Drone surveillance in this country has me alarmed. I'm glad the technology saved six missing cows, but drone surveillance won't end with pilfered livestock!
When a sheriff in North Dakota can request a Predator B drone from an Air Force base, pull on your tin foil hats. This is not a technology local law enforcement should have access to without serious consideration. The use of drones within our borders will escalate until the matter reaches the Supreme Court. But we can nip this travesty in the bud by demanding congressional investigation and oversight.
Local police currently have access to unarmed Predators. These drones belong to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Get the picture? If that doesn't send chills down your spine, you haven't been paying attention. Check out the way Homeland Security treats the traveling public, for example.
The Federal Aviation Administration, the agency that regulates our air space, must come on board immediately and establish strict rules regarding drone flights. Air traffic is dangerously congested already. Predators, T-Hawks and Reapers will only add more confusion to the mix. I'm sure aerospace manufacturers view American law enforcement as a huge, emerging market, so their lobbyists have already been putting down roots on Capitol Hill.
Law abiding citizens need to wake up. Quasi-military mission creep into law enforcement is perilous. But it is not too late to put a stop to unconstitutional and undemocratic deployment of drone technology. This must start immediately!
Rosalind Heid, Baltimore