Author Topic: Spy-in-the-sky drone sets sights on Miami  (Read 99 times)

MarkCruz

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Spy-in-the-sky drone sets sights on Miami
« on: March 26, 2008, 03:15:42 AM »
MIAMI (Reuters) - Miami police could soon be the first in the United States to use cutting-edge, spy-in-the-sky technology to beef up their fight against crime.

A small pilotless drone manufactured by Honeywell International, capable of hovering and "staring" using electro-optic or infrared sensors, is expected to make its debut soon in the skies over the Florida Everglades.

If use of the drone wins Federal Aviation Administration approval after tests, the Miami-Dade Police Department will start flying the 14-pound (6.3 kg) drone over urban areas with an eye toward full-fledged employment in crime fighting.

"Our intentions are to use it only in tactical situations as an extra set of eyes," said police department spokesman Juan Villalba.

"We intend to use this to benefit us in carrying out our mission," he added, saying the wingless Honeywell aircraft, which fits into a backpack and is capable of vertical takeoff and landing, seems ideally suited for use by SWAT teams in hostage situations or dealing with "barricaded subjects."

Miami-Dade police are not alone, however.

Taking their lead from the U.S. military, which has used drones in Iraq and Afghanistan for years, law enforcement agencies across the country have voiced a growing interest in using drones for domestic crime-fighting missions.

Known in the aerospace industry as UAVs, for unmanned aerial vehicles, drones have been under development for decades in the United States.

The CIA acknowledges that it developed a dragonfly-sized UAV known as the "Insectohopter" for laser-guided spy operations as long ago as the 1970s.

And other advanced work on robotic flyers has clearly been under way for quite some time.

"The FBI is experimenting with a variety of unmanned aerial vehicles," said Marcus Thomas, an assistant director of the bureau's Operational Technology Division.

"At this point they have been used mainly for search and rescue missions," he added. "It certainly is an up-and-coming technology and the FBI is researching additional uses for UAVs."

SAFETY, PRIVACY CONCERNS

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has been flying drones over the Arizona desert and southwest border with Mexico since 2006 and will soon deploy one in North Dakota to patrol the Canadian border as well.

This month, Customs and Border Protection spokesman Juan Munoz Torres said the agency would also begin test flights of a modified version of its large Predator B drones, built by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, over the Gulf of Mexico.

Citing numerous safety concerns, the FAA -- the government agency responsible for regulating civil aviation -- has been slow in developing procedures for the use of UAVs by police departments.

"You don't want one of these coming down on grandma's windshield when she's on her way to the grocery store," said Doug Davis, the FAA's program manager for unmanned aerial systems.

He acknowledged strong interest from law enforcement agencies in getting UAVs up and running, however, and said the smaller aircraft particularly were likely to have a "huge economic impact" over the next 10 years.

Getting clearance for police and other civilian agencies to fly can't come soon enough for Billy Robinson, chief executive of Cyber Defense Systems Inc, a small start-up company in St. Petersburg, Florida. His company makes an 8-pound (3.6 kg) kite-sized UAV that was flown for a time by police in Palm Bay, Florida, and in other towns, before the FAA stepped in.

"We've had interest from dozens of law enforcement agencies," said Robinson. "They (the FAA) are preventing a bunch of small companies such as ours from becoming profitable," he said.

Some privacy advocates, however, say rules and ordinances need to be drafted to protect civil liberties during surveillance operations.

"There's been controversies all around about putting up surveillance cameras in public areas," said Howard Simon, Florida director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

"Technological developments can be used by law enforcement in a way that enhances public safety," he said. "But every enhanced technology also contains a threat of further erosion of privacy."
 

Turf Hitta

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Re: Spy-in-the-sky drone sets sights on Miami
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2008, 04:01:10 PM »
So this is how the government is going to sell the "all seeing eye" to America? Package it as a "security" tool. George Orwell shit.
 

virtuoso

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Re: Spy-in-the-sky drone sets sights on Miami
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2008, 06:18:02 AM »

Word you would be both surprised and alarmed though how that protective arm around the shoulder "security" "protection" has such a calming influence on many who will just willingly accept it. Like you said this is 1984 but having read 1984, this is actually like an extreme version of 1984. As extreme as 1984 was and despite how chillng it was, it seems that there is a growing realisation that in the name of "safety" there seems to be few limits to what people will openly embrace.
 

BANANAZ

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Re: Spy-in-the-sky drone sets sights on Miami
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2008, 08:01:25 PM »
who gives a shit about spying on the everglades? are you clowns out there molesting dead bodies or something? if you're not familiar with the region
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everglades

it's a big inlet for drug and human smugglers, that's about it. why not?

 

Australian Bastard

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Re: Spy-in-the-sky drone sets sights on Miami
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2008, 04:20:16 AM »

Word you would be both surprised and alarmed though how that protective arm around the shoulder "security" "protection" has such a calming influence on many who will just willingly accept it. Like you said this is 1984 but having read 1984, this is actually like an extreme version of 1984. As extreme as 1984 was and despite how chillng it was, it seems that there is a growing realisation that in the name of "safety" there seems to be few limits to what people will openly embrace.

..i dunno about 'as extreme as 1984', extreme yes, 1984ish yes definately, and alot of big things and little things that go on in the world are 1984ish, I think the systems we have in place (intentional and unintentional) are not as overt or forceful as the regime in 1984, infact when you look at the regime from 1984 the world system we have in place today is much more sophisticated and subliminal, the 1984 system is brutish, crude and blatantly overt incomparison, needless to say we are much much much more free than the people in the book 1984...I don't care what you say...ain't no camera watching me 24/7........yet.

But word, in some ways we are in a 1984 world, but different, we in a parralel universe from the 1984 universe.

Dick Cheney wants freedom for his lesbian daughter....McDonalds wants people to have the freedom to eat themselves into oblivion, Big Tobacco wants people to have the freedom to smoke themselves to death....the free-market demands a degree of freedom and people at least need to have the impression that they are free. Depends what freedom means to you. We have freedom, but refined freedom, refined by what the law allows, but not only by that, there are those that actively shape the direction of history, the norms, values and attitudes of society....

IMO, everybody is born with an independent brain and that alone grants you tremendous potential for attaining your full potential upon being born, whether your environment promotes that is an issue of freedom...although are people born with brain damage free? Was the Elephant man free?

 

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Re: Spy-in-the-sky drone sets sights on Miami
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2008, 11:27:40 AM »

Ah word I meant upon assessing it's implications in a broader sense this is more extreme than 1984. However the terror tactics in 1984 would not work in this day and age and therefore the enslavement is more subtle in fact they don't need to enslave us, they seduce us into wanting to be enslaved. This sky spy in the sky drone is not going to be limited to a few spots, it's roll out is occurring all over the western world. What's more troubling is that people will initially dismiss it but then when it's fully rolled out, they will conform to it and then insist it's no big deal despite having been the ones who said it was limited in scope in the first place. The BIG deal is the state is announcing in a very loud voice to hell with you people we can do whatever the fuck we want, you thought we were your servants? keep dreaming. However like you said it's done under the cloak of wanting to keep us safe, you have to see the matrix for yourself.