Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:24 AM
xchrom (108,903 posts)
Homeland Security Wants to More Than Double Its Predator Drone Fleet Inside the US,
Homeland Security Wants to More Than Double Its Predator Drone Fleet Inside the US, Despite Safety and Privacy Concerns
Despite renewed criticism from both parties in Congress that domestic drones pose a privacy danger to US citizens—and a report from its own Inspector General recommending to stop buying them—the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has indicated it wants to more than double its fleet of Predator drones used to fly surveillance missions inside the United States.
Yesterday, California Watch reported that DHS signed a contract that could be worth as much as $443 million with General Atomics for the purchase up to fourteen additional Predator drones to fly near the border of Mexico and Canada. Congress would still need to appropriate the funds, but if they did, DHS' drone fleet woud increase to twenty-four.
While many people may think the US only flies Predator drones overseas, DHS has already spent $250 million over the last six years on ten surveillance Predators of its own. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)—a division of DHS—uses the unmanned drones inside the U.S. to patrol the borders with surveillance equipment like video cameras, infrared cameras, heat sensors, and radar.
They say the drones are vital in the fight to stop illegal immigrants, but as EFF reported in June, the DHS Inspector General issued a report faulting DHS for wasting time, money, and resources using drones that were ineffective and lacked oversight. The Inspector General chastised the agency for buying two drones last year despite knowing these problems and recommended they cease buying them until the problems could be fixed.
6 replies, 554 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Homeland Security Wants to More Than Double Its Predator Drone Fleet Inside the US, (Original post)
Response to xchrom (Original post)
Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:28 AM
quinnox (20,600 posts)
1. and one thing I find funny is they say they don't have weapons attached for these USA ones but
its not as if they couldn't be equipped and are designed to have weapons on board at a moment's notice. That is where the "predator" part comes from. But no, they want us to think these are just harmless drones, intended for our protection of all loyal and upstanding citizens.