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Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:34 AM

Drone makers push Congress to open skies to surveillance

WASHINGTON - Are unmanned aircraft, known to have difficulty avoiding collisions, safe to use in America's crowded airspace? And would their widespread use for surveillance result in unconstitutional invasions of privacy?

Experts say neither question has been answered satisfactorily. Yet the federal government is rushing to open America's skies to tens of thousands of the drones - pushed to do so by a law championed by manufacturers of the unmanned aircraft.

The 60-member House of Representatives' "drone caucus" - officially, the House Unmanned Systems Caucus - has helped push that agenda. And over the last four years, caucus members have drawn nearly $8 million in drone-related campaign contributions, an investigation by Hearst Newspapers and the Center for Responsive Politics shows.

Interactive: See who donated and which companies received money

The Federal Aviation Administration has been flooded with applications from police departments, universities, private corporations and even the celebrity gossip site TMZ, all seeking to use drones that range from devices the size of a hummingbird to full-sized aircraft like those used by the U.S. military to target al-Qaeda operatives in Pakistan and elsewhere.

http://www.chron.com/news/nation-world/article/Drone-makers-push-Congress-to-open-skies-to-4064133.php

26 replies, 2071 views

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Arrow 26 replies Author Time Post
Reply Drone makers push Congress to open skies to surveillance (Original post)
The Straight Story Nov 2012 OP
Fumesucker Nov 2012 #1
Earth_First Nov 2012 #3
valerief Nov 2012 #6
plethoro Nov 2012 #13
1monster Nov 2012 #18
bhikkhu Nov 2012 #22
jsr Nov 2012 #2
Gman Nov 2012 #4
Orrex Nov 2012 #5
SHRED Nov 2012 #7
Logical Nov 2012 #9
Orrex Nov 2012 #23
Logical Nov 2012 #24
ProgressiveProfessor Nov 2012 #12
SomethingFishy Nov 2012 #25
SHRED Nov 2012 #8
raging_moderate Nov 2012 #19
go west young man Nov 2012 #10
liberalmike27 Nov 2012 #20
ProgressiveProfessor Nov 2012 #11
felix_numinous Nov 2012 #14
Fire Walk With Me Nov 2012 #15
wtmusic Nov 2012 #16
sulphurdunn Nov 2012 #17
woo me with science Nov 2012 #21
Tierra_y_Libertad Nov 2012 #26

Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:43 AM

1. Your worst Orwellian nightmare?

It ain't nothing compared to what's coming.

If they tell you they have hummingbird sized drones they probably actually have housefly sized ones at least in development if not in the proving ground. Gnat sized drones aren't all that far away, better get ready for that.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:54 AM

3. Your worst Obamian nightmare? n/t

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:50 AM

6. Or damn stink bugs. nt

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:27 AM

13. The horror that is coming will make possible cuts to social security seem very tame. We are on

 

the way to a new Feudalism that will last until the revolt. Les MisÚrables is not just a theater production and now a movie, it is a script for our destiny.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:55 AM

18. Hmmm... I wonder if flying insect spray would gum up the works on one of those?



My life is very boring; I've nothing to hide, though the idea of some dumb shlub being assinged to watch hours of fly-sized video of me and mine does give me a little giggle at said shlub's ensuing ennui... But, no, I don't like the idea of any invasion of privacy let alone such a monsterous invasion of privacy.

Think I'll mosey along to the hardware store and stock up on spray insecticides just in case...

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:55 PM

22. There's already cameras everywhere

or the assumption that there are cameras everywhere. I remember after the London bombings being surprised that they had cameras recording all over the city, and they were able to review footage that showed the bombers and their general route. I remember reading then questions why all the gaps in coverage? In my own small town in Oregon, there's a bunch of cameras now...

I think some of the concern over drones relates to ignorance about the level of current surveillance, though I would admit that hi-res monitoring from the sky is stepping the whole game up a notch. I already assume anything done in public, or in a business anywhere, is likely to be recorded and potentially looked at. Perhaps it modifies one's behavior a bit, but I've been used to it for some time myself.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:53 AM

2. The next logical progression is ARMED drones

We should always be ever vigilant against perps in their own homes and backyards.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:10 AM

4. Police have routinely used helicopters for years now

Someone help me with what the difference is.

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Response to Gman (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:43 AM

5. Mobility, for one thing

Chances are that a helicopter hovering over my house would cause a bit of a stir, but a pint-sized drone could hang out while creating a much smaller disturbance.

There's also a case to be made for eyes-on-the-scene, rather than eyes-watching-a-screen-in-a-command-center-miles-away.

For that matter, there are jurisdictional issues to be considered. Can a private contracted security firm in Tallahassee operate drones in Spokane?


IMO you dismiss the issue too blithely, because it merits further discussion than you seem willing to allow.

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Response to Gman (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:53 AM

7. how about sheer numbers for one thing?


Drones will increase surveillance many times over.

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Response to Gman (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:55 AM

9. The same difference in police tailing you vs. putting a tracking device...

On your car! The ease of doing it!

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Response to Logical (Reply #9)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 02:58 PM

23. Terrific answer

There will come a point, when drones become inexpensive enough, that they'll simply deploy them pre-emptively, the better to round up "dangerous" pot smokers and the like. If the drones pull in useful evidence, then that evidence will be used at trial. If they pull in non-useful evidence, then that evidence will be secretly filed for use at trial later.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #23)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 03:05 PM

24. So true. They can buy about 500 drones for the cost of one helicopter. n-t

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Response to Gman (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:11 AM

12. Duration and stealth

A drone can be doing surveillance and you would never know its there. I could also be collecting ELINT as well as video.

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Response to Gman (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 03:11 PM

25. The difference is that the company that makes the drones

bought themselves a bunch of congressman, to the tune of 8 million in campaign contributions. They pushed an agenda that includes having over 30,000 drones flying over the US.

This is not being done out of safety, or national security. This is a giveaway to a military contractor in a time where we "have to cut S.S. and Medicare. It's bullshit.

Police have helicopters. That's true. How many? Do we need 6000 drones flying over every state in the union on top of those helicopters? How paranoid are we?

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:55 AM

8. We need a way to take them out



Some heat seeking SAMs would be nice.

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Response to SHRED (Reply #8)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:00 AM

19. Target practice

This is one area where I imagine I would likely be in agreement with the tea bagger types. If I were Congress looking at this, I would include language in the law to deal with the being constantly fired upon by pretty much everybody with a gun.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:09 AM

10. All that's needed in the near future

is to connect the drones to the heavily policed internet. They could eliminate you at your computer while you watch unauthorized content such as porn! Or maybe your reading Orwell's 1984 or watching "Brazil". The dystopian future is upon us. Throw in the brain scans at airport checkpoints which will in the near future be used in public buildings. Micro chip ID's carried by or inserted under our skin and voila! All the science fiction writers are suddenly humanist realists! And it only took 100 years. Imagine what it will be like in 300 years! Think I'll go watch "Minority Report".

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Response to go west young man (Reply #10)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:38 AM

20. Yea, if You've Read 1984

Between the Internet, and surveillance capabilities in general, we've arrived it seems.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:09 AM

11. The issue is and remains how to allow them to operate in the national airspace

Much of which is VFR (see and avoid) which drones cannot do. FAA has a task force working on this by Congressional demand.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:37 AM

14. This surveillance business

has gone too far. The arms business manufactures reasons to use their products, and they manufacture consent--their fictitious dystopian future is NOT what we should be agreeing to. WE have to take control of our destiny because these companies have reached their level of not only incompetence, but insanity--they have become the danger they pretend to hunt.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:39 AM

15. The endless profit involved in YOU ARE THE TERRORIST. Money. So much sweet, beautiful money.

 

Someone somewhere is becoming insanely rich through having opened a new arms race and market for weapons within the US. Sell arms to foreign countries? Why not create new opportunities here at home? Gonna need an enemy to scare people into blind acceptance of the need for WEAPONS in our skies.

RICH, I'M SO RICH. AND FUCK YOU.

Arms dealers and warmongers are the .01%. Look them up and their net worth.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:43 AM

16. That's nothing, soon Google will have bee-sized drones which can fly into your bathroom

and photograph your TP prefs (don't worry, if you happen to be in there software will obscure your genitals).

How else are they supposed to get accurate marketing data?

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:49 AM

17. The real problem is what drives

this movement. This is America after all, and national security is the biggest business government spends our money for, and the more it spends the more demand it creates.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:29 PM

21. K&R We are bought and sold.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 03:15 PM

26. Will the payoffs to the congresscritters be made in brown paper bags?

Or, electronically?

"It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress." Mark Twain

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