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Big Brotherís all-seeing eye
Washington Times ^ | June 7, 2012 | Andrew P. Napolitano

Posted on 06/07/2012 9:45:19 PM PDT by QT3.14

F or the past few weeks, I have been writing in this column about the government’s use of drones and challenging their constitutionality on Fox News Channel, where I work. I once asked on air what Thomas Jefferson would have done if - had they existed at the time - King George III had sent drones to peer inside the bedroom windows of Monticello. I suspect Jefferson and his household would have trained their muskets on the drones and taken them down. I offer this historical anachronism as a hypothetical only, not as someone who is urging the use of violence against the government.

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


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government
KEYWORDS: drones; eavesdropping; spying

1 posted on 06/07/2012 9:45:22 PM PDT by QT3.14
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To: QT3.14
I remember well when congress delegated great powers to the executive branch after the 9/11 attacks. I had great qualms about this. I did not fear this power in the hands of the executive if wielded by a moral patriot. However, whom is to decide if our executive is moral or patriotic?

These same powers in the hands of an executive that is not moral or patriotic is the power to destroy our great nation. Thus I find the powers granted to the executive under the patriot act, far more dangerous to our liberty and life than Al Queda and the Taliban combined.

I would much rather risk the attempts of a terrorist to kill me than the ability of my government to “protect me” if the protection is a function of abrogating my rights to privacy and due process.

ps
When and if these golf ball sized drones are used, I would respectfully request they drop by my house. I have a skeet range in my backyard and I would think these “wee beasties” would be quite a challenge to my 12 gage! Skeet fly straight but the wee beasties apparently can duck and hide and change directions. This could be fun!

Is there a “bag limit” on wee beasties?

2 posted on 06/07/2012 10:15:59 PM PDT by cpdiii (Deckhand, Roughneck, Mud Man, Geologist, Pilot, Pharmacist. THE CONSTITUTION IS WORTH DYING FOR!)
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To: QT3.14

The judge nails it for sure!!!


3 posted on 06/07/2012 10:21:30 PM PDT by dcwusmc (A FREE People have no sovereign save Almighty GOD!!! III OK We are EVERYWHERE!!!)
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To: QT3.14

I hate to break it to the Judge, but go to google earth and look at the satellite views of your home and neighborhood.

The NSA satellites used by our government intelligence agencies are probably 20x the power and resolution of google earth. They can easily read license plates of vehicles in your driveway.

Technology is going to continually change and the courts will decide what is and is not constitutional just as they did recently with the GPS tracker decision. Aircraft are already used by law enforcement for surveillance or you can park nearby and use a spotting scope to look at a residence or vehicle.

I can’t think of anything a drone with a camera can do that an aircraft and a cop with a camera or binoculars can’t legally do now.


4 posted on 06/07/2012 10:24:27 PM PDT by volunbeer (Don't worry America, our kids can pay for it!)
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To: cpdiii
I had great qualms about this. I did not fear this power in the hands of the executive if wielded by a moral patriot.

Spare us. There hasn't been anyone like that in office since Coolidge. The neocons and Bushbots destroyed the GOP and our freedom. Just because Obama is worse doesn't excuse what you did.

5 posted on 06/07/2012 10:26:49 PM PDT by Forgotten Amendments (Let's name a law after a kid who died because of CAFE standards!)
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To: cpdiii
I had great qualms about this. I did not fear this power in the hands of the executive if wielded by a moral patriot.

Spare us. There hasn't been anyone like that in office since Coolidge. The neocons and Bushbots destroyed the GOP and our freedom. Just because Obama is worse doesn't excuse what you did.

6 posted on 06/07/2012 10:27:11 PM PDT by Forgotten Amendments (Let's name a law after a kid who died because of CAFE standards!)
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To: QT3.14

I would think you could be “spying eye” proof” with one of those 1,000,000 candle power spotlights from harbor freight pointed upward...


7 posted on 06/07/2012 10:45:23 PM PDT by babygene (Figures don't lie, but liars can figure...)
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To: QT3.14
From the Washington Times (Excerpts):

(As usual, its follow the money....)

The FAA has issued hundreds of certificates to police and other government agencies, and a handful to research institutions to allow them to fly drones of various kinds over the United States for particular missions.

The agency said it issued 313 certificates in 2011 and 295 of them were still active at the end of the year, but the FAA refuses to disclose which agencies have the certificates and what their purposes are.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is suing the FAA to obtain records of the certifications.

“We need a list so we can ask [each agency], ‘What are your policies on drone use? How do you protect privacy? How do you ensure compliance with the Fourth Amendment?’ ” Ms. Lynch said.

“Currently, the only barrier to the routine use of drones for persistent surveillance are the procedural requirements imposed by the FAA for the issuance of certificates,” said Amie Stepanovich, national security counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a research center in Washington.

The Department of Transportation, the parent agency of the FAA, has announced plans to streamline the certification process for government drone flights this year, she said.

“We are looking at our options” to oppose that, she added.

Section 332 of the new FAA legislation also orders the agency to develop a system for licensing commercial drone flights as part of the nation’s air traffic control system by 2015.

The agency must establish six flight ranges across the country where drones can be test-flown to determine whether they are safe for travel in congested skies.

Representatives of the fast-growing unmanned aircraft systems industry say they worked hard to get the provisions into law.

“It sets deadlines for the integration of [the drones] into the national airspace,” said Gretchen West, executive vice president of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, an industry group.

She said drone technology is new to the FAA.

The legislation, which provides several deadlines for the FAA to report progress to Congress, “will move the [drones] issue up their list of priorities,” Ms. West said.

8 posted on 06/08/2012 4:39:02 AM PDT by Conservative Vermont Vet (l)
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To: volunbeer

You miss the main point of this discussion and others like it regarding the ever increasing intrusion into our daily lives and privacy.

When the first “street cams” appeared a few decades ago, I warned people that it was just the beginning. Google the numberof “security” cams in operation in Britain - it is MIND BOOGLING!

As technology becomes cheaper to deploy and less costly in terms of “exposure of LE personnel to danger”, we will see more and more of it intruding in our lives.

Can’t you comprehend that they can deploy MANY MANY more unmanned drones for the cost of just ONE manned (pilot + “observer”) in a regular aircraft.

This evolution will continue until they have indoor monitoring capability in every single building (they already have deployed drive by monitoring of indoor activities by a number of methods, all of which are pretty crude and obvious. The rapid pace of tech improvements (artificial insect motion, nano-technology, rfid, UMAs, ad hoc self organizing networks, real time facial and stress recognition, etc, etc) only insures that the tightness of the noose around our collective necks is ever increasing.

Wake up and smell the coffee my friend.

I’ve been in hi tech all my working career and I’ve seen only the surface stuff. It scares the ^&*%$^& out of me to think what NSA, HSD, CIA and their private contractors are cooking up behind closed doors.

They always foist this stuff on us in terms of “protecting the people” when in reality they are rolling this stuff out to protect themselves from We the People finally saying at some point:

“We’re mad as hell and we’re NOT going to take it ANYMORE.”

That’s the point at which even pollyannas like you will recognize all this stuff for the ABSOLUTE EVIL that it truly is.

I dread tat day arriving, but am convinced it is unavoidable, consider the cancerous state of the governing body’s character at this time.


9 posted on 06/08/2012 7:48:12 AM PDT by CanuckYank
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To: CanuckYank

The technology is going to change no matter what. The most intrusive thing on individual privacy that I see are companies like google and others who track internet usage for commercial purposes.

RF micro devices are going to change things drastically for both good and bad - i.e. you can push your shopping cart at Walmart through pylons and check out quickly using your own RF tag as a debit/credit card to your account. The retailer will track your purchases and target advertising and specials specifically to you.

On-star technology and license plate readers can track your car and speed along the interstate. License plate readers can ping users when a specific plate passes by and also keep a record of all plates that pass a certain point. Same with RF tag stickers for toll roads.

Your smartphone can already provide your location if enough towers are present through tower triangulation and/or gps technology.

Smart meters on houses can monitor electric/gas/water usage and report that back to utility companies or local government.

Pole cameras are already utilized by law enforcement to watch specific addresses/activity as part of criminal investigations. A fixed camera pointing at your address seems more effective than a drone circling your house. Like I said above, there is nothing a drone can do right now that I can’t do in an aircraft.

Most FReepers support the use of drones to increase border security and make the border patrol more effective. They already have thousands of cameras, motions sensors, and other technology employed on the border to include tens of millions of dollars in aircraft.

The potential exists for abuses with every technology. I think google, some ISP’s, retailers, and other web services are probably the most intrusive although many people don’t realize that.

As computers get faster and more capable our world will continue to change for the better and worse. If you use a debit card/credit card those records are obtainable now if law enforcement has probable cause.

Technology like this is still expensive, but it gets cheaper every year and it will be addressed by the courts as it arises. Where some of this stuff is present as described above the information is obtainable with a court order, subpeona, or search warrant.

The world has already changed, but I know it still takes an investigator or investigative team to monitor these things the same as it always has. That will change at some point when computers increase their ability to decipher and look for things. I am concerned about the potential for abuse, but I also believe the courts won’t allow unfettered access to much of it currently (another reason ABO is so important for SCOTUS).

As I said above, if the government wanted to watch you in your yard the technology already exists with satellites and drones won’t really change that. It still takes a person on the other end somewhere to decipher the information overload.

I am not missing the point of the conversation at all and your name calling is pointless. I stand by my comments that the “Judge” is up to his usual hyperactive hysteria and I am certain he is working on a book right now that will sell a few hundred thousand copies and make him some money. You can buy it if you want. It won’t change the inevitable march for good and bad of technology.

All of this stuff is open source on the internet. In my experience, it still takes an investigator or investigative team to monitor and process all of the above so these technologies are highly selective where applied and are all subject to court review during adjudication from a law enforcement perspective.

YMMV.


10 posted on 06/08/2012 10:19:58 AM PDT by volunbeer (Don't worry America, our kids will pay for it!)
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To: volunbeer

i guess we will have to rely on the private sector space entrepreneurs to keep the eyes out of the skies when the time comes... docking with the space station will pale in comparison to the dismantling of spy satellites...

hollywood movie script here i come...

they’ll wish they installed the star wars defense mechanisms when i am through with them...

perhaps a vietnam vet in a wheelchair as the space cowboy...

hmmmmmm


11 posted on 06/08/2012 11:25:53 AM PDT by teeman8r (Armageddon won't be pretty, but it's not like it's the end of the world.)
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To: volunbeer

Ugh, me chemist....ask’um dumb question.

Do not these various beasties (or at least the mobile ones) depend on RF communication?? Cannot detectors and jammers be devised to ascertain the presence of same, and prevent them from transmitting/receiving instructions??


12 posted on 06/09/2012 10:30:48 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog
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To: Wonder Warthog

Any RF can be jammed. The military spends lots of money to jam enemy RF signals and protect their own from jamming. The problem with RF jamming is that it sends out it’s own signal that can be detected so in theory, like speed radar jammers, the authorities can simply outlaw jammers or radar detectors. Anything that sends out it’s own signal is easy to detect passively. However, if nations can’t jam our Predator drones using military technology, I don’t give myself a good chance using something cooked up in my garage or backyard. I won’t jam a satellite that communicates with the drone that way.

I was mostly talking about the RF tags used on products at stores for “loss prevention” and tracking. The barcode reader stickers on tollways are now being replaced by RF tags that are detected when they pass a reader (tollbooth), but there is nothing that says a reader anywhere along the road won’t work. As computers become more powerful (and memory cheaper) it will be increasingly easy to track RF tags. These tags, chips, or whatever you want to call them are already showing up in debit cards and drivers licenses. In theory, a reader set up on the side of the road could tell you each drivers license or state ID that went past it.

The courts are the ultimate authority on what government agents can/can’t do with techonology given our constitution. They are already wrestling with some of these subjects that have arisen from new technologies. When you choose to participate in something (like Google) you will notice lots of fine print and boxes to check and/or uncheck. Many people don’t pay attention to this and fail to realize that google tracks each and every search they do. They data mine this stuff to know what products you might be interested in and they either sell that information to 3rd party vendors or directly target advertising to you based on your interests.

Technology is a double edged sword. On the one hand, it can make our lives easier, more efficient, and more convenient. On the other hand, it creates a record (even realtime) of our activities so it could be used to control, tax, or monitor our activities by others.

If I told you that a rapists was caught because of his cellular phone signal you would be happy. If I told you the EPA remotely monitored your use and deployment of pesticides on your crops you would probably feel uneasy about it.

Technology is neither good or evil. It is what people do with the technology. These are issues that our courts are currently wrestling with and it’s the main reason I will vote against Obama since his party (and his Judicial nominations) are likely to see new technology as a means to control and tax us. I don’t like the idea of some envirofascists being able to monitor how often I use my fireplace or what kind of lightbulb I use. The liberals will assign taxes to my behavior as another means of wealth redistribution. They do this now.

This technology all exists now. It will get easier each year as technology and computers continue to improve. See the Drudge headlines today on data mining? Many bible scholars who are interested in end-times prophecy believe these technologies are the “mark of the beast” that will be required to participate in commerce.


13 posted on 06/09/2012 11:41:47 AM PDT by volunbeer (Don't worry America, our kids will pay for it!)
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To: volunbeer
Even RF tags can be defeated easily. Put'em into an aluminum box. Even today you can buy aluminum wallets to keep your RF credit card secure.

Technology is a double edged sword. On the one hand, it can make our lives easier, more efficient, and more convenient. On the other hand, it creates a record (even realtime) of our activities so it could be used to control, tax, or monitor our activities by others.

"Technology is neither good or evil. It is what people do with the technology. These are issues that our courts are currently wrestling with and it’s the main reason I will vote against Obama since his party (and his Judicial nominations) are likely to see new technology as a means to control and tax us. I don’t like the idea of some envirofascists being able to monitor how often I use my fireplace or what kind of lightbulb I use. The liberals will assign taxes to my behavior as another means of wealth redistribution. They do this now."

Actually, I'm pretty much in agreement with you. In the name of "convenience", some of my fellow techno-geeks are putting together a set of tools which, if adopted by an unscrupulous power-hungry individual, can be the basis of the most stringent tyranny ever seen by mankind. It will make Hitler, Stalin, and Mao look like amateurs. And pretty much nobody seems concerned.

14 posted on 06/10/2012 7:02:37 PM PDT by Wonder Warthog
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To: volunbeer

“Technology is neither good or evil. It is what people do with the technology ...”

THAT is the crux of the issue. The bad guys (politicians and criminals) will ALWAYS pervert any technology to further their own ambitions, no matter how “benevolent” the technology is when initially sold to the public.

The question becomes one of “ROI” (Return on Investment) vs “IOF” (Infringement on Freedom). Does the benefit of the claimed use by gubmint (ie using drones to spot building code violations) outweigh the cost (loss of freedom to do things in your own backyard without fear of it being recorded and published).

This issue is yet another example of the creeping line which constantly reduces our freedom and the frog in the pan being brought slowly to a boil.


15 posted on 06/14/2012 7:48:06 AM PDT by CanuckYank
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