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sábado, 25 de febrero de 2012

Drones: Who Is Watching You?

Military drones are being used by everyone from real estate agents to paparazzi. The military technology is now in the hands of police, the media — and maybe even your neighbors.

When it comes to privacy – we’re screwed. According to the Los Angeles Times – unmanned Predator drones aren’t just for hunting terrorists in the Middle East anymore – they’re being used to hunt American citizens too. Three men were arrested in North Dakota on suspicions they stole cattle from a nearby farm – and they were located thanks to the help of a Predator drone conducting surveillance above. Local police are now saying they’ve used Predator drones to run at least two dozen surveillance flights in North Dakota alone since June.

Although Congress authorized the drones to be used domestically in 2005 to patrol our Northern and Southern borders – their use for local law enforcement is increasing – with virtually no input by the American people. And privacy experts warn continued use of drones radically threatens the privacy of all of us. As Ryan Calo – the director of privacy and robotics at Stanford University – said, “Any time you have a tool like that in the hands of law enforcement that makes it easier to do surveillance, they will do more of it." The rise of the military industrial complex – and the militarization of our police are nearly complete. Drones aren't just for Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, or Somalia anymore—they're coming to the good old US of A. The Senate sent a bill to President Obama yesterday that would require the Federal Aviation Administration to come up with rules to safely regulate domestic drones, USA Today reports. Civilian demand is already starting to heat up for various flying robots, which now come in a host of shapes and sizes, are surprisingly cost effective, and would occupy the same airspace as passenger planes.

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