol
the aerial drones are a violation of privacy if they fly over private property with out permission...


Let me begin my explanation with a couple of questions. Have you ever flown in a commercial plane? How about a private plane?

The airspace is considered to be public, permitting air travel, freight, etc. and, therefor does not require "permission". While in a plane, anyone is able to view activities occurring below them, not covered by a structure. Since anyone has that capability, law enforcement is permitted to conduct aerial surveillance, without a warrant. Also, consider a person's private property that can be seen from a a window or rooftop of a tall building. There is no expectation of privacy there.

With that said, there is case law on the use of technology to enhance a human's capability to observe, i.e. telephoto lenses, binoculars, night vision, etc. I will have to do some research to provide that, as I can't immediately recall the info.

But what it comes down to is expectation of privacy.


Ok now I am confused... a group of friends sued because the airplanes where flying through their property... the airports have to lease the airspace I thought???

I will ask them next time I see them for details it is probably me..

thank you for your response... could the drones get hit with the same enhancement protocol... zooming in and all.. now you have my undivided attention...those laws you find might become the basis for the interpretation of the privacy issues...

Of course I can see the judges giving a standing warrant to fly through the air and zoom from x heights.. google earth does it... I had not thought of that application???

Take your time and thank you for being polite... I try not to rub people the wrong way...
edit on 23-1-2011 by ripcontrol because: It would have been better for my high school english teacher to be ugly



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 03:28 PM
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Only a matter of time before we start hearing about true patriots to the constitution who start shooting these God damned things out of the sky.

How much do these drones cost???

I'll bet ammo is cheaper than drones........for now!!!



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 03:31 PM
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Here's a cool toy being used by Canadian LEO agencies and Mesa County Sherriffs Dept. has recieved FAA approval for use, not sure if it's in use yet in the US.
www.rchelicopter.com...
The biggest complications with the drones are FAA regulations, area flight restrictions, filing flight plans, etc..there's a lot of paper work and saftey issues to iron out before we see drones flying around over our cities as a constant.
edit on 23-1-2011 by mtnshredder because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 03:44 PM
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Originally posted by ripcontrol
...thank you for being polite... I try not to rub people the wrong way


You're welcome and you did not at all.

I would have to see documentation of someone's successful suit over private ownership of airspace, before I would believe it. Yes, the FAA regulates it, but they do so as an extension of the people.

Consider the use of ultralight aircraft. Anyone can buy and operate one, free to fly almost anywhere with minimal restrictions. You can own one, without any licensing or training requirements, and fly over your neighbors' property.



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 03:53 PM
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Honestly, I thought we were already doing this at our Southern border, and on some stretches of freeways where signs say "Speed Monitored by Aircraft." I'd like to see a plane pull me over for doing 100mph..

There is absolutely no reason for the police to use drones against our own people. However, I would consider the idea of armed-drones flying around protecting our major cities from another 9/11, definitely not to spy on us. Although, I am sure if we let them do that they would end up killing 100's of innocent citizens too.



edit on 23-1-2011 by tooo many pills because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 04:09 PM
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Predator drones have been in active service along the border with Canada here in Michigan for over 6 years now. However, I can see how it's cheaper for patrol along the great lakes(as opposed to using boats). I don't think cops need anything of the sort though. What is most odd is the FAA saying they regulate this? No one needs a permit to fly a RC plane or helicopter...so why would local LE need approval?



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 04:44 PM
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reply to post by ripcontrol
 


Okay, here's what I've come up with so far...


In an age where private and commercial flight in the public airways is routine, it is unreasonable for respondent to expect that his marijuana plants were constitutionally protected from being observed with the naked eye from an altitude of 1,000 feet. The Fourth Amendment simply does not require the police traveling in the public airways at this altitude to obtain a warrant in order to observe what is visible to the naked eye.


California v. Ciraolo

Basically, as in Katz v. U.S., if you expose activities or objects to the public view, it is also lawful for LE to observe, without a warrant.

In Dow Chemical v. U.S. the majority opinion says


It may well be, as the Government concedes, that surveillance of private property by using highly sophisticated surveillance equipment not generally available to the public, such as satellite technology, might be constitutionally proscribed absent a warrant.


Proscribed = Forbidden

But, note the usage of the word "might". The reason is it wasn't an issue in Dow, as no such technology was used.

So, to summarize, since the drones will be used at heights of less than 400 ft., it won't be an issue. But, it could become a issue for the SCOTUS, if technology is used to observe something smaller than is easily visible to the naked eye.



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