Drones Spying On Us
Initially designed to keep American soldiers out of harm’s way and gain intelligence, drones allowed the military to move into highly hostile territories without putting actual boots on the ground. These terrorist hunting and data gathering machines were going to keep Americans safe while getting the bad guys… well at least in theory. It was not long before U.S. drones were linked to the mass killings of civilians and school children all throughout Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq. They became a hot topic of controversy over their use overseas, but that controversy is only going to get even more heated now that more and more drones are flying over American skies and monitoring U.S. citizens.
Fact: Domestic drones routinely fly in US Airspace. According to some estimates, approximately 3,000 drones now fly over national airspace all throughout the country with regularity. With the information obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) was able to find documentation of lawsuits against the FAA from various agencies of law authority, universities and a vast number of government branches of the military, suggesting that steps are being made to change the legal landscape on government spying. Other records also show the military is now putting a number of different drone models (Raven, Puma, Wasp) through different testing measures, reinforcing the notion that the government has every intention to conduct civilian monitoring through drones.
The one drone, in particular, that frightens many people concerned about government invasion of privacy is an all environment machine called the Puma that can essentially touchdown in any type of environment, including urban street or water. The Puma could land on any street in America and dispense massive amounts of force all while being controlled from a remote location. Other drones, like the ones seen flying over the skies of Virginia Beach, have sophisticated camera systems capable of monitoring a target for long durations of time gathering massive amounts of video activity.
“The laws pertaining to video, cellular and Internet activity have not been updated since the 1980s and therefore Americans are having their 4th Amendment rights violated on a daily basis by an over-reaching government determined to monitor private citizens”, explained an unnamed person discussing the topic. “What we basically have is a tyranny problem disguised as a security problem and nothing appears to be changing in the near-term because politicians seem to have turned a blind eye on cell phone tracking, Internet monitoring, GPS tracking and other methods and tools used to invade the privacy and rights of law-abiding citizens.”
Drones will only continue to become more sophisticated and capable of capturing more data through high-tech methods such as the Gorgon Stare, and that is why it is crucial that people push their lawmakers to draft legislation to strengthen personal privacy in a fast-growing digital era.