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Archive for February 6th, 2012

Congress: Bring in the Drones. They Could Be Patrolling the Air Over Charlotte By As Soon As 2015.

They work so well for taking out terrorists in rogue states we haven’t declared war on, Congress just can’t wait to get them in the air here in the United States to, um … we’ll get to that in a minute.

“The plan… shall provide for the safe integration of civil unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system as soon as practicable, but not later than September 30, 2015.”

Predator drones like this one may soon become a regular sight over Charlotte air space.

The plan, laid out in this legislation, is to create a layer of airspace especially for public agency and commercial drone use. Sure, but what do they want to use them for? Pakistan probably got more info on that before we launched them there than the American people have so far.

The legislation, all 258 pages of it, and the Congressional conference report lays out a detailed plan for six drone air space demonstration zones across the country to test out the federal government’s new drone air space plan. But again, neither the conference report or the legislation makes a singe mention of what exactly they plan to use them for. But the scope is clearly enormous.

“This is a tool that many law enforcement agencies never imagined they could have,” Steven Gitlin of AeroVironment Inc. told the Los Angeles Times in November. His company is already in the works to supply law enforcement agencies with 18,000 of small drone crafts once the FAA grants them clearance.

Information on drone use on American soil has been hard to come by, despite a legal battle by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which sues to learn the details of government spying, and in many instance to challenge its constitutionality.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit based out of San Francisco, California, filed a Freedom of Information Act request back in April to learn more about domestic drone use in America. Eight months later, the Department of Transportation (and its subdivision that deals directly with domestic drones, the Federal Aviation Administration), has failed to follow through.

San Francisco’s EFF says that at least 285 missions have occurred in America, but they want to know more about them. The US government, however, is being far from accommodation in regards to their request.

With the filing of the suit on Tuesday, the EFF hopes that they will be able to finally let the public understand why spy planes are being flown through American skies without the people of the country given any reason or warning as to why.

“There is currently no information available to the public on which specific public and civil entities have applied for, been granted or been denied certificates or authorizations to fly unmanned aircraft in the United States,” the EFF’s complaint says.

So far, the EEF hasn’t even been able to determine who is currently flying the drones, and why. The use of drones in American airspace could dramatically increase the physical tracking of citizens – tracking that can reveal deeply personal details about our private lives,” EFF Staff Attorney Jennifer Lynch says in a statement. “Drones give the government and other unmanned aircraft operators a powerful new surveillance tool to gather extensive and intrusive data on Americans’ movements and activities,” she adds, noting that the usage rises “significant privacy concerns.”

“We’re asking the DOT to follow the law and respond to our FOIA request so we can learn more about who is flying the drones and why,”  EFF Staff Attorney Jennifer Lynch pleads in explaining the suit.

 

Here are a couple of possibilities:

Meet the North Dakota family of anti-government separatists busted by cops using a Predator drone… after ‘stealing six cows’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2073248/Local-cops-used-Predator-drone-arrest-North-Dakota-farm-family-stealing-6-cows.html#ixzz1ldZ06NWg

Drone Gives Texas Law Enforcement Bird’s-Eye View on Crime
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/11/16/drone-gives-texas-law-enforcement-birds-eye-view-on-crime/#ixzz1ldZKUEK3

The coming of the drones, for good http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/the-coming-of-the-drones-for-good-20120206-1r14n.html

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