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  (Source: Curbed)
The EFF wants citizens to force local police departments to be transparent about potentially frightening fliers

The U.S. is no warzone, but in what some would call another sign of the rising U.S. "police state", some local police departments are looking to deploy unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).  These drones are startlingly similar to the kind of fliers used by the U.S. armed forces to perform attacks and surveillance within war-torn Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan -- in fact sometimes they're the same models.

Last month, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) begrudgingly complied with a Freedom of Information Act request from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to list the parties that had been authorized to use unmanned drones to patrol over U.S. Among those listed among the 60+ accepted applicants were "about two dozen" police agencies.

The EFF is quite concerned about this development, particularly given that buried within the "FAA Modernization and Reform Act", a funding bill for the FAA, was a provision that mandated that the FAA automatically accepted requests by police agencies looking to deploy drones (assuming they provide sufficient paperwork showing they know how to fly them safely).

For Americans, police are essential public servants and key defenders of communities.  But there have also been issues in many regions of police abuses.

Now with the police preparing to gain access to a powerful -- and potentially easy to abuse -- new high tech tool, the EFF is stepping up its efforts to try to involve citizens to force police departments who use drones to offer details and transparency about their program.

Police attacking
The EFF warns that police may soon have the ability to literally peer in your bedroom window.
[Image Source: Occupy News Network]

Specifically, the EFF wants citizens to ask what kind of data is being collected, how many drones are being flown, and what models of drones are being operated.  The EFF is particularly concerned about armed models, which it believes are being put into use.  It writes:

Drones are capable of highly advanced and almost constant surveillance, and they can amass large amounts of data. They carry various types of equipment includinglive-feed video cameras, infrared cameras, heat sensors, and radar. Some newer drones carry super high resolution “gigapixel” cameras that can “track people and vehicles from altitudes above 20,000 feet[,] . . . [can] monitor up to 65 enemies of the State simultaneously[, and] . . . can see targets from almost 25 miles down range.” Predator drones can eavesdrop on electronic transmissions, and one drone unveiled at DEFCON last year can crack Wi-Fi networks and intercept text messages and cell phone conversations—without the knowledge or help of either the communications provider or the customer. Drones are also designed to carry weapons, and some have suggested that drones carrying weapons such as tasers and bean bag guns could be used domestically.
The EFF adds:

This is just the first step. Once we've collected the data, we will release it and tell you how you can contact your local municipal government to demand that they ban law enforcement drones or install robust privacy safeguards that will protect citizens from unwanted—and unconstitutional—surveillance.

Those interesting in helping can visit the project page here.

UAV police
The EFF is concerned about police departments deploying armed UAVs, which raise the potential for serious abuses. [Image Source: AP]

Source: EFF

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RE: Wow...
By tayb on 6/12/2012 4:35:18 PM , Rating: -1
Stop being a troll

Yawn. Fox News is the exact kind of news source that would encourage listeners to have these kinds of over the top gut reactions without actually considering the facts. It's expensive, sure, and I'm with you there, but this other stuff about peering into your windows and invading your home is pure rubbish.

Sort of like this response...

Not to sound like a crazy, but yeah, the time to stock up on guns is now. Bunker down, and don't let em' take you alive!!!

RE: Wow...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/12/2012 4:38:54 PM , Rating: 2
Way to purposefully remove my smiley face that indicated I was joking. Yeah, not trolling at all there Tayb. Clearly I was being serious.

RE: Wow...
By Decom on 6/12/2012 5:07:09 PM , Rating: 2
Fox news have already ran similar news stories on Unmanned Drones being used over civilian areas of the US, and just as usual some of their reports were talking like they were already armed with HellFire Missiles etc. and on the hunt for targets.

I do think however, this is another intrusion of our private lives, just one more push from the Nanny State.

Just on the link above, Go Judge Napolitano !

RE: Wow...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/12/2012 5:29:29 PM , Rating: 2
and just as usual some of their reports were talking like they were already armed with HellFire Missiles etc. and on the hunt for targets.

Right they should just wait for it to actually happen before they report on the possibility. Because that's being a good journalist and Government watchdog?

You know what's funny? When Bush was in office the Leftist media was all up in arms about the use of these drones on actual battlefields thousands of miles away. But drones being used in the actual country flying over citizens heads? Nope, nothing to see here. Just some "Fox News" wackos have problems with drones...

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