The growing use of domestic drones is setting off alarms — justifiably?
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Drones are an effective and necessary technology for both our military and law enforcement. As drone technology advances, I expect the use of drones will expand as well. However, we must get out in front on this issue so that the use of new drone technology is consistent with the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which protects American citizens against unreasonable search and seizure.
In other words, drones can and will prove a cost-effective solution to niche needs, if employed in a responsible manner. Writing for Wired, Noah Schachtmann details the brighter side of drones — as cost-efficient utility maximizers that quietly, cheaply, and cleanly assist a spectrum of private industries. For instance, one might not assume that a farmer monitoring his wheat fields for nitrogen deprivation might employ a UAV not unlike the sort that’s currently patrolling Helmand Province in Afghanistan. Weather monitoring, search and rescue, border patrol, et cetera, present “best practices” for drone use. However, we must remain vigilant.
Again, quoting CFR’s resident drone-savant Micah Zenko:
…if there is anything to be learned from America’s use of drones abroad, it is that mission creep follows. Once security forces have access to the near real-time video and radar surveillance that drones can provide, they become addicted — and subsequently develop new missions for how drones can be used.
So, while it would be alarmist to conflate drones abroad with drones at home, a healthy skepticism at the advent of their domestic employment will limit potential invasions of privacy down the road.
Likewise, let us beware spoon-fed “security” narratives lest we find ourselves living in a brave, new world. And if you get the feeling somebody’s watching you, you’re probably right.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?