February 8, 2012

FAA Reauthorization Act promotes explosion of (undisclosed) drone surveillance in U.S.

Uh oh, no more sunbathing, target shooting or burying your gold coins in your own back yard. Congress is pumping up homeland drone activity in the U.S. with the FAA Authorization Act it just passed.

Drones (UAVs) are "capable of capable of carrying face recognition systems, license plate scanners, thermal imaging cameras, open WiFi sniffers, and other sensors. However, individuals in the United States have few legal privacy protections from aerial surveillance conducted through UAVs." And the FAA already refuses to reveal which agencies are currently holding certificates to use the airspace for unmanned activities, as the Washington Times article states:

"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."

So, why the big secrecy? Could agencies be doing stuff the people would not like, d'ya think? If these agencies were serving the people, accomplishing useful drone work beyond basic law enforcement, why not brag about it a bit? It would show the good use of our tax money. It would gain citizen support. We could cheer them on. So, why all the secrecy? What does 2 + 2 equal?

How about doing another  2 + 2: What happens when you add radiofrequency producing consumer devices, such as cell phones or smart meters (on homes) to radiofrequency-driven drone orientation and information collecting? It could be a heady combination for those controlling these systems behind the scenes.

Besides, adding hoards of remotely controlled drones to weave criss-cross patterns above would create a new level of involuntary radiofrequency radiation exposure. One professional group of American doctors recently called for the halt of smart meter installation, due to evidence for health risks in the scientific literature. Surely, these doctors would object to drones emissions, as well.

“Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

--Benjamin Franklin

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