Skip to comments.Border-patrol drones being borrowed by other agencies more often than previously known
Posted on 01/15/2014 4:44:59 AM PST by maddog55
Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are increasingly borrowing border-patrol drones for domestic surveillance operations, newly released records show, a harbinger of what is expected to become the commonplace use of unmanned aircraft by police.
Customs and Border Protection, which has the largest U.S. drone fleet of its kind outside the Defense Department, flew nearly 700 such surveillance missions on behalf of other agencies from 2010 to 2012, according to flight logs released recently in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil-liberties group.
The records show that the border-patrol drones are being commissioned by other agencies more often than previously known. Most of the missions are performed for the Coast Guard, the Drug Enforcement Administration and immigration authorities. But they also aid in disaster relief and in the search for marijuana crops, methamphetamine labs and missing persons, among other missions not directly related to border protection.
Because they have sophisticated cameras and can remain in flight for many hours at a time, drones create novel privacy challenges. Civil libertarians have argued that these aircraft could lead to persistent visual surveillance of Americans on private property. Government lawyers have argued, however, that there is no meaningful legal distinction between the use of unmanned and piloted aircraft for surveillance.
Hundreds of missions
The issue has become a hot topic in Congress; the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the subject Wednesday.
For now, drone flights in the United States are tightly restricted for safety reasons. Other than the military, Customs and Border Protection is one of the few agencies permitted by the Federal Aviation Administration to fly unmanned aircraft on a daily basis within the countrys borders.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
One of these will crash land on private property.
The land owner will sue for damages and threat to personal safety.
He will be audited and harassed by the IRS.
...if they have them looking over your house, they are NOT OVER THE BORDER
I’ve read many opinions, such as here on FR, that drones can be shot down let’s say with a shotgun as you are suggesting.
I live 9 miles from a border and there is a drone base a couple hundred miles away. I feel certain they have overflown our area, maybe not our property, many many times.
My point is their size, elevation and noise level is such that they are practically undetectable to persons on the ground without some sophisticated device that will actually monitor them. To shoot one down would take some equally sophisticated missile that only the military or terrorists would possess.
If they are gonna take pictures or other surveillance, they are going to do it and those targeted will never know it. I see the probability of millions of privacy violations much the same the NSA has monitored our communications.
It will never be exposed until some Snowden sort comes out with the evidence. And our Beltway Uniparty people will investigate it and tell us it’s all OK. They are the government and here to help.
There are drones and there are drones. Those little helicopter drones with 4-8 blades would make nice targets for a guy with a 12 gauge if they come within 40 yds or so. The predator drone with hellfire missiles. The kind that takes out islamicists in Afghanistan are of course only removable with military ordnance.
BP uses them to follow smugglers from the border to drop houses and on into places like Willcox and Tucson along I-10. Their idea of “Border” includes a 70-mile swath of inland territory.
Not your typical aliens ping, this one is more about border issues and privacy rights for those of us who live here.
As I mentioned in an earlier comment, the BP themselves typically use their UAVs throughout a deep swath of territory that is nowhere near the border. That indicates their concept of using a zone defense as opposed to using the man-to-man (on the border) defense that so many here suggest they should.
Make a full length poncho out of that stuff and it would be close to a ghillie suite.