This article is disturbing to me on a number of levels.
The US government is beginning to use UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) to conduct surveillance over the United States.
First and foremost, I’m mindful that ALL Governments abuse their power. I have no reason to believe that our government is any different.
In the aftermath of 911 our government enacted The Patriot Act. I, like most Americans at the time thought, “Sure, a temporary abridgment of our rights is worth it to provide for the security of our nation.
At the time I thought that the US government would simply contact everyone that was here on expired visas and give them a deadline to leave. I expected that we’d also severely restrict travel from any countries that were known to harbor extremists. Further I thought that all student visas would be cancelled and foreign students would be asked to return to their home countries while we assessed the threat, and came up with a plan to secure our borders.
All of these logical preventative measures while inconvenient to those affected would have allowed the country some breathing room. Yes it sounds xenophobic… However at the time it was pretty damn obvious that the enemy in an as yet undeclared war was already within our borders.
As we now know… none of these logical steps were taken.
In the period after 9/11 to this day our borders are not secured. There are people from every country in the world who have remained here after their visas ran out, and still others who are here after crossing the border like thieves in the night. Some of these people contribute to the economy and some do not…
The one common element is that all of these people are here and remain so illegally.
Obviously The Patriot Act wasn’t what we thought it was, and it’s purpose was not to help protect the country from external threats.
What I and millions of other Americans forgot is; once rights are taken away by the State, they are never returned. This truism was brought home by none other than President Obama when he signed the extension of The Patriot Act.
Hope and Change? MY ASS!
Obviously, the government wants to maintain the “Special Powers” so that they can continue the inexorable march toward a police state.
Using Drones over American Soil is another step toward a state wherein the enemy of the United States (AKA Our Government) is in fact the people that are being governed.
Aerial surveillance is a simple way to bypass the expense of having surveillance cameras mounted everywhere as is done in London. A side benefit is that the populace may not notice a UAV flying overhead sending live video data back to law enforcement.
There are those that argue surveillance of the kind used in London deters crime.
I agree and disagree. Those people marginally tempted to commit an opportunistic crime will probably be deterred by cameras on every street corner.
A hardened criminal will be undeterred and will actively find methods to obfuscate their identities. The ever popular ski mask and hooded sweatshirt come to mind.
So while you may not have as many purse snatchings, you’ll still have the really hard crimes.
I’m absolutely opposed to a UAV flying over my house taking pictures of my mundane life, and every other American should be too.This is a violation of privacy, and the potential for abuse is far too high.
Currently thanks to The Patriot Act and other more clandestine laws abridging our rights, our government has the right, desire, and ability to watch virtually every aspect of our lives.
Every communication via whatever media (Landline, Cellphone, Internet, radio) can be monitored without warrant or notification right now!
Don’t forget, your cell phone, and many new vehicles with OnStar type systems can also easily be tracked. My car for example, has the ability to report it’s exact location via GPS. Another thing few people consider is that most cars with all their modern electronics can be disabled remotely.
Sure, it’s called anti theft but the other side of that coin is that if, for some reason the government or law enforcement wanted to arrest you it’s a pretty simple matter to immobilize you in your fancy new car. Spike strips, high speed chases? Nahhh a single command transmitted via the cellular network and your engine simply turns off.
Our government using UAVs simply means that in addition to all the above… Any citizen can be followed, observed, their activities recorded, their acquaintances documented and whatever “evidence” is collected can be used against the citizen by an all powerful, all seeing government.
UAVs don’t have to be large. The same technology that allows you to upload a YouTube video from your cellphone, can be used to allow a small inexpensive UAV to spy on you.
George Orwell’s 1984 is happening right now.
So what are We The People going to do about it?