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The Department of Homeland Security wants to have a fleet of ‘PUBLIC SAFETY DRONES’
Y’know when the Patriot Act was first passed under W I remember hearing it’s intent was to nail terrorists who wanted to kill the unsuspecting american people sitting at their desks at work having coffee, or beneath car lifts working on engines, or alingment, or in their classrooms.
The first conviction made using Patriot Act tools was of some WISE GUY. Now I have no love for wise guys. But…
So when I hear and read that the dept of homeland security is buying enough bullets for a war (and WHO are they empowered to fight?), and that they need DRONES for PURELY domestic use … every cynical hair on my body stands on end.
WIRED from last October:
There was a time when the Department of Homeland Security wasn’t enthusiastic about its drone fleet. Unmanned flying surveillance ‘bots had the potential to freak out the public, top DHS science and technology officials worried. That time has evidently passed — particularly for smaller flying spies.
In the coming months, Fort Sill, Oklahoma will become a proving ground to learn what small surveillance drones can add to “first responder, law enforcement and border security scenarios
,” according to a recent solicitation to the country’s various drone manufacturers. Each selected drone wil undergo five days’ worth of tests as part of a new program from DHS’ Science and Technology directorate, called Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety or, gloriously, RAPS.
Like many in the militaryexperimenting with drone miniaturization
, DHS is thinking small. The drones it wants to bring to Fort Sill will ideally be launched by hand, like the Army and Marines’Raven
. They should weigh under 25 pounds. Assembly should take a matter of minutes, and training for their remote pilots and technician a matter of days. DHS isn’t looking for drones that can loiter over an area for a long time: just 30 minutes to two hours, a hint that the department doesn’t foresee drones becoming a primary surveillance tool. “Law enforcement operations, search and rescue, and fire and hazardous material spill response” are some of the potential drone missions the RAPS program envisions.
They are no more acceptable, but now, significantly, that the election is over DHS does not seem to be much concerned about that. Now they are going to do PRECISELY what the founders warned against, and what human weakness compels.
Is it over, here?
It is hard not to think so. It is hard to imagine firm loyalty to a govt which seeks more means to spy on its own people. I can muster as much loyalty to that kind of govt as I would for the general idea of some general lackadaisy non specific kind of western ideal set.
These people have got to be stopped.
But of course, they are firm in their belief that the majority would vote for their man and his ideas again.
And thus act with untrammeled vigor.