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Drone aircraft may prowl U.S. skies
CNET News.com ^ | March 29, 2006 | Declan McCullagh

Posted on 03/30/2006 6:38:10 AM PST by af_vet_rr

Unmanned aerial vehicles have soared the skies of Afghanistan and Iraq for years, spotting enemy encampments, protecting military bases, and even launching missile attacks against suspected terrorists.

Now UAVs may be landing in the United States.

A House of Representatives panel on Wednesday heard testimony from police agencies that envision using UAVs for everything from border security to domestic surveillance high above American cities. Private companies also hope to use UAVs for tasks such as aerial photography and pipeline monitoring.

"We need additional technology to supplement manned aircraft surveillance and current ground assets to ensure more effective monitoring of United States territory," Michael Kostelnik, assistant commissioner at Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection Bureau, told the House Transportation subcommittee.

Kostelnik was talking about patrolling U.S. borders and ports from altitudes around 12,000 feet, an automated operation that's currently underway in Arizona. But that's only the beginning of the potential of surveillance from the sky.

In a scene that could have been inspired by the movie "Minority Report," one North Carolina county is using a UAV equipped with low-light and infrared cameras to keep watch on its citizens. The aircraft has been dispatched to monitor gatherings of motorcycle riders at the Gaston County fairgrounds from just a few hundred feet in the air--close enough to identify faces--and many more uses, such as the aerial detection of marijuana fields, are planned.

*clip*

"It is quite easy to envision a future in which (UAVs), unaffected by pilot fatigue, provide 24-7 border and port surveillance to protect against terrorist intrusion," said Mike Heintz on behalf of the UNITE Alliance which represents Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. "Other examples are limited only by our imagination."

(Excerpt) Read more at news.com.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 1984; 4a; 4thamendment; aerialsurveillance; agenda21; banglist; bigbrother; camera; cameras; fourthamendment; govwatch; guncontrol; homelandsecurity; jbt; monitor; monitoring; orwell; police; surveillance; uav; un; unamerican; wot
Considering how many law enforcement agencies are in love with acting the part of the military, don't be surprised to see more and more cities aquire these things.
1 posted on 03/30/2006 6:38:14 AM PST by af_vet_rr
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To: af_vet_rr

2009: Highway Patrol Predator Drone Issues Thousands of Speeding Tickets Annually.


2 posted on 03/30/2006 6:39:24 AM PST by Sax
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To: af_vet_rr

You will be protected, and you will appreciate it.


3 posted on 03/30/2006 6:39:29 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: af_vet_rr

Were from the government and were here to help you....


4 posted on 03/30/2006 6:41:21 AM PST by GrandEagle
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To: af_vet_rr

A whole new arena of "spying on your neighbor".


5 posted on 03/30/2006 6:41:34 AM PST by SR 50 (Larry)
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To: stuartcr

The urge to save humanity is nearly always a cover for the urge to rule. - H.L. Mencken


6 posted on 03/30/2006 6:42:28 AM PST by Sax
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To: af_vet_rr

Ooh, wait! Yet another chance to trot out this old line: "If you're not doing anything wrong, then you don't have anything to worry about."

Ah, there, it's been said.


7 posted on 03/30/2006 6:44:21 AM PST by Sax
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To: Sax

This country just keeps getting scarier and scarier...I'm glad I'm not 40yr younger.


8 posted on 03/30/2006 6:44:49 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: SR 50

I'm sure that if you happened to have a target range setup where you liked to exercise your Second Amendment rights, that would get you a little note in a file somewhere.


9 posted on 03/30/2006 6:48:55 AM PST by af_vet_rr
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To: af_vet_rr

I've heard that the US Border Patrol wants to buy a fleet of Predator drones (without the armed capability, of course!) to monitor the entire US-Mexican border. At the cruising altitude of 10,000 feet those things are pretty quiet and very difficult to see.


10 posted on 03/30/2006 6:51:09 AM PST by RayChuang88
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To: af_vet_rr

So who's going to patent the first DIY Surface to Air Missile kit?


11 posted on 03/30/2006 6:54:05 AM PST by rattrap
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To: af_vet_rr
Careful with that ax, Eugene...
12 posted on 03/30/2006 6:58:37 AM PST by TrollBridge
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To: af_vet_rr
US Goal to have 1/3 of military aircraft unmanned by 2011
13 posted on 03/30/2006 6:59:33 AM PST by pabianice
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To: af_vet_rr
Some states are already monitoring the citizenry via air surveillance, to assure such things as compliance with environmental regulations and detection of marijuana farming.

This may seem innocent enough; however, when you think of the bullying and abuse inflicted upon average, law abiding citizens by draconian "environmental protection" laws and the bullies and morons who direct and enforce them, it becomes frightening and antithetical to freedom, the pursuit of happiness, and everything the United States stands for, and it renders the American people highly vulnerable to oppression, injustice, and abuse.

14 posted on 03/30/2006 7:00:36 AM PST by Savage Beast ("Bogus arguments are a tip-off that you wouldn't buy the real reason..." ~Thomas Sowell)
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To: RayChuang88

I have no doubt the border patrol will buy them, but an issue will be discovered which prevents their use on the Mexican - US border.


15 posted on 03/30/2006 7:01:01 AM PST by gbaker
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To: Savage Beast

They'll just keep repeating...'remember 9/11'...


16 posted on 03/30/2006 7:02:31 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: RayChuang88

Border patrol is a great use. Just flying around watching the citizens and making them feel like subjects...used to be you were innocent until proven guilty, now I guess we can all eventually become suspects.


17 posted on 03/30/2006 7:06:17 AM PST by af_vet_rr
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To: TrollBridge
Careful with that ax, Eugene...

I wasn't talking about shooting them down, I was talking about certain places that would love to know if their citizens are armed or not (Maryland, Chicago, California, etc.), and having the ability to cover large areas and see what people are doing outdoors would give them that ability.
18 posted on 03/30/2006 7:08:19 AM PST by af_vet_rr
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To: stuartcr
"Any excuse will serve a tyrant."
~Aesop~

19 posted on 03/30/2006 7:11:32 AM PST by Savage Beast ("Bogus arguments are a tip-off that you wouldn't buy the real reason..." ~Thomas Sowell)
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To: af_vet_rr

Bill (clinton) and Barbra (baby babs) had better be carefull now....with that thing soaring above us, no telling what it will see......hahahahahaha


20 posted on 03/30/2006 7:15:48 AM PST by HarleyLady27 (My ? to libs: "Do they ever shut up on your planet?" "Grow your own DOPE: Plant a LIB!")
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To: af_vet_rr
Wednesday heard testimony from police agencies that envision using UAVs for everything from border security to domestic surveillance high above American cities.

What will happen when the first couple of civilian aircraft are downed by these things?

21 posted on 03/30/2006 7:19:47 AM PST by Mike Darancette (In the Land of the Blind the one-eyed man is king.)
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To: af_vet_rr

Has the FAA even issued domestic cert and ops rules for
large remote control or autonomous aircraft?

At what point does an R/C toy become something that
requires certification?


22 posted on 03/30/2006 7:20:23 AM PST by Boundless
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To: Savage Beast

And don't forget the innocent NSA phone monitoring...


23 posted on 03/30/2006 7:23:45 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: stuartcr
This country just keeps getting scarier and scarier...I'm glad I'm not 40yr younger.

The have the technology to survail the people now, the only difference is that it requires a human now.

24 posted on 03/30/2006 7:24:02 AM PST by Mike Darancette (In the Land of the Blind the one-eyed man is king.)
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To: Mike Darancette

I know, I can't imagine what it will be like in 50yrs.


25 posted on 03/30/2006 7:25:06 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: rattrap
So who's going to patent the first DIY Surface to Air Missile kit?

who needs one? those nasty, horrible, evil, wicked, .50BMGs can very easily shoot down an aircraft doncha know? /sarc
26 posted on 03/30/2006 7:33:58 AM PST by absolootezer0 ("My God, why have you forsaken us.. no wait, its the liberals that have forsaken you... my bad")
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To: af_vet_rr
Great. They can't give me my flying car, but they have produced the Watchbird
27 posted on 03/30/2006 7:36:49 AM PST by Oztrich Boy (Red meat, we were meant to eat it - Meat and Livestock Australia TV ad campaign)
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To: absolootezer0

You'll probably only get one shot before they lock onto your posit. Better not do it from your back porch.


28 posted on 03/30/2006 7:37:07 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: ottersnot
A thread like this just screams "tin-foil hat"

I think its a good thing. The predator program has reportedly been very successful.

29 posted on 03/30/2006 7:39:43 AM PST by ottersnot (Harry Reid must have a special prayer rug picked out.)
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To: af_vet_rr

Big Brother be a drone. Watch for more and more Big Brother stuff in America as turns to the North American Union, more interested in monitoring people than stopping them from illegally get here to begin with.


30 posted on 03/30/2006 7:41:41 AM PST by samcgwire ("I voted for President 'Better Than Kerry'")
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To: af_vet_rr
Let's not forget these............

Ottawa man tried to arm model plane with bomb, court told Brother had a role in plot directed by senior al-Qaeda figure, informant testifies

31 posted on 03/30/2006 7:41:43 AM PST by WestCoastGal (What’s your water temp right there Junebug? 260-Oh, my bad 200.The little needle was in the way Heh)
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To: stuartcr

If you against monitoring Terrorist communications then just say so.


32 posted on 03/30/2006 7:41:47 AM PST by ottersnot (Harry Reid must have a special prayer rug picked out.)
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To: stuartcr

"You'll probably only get one shot before they lock onto your posit"

Fine. Makes things easier.


33 posted on 03/30/2006 7:43:07 AM PST by VRing (Nine out the ten voices in my head told me to stay home and clean my rifle today.)
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To: ottersnot
I might add that they are already flying planes and have 'blimps' tethered along the border with cameras.

I think it's only fair to keep in mind the resolution of these cameras. We honestly don't know. Will they be able to read a license plate? Will they be able to discern a firearm from 10,000 feet?.

I don't know the answer to this question.

34 posted on 03/30/2006 7:47:50 AM PST by ottersnot ("Extremism in the defense of liberty is no crime." Barry Goldwater)
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To: ottersnot

I am against monitoring US citizens communications in the hopes of possibly stumbling into a random terrorist communique.


35 posted on 03/30/2006 8:05:49 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: af_vet_rr

I like the idea of using drones for the Border.

I'm less inclined to like them for domestic spying though. Tracking of suspected terrorists domestically would be ok. But speeding tickets should be off limits to drones.

Actually I think we should automate driving. It would eliminate the non-productive speeding ticket industry, wrecks, injuries, autobody repair, a multitude of lawyers. It would free elderly and youth to travel. Computerized systems would make travel more efficient, eliminate road blocks, etc.


36 posted on 03/30/2006 8:21:57 AM PST by DannyTN
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To: stuartcr
I am against monitoring US citizens communications in the hopes of possibly stumbling into a random terrorist communique.
But, it's for your own safety. Think of the children (/sarcasm)
37 posted on 03/30/2006 8:28:42 AM PST by GrandEagle
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To: ottersnot
All of these types of threads, this one, the ones about more and more cameras watching you everywhere, etc., they all scream tin foil.

The problem is, we are talking about reality. This isn't some kind of theoretical discussion.

Where do you say "okay, we are no longer talking about pie-in-the-sky tinfoil stuff, we are talking about me and my family minding our own business on our own property getting checked out by the local government, perhaps without even our knowledge, and certainly without a warrant, simply because they can"?

We shouldn't start acting like the countries that we just recently spent so many decades guarding against.
38 posted on 03/30/2006 8:37:58 AM PST by af_vet_rr
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To: af_vet_rr
I'm sure that if you happened to have a target range setup where you liked to exercise your Second Amendment rights, that would get you a little note in a file somewhere.

I'll have to invest in a hat that gives the Predator the finger.

39 posted on 03/30/2006 8:38:29 AM PST by Ancesthntr
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To: af_vet_rr

Every night/morning around 2:00 a.m. this week, I have heard many flyovers from a nearby air foce base 100 miles away. They practice all the time during the day, but these night flyovers have gone on for a couple hours each.


40 posted on 03/30/2006 8:40:27 AM PST by JFC (W, I am with YA)
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To: af_vet_rr

Stories like this just can't put the black helicopter people at ease.


41 posted on 03/30/2006 8:42:25 AM PST by Ancesthntr
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To: DannyTN
The infrastructure costs for automated highways would be enormous. What taxes do you want raised to fund it?

Then there's the vehicle costs. And I don't think it would be economically feasable to retrofit existing cars for it either. Don't get me wrong, its actually not a bad idea, but I don't see it coming to fruition in less than 50 years.

But hey, anything is possible if you have enough money to throw at the problem.

42 posted on 03/30/2006 8:42:43 AM PST by AFreeBird (your mileage may vary)
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To: stuartcr
I know, I can't imagine what it will be like in 50yrs.

I can... just watch "Terminator"... What year is it that SkyNet becomes sentient?

43 posted on 03/30/2006 10:39:35 AM PST by LambSlave (The truth will set you free)
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To: LambSlave

We're doomed...well you maybe, I'll probably be dead by then.


44 posted on 03/30/2006 11:01:53 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: stuartcr

I don't think it will take 50 years.


45 posted on 03/30/2006 11:07:41 AM PST by LambSlave (The truth will set you free)
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To: Ancesthntr
Stories like this just can't put the black helicopter people at ease.

The ironic thing - most of this stuff, the various forms of surveillance such as the cameras, UAVs (like the ones deployed in North Carolina - I used to think NC was fairly Conservative), it's all being done out in the open. Either it's arrogance on the part of the cities and law enforcement agencies, or they think that as long as they don't try to hide it, they can do whatever they want.
46 posted on 03/30/2006 4:49:40 PM PST by af_vet_rr
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