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Tue Feb 19, 2013, 07:35 AM

Can Police Be Trusted With Drones?

Around the country, a small but growing number of localities are considering the use of domestic drones—aircraft that are smaller, lighter, and cheaper (though not much less controversial) than what the military uses in Afghanistan. Police departments could outfit drones with infrared sensors that see through walls, facial recognition software, or technology that intercepts calls and emails. Yet the the federal government doesn't do much to regulate how drones can use such technologies to collect information on private citizens.

Privacy activists are trying to put pressure on state and federal regulators by holding protests in this liberal and tech-savvy Bay Area county, which could become the first local government in California to buy a drone. "We oppose the use of public resources to surveil and suppress our communities," said Michael Segal, an attorney with Alameda County Against Drones, a group whose dozens of members wore bright pink "Say No To Drones" stickers. "We want a drone-free zone."

Last year, Congress passed a law mandating that the Federal Aviation Administration open up US airspace to drones, and the FAA made it easier for law enforcement and other "public agencies" to get a drone permit. Records obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) indicate that at least 81 public entities—including 17 sheriff's and police departments—have petitioned the agency for the right to fly drones.

Alameda County's Sheriff Ahern argues that buying something like a $100,000, three-pound "Scout" surveillance drone should be a no-brainer for the department. It would cost far more to purchase and operate a helicopter, and the drone can sample plumes of toxic chemicals in the event of a release, or use its infrared scanner to detect wildfires, or find lost children. "I think this is the future of technology," he said, "and we can work together to make sure that this works appropriately."


http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/02/meet-california-sheriff-who-wants-use-drones

29 replies, 1759 views

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 29 replies Author Time Post
Reply Can Police Be Trusted With Drones? (Original post)
Redfairen Feb 2013 OP
FarPoint Feb 2013 #1
RC Feb 2013 #2
Recursion Feb 2013 #18
RC Feb 2013 #19
Recursion Feb 2013 #20
RC Feb 2013 #21
Recursion Feb 2013 #22
RC Feb 2013 #23
Recursion Feb 2013 #24
RC Feb 2013 #25
Recursion Feb 2013 #29
longship Feb 2013 #3
EastKYLiberal Feb 2013 #4
Skidmore Feb 2013 #5
Recursion Feb 2013 #17
Vanje Feb 2013 #6
TeamPooka Feb 2013 #7
lunatica Feb 2013 #8
Ikonoklast Feb 2013 #9
Dawson Leery Feb 2013 #10
brooklynite Feb 2013 #11
Rosa Luxemburg Feb 2013 #12
Sunlei Feb 2013 #13
bemildred Feb 2013 #14
Myrina Feb 2013 #15
Recursion Feb 2013 #16
samsingh Feb 2013 #26
MotherPetrie Feb 2013 #27
graham4anything Feb 2013 #28

Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 07:38 AM

1. I will keep it simple....

NO.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 09:41 AM

2. There is a move afoot to make drones illegal for private use, but legal for anything

 

law enforcement wants.

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Response to RC (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:36 AM

18. Nope. RC planes aren't going anywhere

I've been flying "drones" since I was 9 years old, and they aren't going to be illegal any time soon.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #18)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:40 AM

19. I didn't say that.

 

I said there is a move afoot to make drones illegal for private use. That part is true. I doubt it will actually get anywhere, though.
Some law enforcement types only want drones to spy on us. We are not suppose to spy on them.

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Response to RC (Reply #19)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:41 AM

20. Yes you did. RC planes are an example of drones

They are not going to be illegal, period, and there's no movement to make them so.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #20)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:43 AM

21. Read it again.

 

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Response to RC (Reply #21)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:44 AM

22. You are simply wrong. Nobody is trying to make RC planes illegal for private use.

There simply is no such movement.

I think you may misunderstand what "drone" means?

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Response to Recursion (Reply #22)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:23 AM

23. I know what a drone is.

 

Even Hobby Drones Could Be Made Illegal In Texas
http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-02/privacy-and-drones

Place limits on the use of drones
In Montana, the state Senate has already approved two bills defining the uses of drones by local police departments and by individuals. Those bills are currently being evaluated in the House, and will likely be passed along to the governor’s desk with little trouble.
http://mtstandard.com/news/opinion/editorial/place-limits-on-the-use-of-drones/article_98fdfce8-7a57-11e2-8012-001a4bcf887a.html

What you do not understand is that this will eventually effect ALL private remote control flying anything, because a camera and transmitter, or just a camera itself can weigh only a few ounces. Because it can be difficult to tell if a private flying anything has a camera on not, our genius legislators will try to legislate private use into illegality, because someone MIGHT put a camera on their model plane. All it will take is one fuzzy picture from a drone of a topless woman sun bathing as the excuse.

I did not say 'will', as in forgone conclusion. But people ARE trying to ban private use right now. There was a news story a month or so ago of a police chief wanting to outlaw ALL private model planes, drones, etc., because of the spy issue, and only allow the police to use to use drones.

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Response to RC (Reply #23)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:25 AM

24. You should read that article, it agrees with me :)

Texas is not moving to make drones illegal. It's moving to make private surveillance using unmanned aircraft illegal. I knew that already.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #24)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:26 AM

25. Your model airplane is classified as "private"

 

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Response to RC (Reply #25)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 12:21 PM

29. And Texas wants to keep me from taking pictures with it

But then I already knew that. And that isn't what you said.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 10:18 AM

3. Can high schoolers be trusted with drones?

Look! This technology is available to anybody, off the shelf. Even high school students can do it. Plus, not all drone technology is evil.

Here's one good thing drone technology has done (among many others):


Drone tech is neither evil nor good. It's how it's used that determines the ethics.

There's another thing about drones. There is no stopping them. The technology is here to stay. So if you're worried about them realize that the only rational response is to regulate their use, not stopping their use.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 10:38 AM

4. No, but I can't say the Tacocopter drone is a horrible idea:

 

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 10:49 AM

5. Nope.

Police can't prove that they can be trusted to use nonlethal methods at their disposal without abusing the authority given them. In the absence of being able to disabuse the public and the law enforcement units that dawning a uniform doesn't endow you automatically with the label of "hero" and heroic sized egos to go with it, I don't know how to change my vote to a yes.

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Response to Skidmore (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:35 AM

17. We aren't talking about armed drones

Seriously, I think DU sees the word "drone" and sometimes stops thinking. We're talking about surveillance.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:29 PM

6. "Pull!"

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 02:43 AM

7. Since they can't be trusted with nightsticks, no. nt

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 07:20 AM

8. Can anyone be trusted with drones is a better question

Unless the use of drones legitimately includes abuse of power and killing innocent people, I would say no one and no government can be trusted with them.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 11:41 AM

9. Cops can't even get the addresses of wanted criminals correct.

They terrorize families on a routine basis because no one thought to make sure that they were busting down the door of the right house by checking the warrant first.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 04:47 PM

10. NO!

Eventually they will want military drones (ARMED DRONED).
Drones should not be used in the domestic field.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 04:52 PM

11. How is a drone any worse or more intrusive than a helicopter?

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 07:01 PM

12. As long as the drones don't get into terrorists' hands

it's kind of scary. at least with the military they keep them locked up. If they start letting them out then they could get into the wrong hands.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:01 AM

13. makes me wonder who will be the first innocent American to die when one of those crashes.

$100,000 dollar model airplane.? Be safer with a little hot air balloon and a camera or rent satellite time.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 08:28 AM

14. A better questions is should we trust them with guns? nt

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:50 AM

15. Oh hell no.

90% of cop shops are already 90% corrupt.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:34 AM

16. A safer and cheaper way to do what they do with helicopters

I literally can't fathom how people are against this.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:30 AM

26. no

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:31 AM

27. Hell no

 

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:34 AM

28. Yes for law enforcement, (same with any guns) NO to any private person

 

as for guns, let's make this a gun-free society and only law enforcement has guns in the street.

private people can keep them in their house so nobody is taking them away.

And then enforce the new laws.

and law enforcement should not have the ability to have a gun once off duty.

That corrupt cop Dorner had much too easy access didn't he

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