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DHS wants to use spy drones domestically for 'public safety'

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gente

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http://rt.com/usa/news/dhs-drone-surveillance-napolitano-156/



DHS wants to use spy drones domestically for 'public safety'


26 July, 2012, 23:41



The United States already uses surveillance drones on its borders, but Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said during a hearing on Wednesday that flying unmanned aircraft inside the US could be the next step to ensuring “public safety.”
Sec. Napolitano weighed in on the topic of unmanned aerial vehicles during this week’s Committee on Homeland Security and suggested that implementing UAVs for domestic surveillance could the next step in the United States’ amazingly accelerating drone program.
The Federal Aviation Administration is currently considering ground rules that will outline how the FAA can govern domestic drone use, and by 2020 they expect to see 30,000 UAVs soaring through US airspace. Speaking before a House panel on Wednesday, though, Sec. Napolitano suggested that deploying UAVs proactively to put an extra set over locales nowhere near America’s border may in fact be the next move.
“With respect to Science and Technology, that directorate, we do have a funded project,” she said. “I think it’s in California, looking at drones that could be utilized to give us situational awareness in a large public safety [matter] or disaster, such as a forest fire, and how they could give us better information.”
In a transcript of the secretary’s testimony made available after her address, Napolitano admits that the US has expanded their use or surveillance drones on America’s border with Canada in recent years, now letting UAVs monitor 950 miles of Washington State’s boundary line.
Despite growing opposition from the American public of drones largely centered over privacy objections, the United States has continuously ramped up its drone program in recent years, both domestically and abroad. During the Hackers on Planet Earth conference in New York City earlier this month, activists with the Electronic Frontier Foundation said that US military now owns around 7,500 drones, which makes up around one-third of the Air Force’s entire arsenal.
“The FAA can give drone licenses to any agency that can prove that they can use them safely,” the EFF’s Trevor Timm told the crowd. Despite dozens of permits being handed out to law enforcement agencies and educational institutions in recent years, though, neither the security nor safety of these aircraft are believed to have been fully examined. In just the last few weeks, a Texas professor hacked a UAV in front of representatives from the DHS and, separately, a military drone crash-landed just outside of Washington, D.C.
Despite these incidents, the FAA and DHS are still spearheading an accelerated drone program. Given Sec. Napolitano’s latest statements, though, the domestic use of drones for proactive surveillance could be coming more sooner than previously though.

windreader1


Not sure why anyone is getting upset over this one. A camera is a camera whether fixed mounted or mobile mounted. Camera's are everywhere, banks, retail stores, hospitals, parking lots, street corners etc. The list is endless. Shades of "person of interest"

gente

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Well, I think it's more the fact the can hover over your property without a warrant, therefore violating ones privacy...I just think they are gearing up for a civil war..

windreader1


I can see where someone could think that, but not one that I buy into.

gente

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Patriot Act, TSA, NDAA, DHS buying 40 million rounds of ammo + armored vehicles? They sure as hell aren't gearing up for our "safety"

windreader1


I worked on a SWAT team for four years and was a unit sniper for two of those years. When we had range practice we could shoot anywhere from 1000 to 5000 rounds depending on the type of practice. We practiced at least twice a month so it did not take long for the numbers to add up. Ongoing training eats up a lot of rounds. Every officer is required to requalify once a year on their primary duty weapon. That's another 300,000 rounds. Even though I am retired I still have to qualify once a year at my department's pistol range in order to keep my certification. The only difference now is that I have to provide my own ammo. When I made entry on drug warrants or other types of incidents, I had at least 200 rounds of two different calibers of ammo on my person. My department bought ammo in at least 4 different calibers for pistols and rifles. Having to buy different calibers increases the amount a department has to maintain. Large quantities would be purchased in order to get the same lot number. That is important, especially for rifles, when you have to know where your bullet will impact. The trajectory can vary from lot number to lot number. We had armored vehicles and used them to protect officers and citizens. My department would be considered very small in comparison to the DHS. The numbers you posted do not indicate to me any need to be alarmed over what the DHS is doing. But I can see where those numbers could make someone believe there is something sinister underway. The general public has no idea what this country has faced and will continue to face in terroristic activities and threats and what it takes to be prepared.

gente

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Thanks for the breakdown Wind, that makes total sense about the ammo, never really thought of it that way...I'll bet you've got some stories to tell!! I like to shoot as well when I get the time, like you said it's easy burn thru 1000 rounds in no time. Please don't get me wrong, I appreciate the efforts and service of any who put themselves in harms way to protect ordinary US Citizens...

I grew up alone on the streets alone since age 15, having to do anything and everything just to survive at that time, all the while living in very rough gang-ridden areas of San Francisco. I can tell you I have absolutely no illusions about what a dangerous place this world is.

I do realize there are, and have been many terror plots against the US, some real and some I also believe to be manufactured...I just seems to me that our government has a little too much power, and has not been adhering to the Constitution very well for the last 20 odd years or so, (probably much longer, I'm only 44) and it just seems to worsen as time goes by. Thx again Wind-

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