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UK Police Plan To Use Military-Style Spy Drones

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the knock-down-the-copseyes dept.

Government 390

krou writes "According to documents obtained by the Guardian under the Freedom of Information Act, the UK police plan on deploying unmanned drones in the UK to 'revolutionize policing' and extend domestic 'surveillance, monitoring and evidence gathering,' which will be used in 'the routine work of the police, border authorities and other government agencies.' The documents come from the South Coast Partnership, 'a Home Office-backed project in which Kent police and others are developing a national drone plan' in conjunction with BAE Systems. The stated aim is to introduce the system in time for the 2012 Olympics. Initially, Kent police stated that the system would be used to monitor shipping lanes and illegal immigrants, but the documents reveal that this was part of a PR strategy: 'There is potential for these [maritime] uses to be projected as a "good news" story to the public rather than more "big brother."' However, the documents talk about a much wider range of usage, such as '[detecting] theft from cash machines, preventing theft of tractors and monitoring antisocial driving,' as well as 'road and railway monitoring, search and rescue, event security and covert urban surveillance.' Also, due to the expense involved, it has also been suggested that some data could be sold off to private companies, or the drones could be used for commercial purposes."

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Slipperly Slope (1, Insightful)

Hmmm2000 (1146723) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907416)

On the surface, this does not seem like a bad idea. If the drone is just capturing video of what is out in the open for all to see anyway, I don't have a problem with a drone recording it. What is a bit troubling is that we know that some of the military drones have infrared capability - so it would be possible in theory for one of these drones to be equipped with the same capability, allowing it to look directly into buildings and homes.

Re:Slipperly Slope (3, Insightful)

click2005 (921437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907514)

I don't have a problem with a drone recording it.

I would. It would be fun if the public gets access to the video recordings.
I'd set up a website offering a £1000 prize for the first beating caught on video.

Re:Slipperly Slope (4, Funny)

click2005 (921437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907550)

first beating caught on video.

Oops.. I meant to say first beating by police caught on video.

Re:Slipperly Slope (2, Funny)

kalirion (728907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907584)

How about the first beating off by police caught on video?

Re:Slipperly Slope (2, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907890)

Oops.. I meant to say first beating by police caught on video.

Little is revealed of the UK's rule outside of Earth, but it is thought that they control worlds in different dimensions and inhabited with a range of species. The UK occupation of Earth, however, is shown to be a brutal police state. In London, a generic European city, Civil Protection units are seen frequently, often conducting random searches of apartment blocks, interrogating human citizens and engaging in random police brutality. The military Overwatch forces of the UK are shown attacking human resistance bases in an effort to further solidify their control. The citizens themselves are all clad in blue uniforms and live in designated apartment blocks. Citizens are shown to be moved around to different cities or locales at the UK's will, using passenger trains. Vortigaunts are also shown to have been enslaved, and are observed in various jobs such as janitors. UK is draining Earth's natural resources, including the sea, to be used on other UK-controlled worlds.

At the heart of the UK's command structure is the Citadel, an enormous structure that reaches high into the skyline and delves deep underground. Located within London, the Citadel serves as the primary headquarters of the UK, housing both UK Advisors and the office of the Earth administrator, Wallace Breen. Breen is frequently seen on large screens around the city from which he spreads propaganda. The Citadel projects an energy field that is able to prevent human reproduction, as well as a field that keeps dangerous alien wildlife out of the city. In addition, the Citadel contains a trans-dimensional teleporter which allows UK to travel between their native universe and Earth. The Citadel also contains construction facilities for various synthetic UK combat machines.

Re:Slipperly Slope (2, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907908)

The Citadel projects an energy field that is able to prevent human reproduction

Sweet! I can stop wasting money on rubbers!

Re:Slipperly Slope (1)

HateBreeder (656491) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907988)

Who are you fooling? this is Slashdot...

Re:Slipperly Slope (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908108)

So, Our Combine Benefactors == NuLabor?

Re:Slipperly Slope (4, Informative)

1s44c (552956) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907710)

I don't have a problem with a drone recording it.

I would. It would be fun if the public gets access to the video recordings.
I'd set up a website offering a £1000 prize for the first beating caught on video.

The public never get access to police technology. Any evidence that the police have committed a crime magically disappears. The so called 'independent police complaints commission' perform whitewashes on anything that can't be made to disappear.

Police routinely search citizens without even the suspicion of a crime taking place. The UK is now a police state.

Personally I left and I'm very happy I did.

Re:Slipperly Slope (1)

pabens (979948) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907900)

I'd set up a website offering a £1000 prize for the first beating caught on video.

$26 sounds like a good investment [slashdot.org]

Re:Slipperly Slope (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907544)

What is a bit troubling is that we know that some of the military drones have infrared capability - so it would be possible in theory for one of these drones to be equipped with the same capability, allowing it to look directly into buildings and homes.

Huh? Infrared doesn't go through walls the last time I checked. You can look at a home with an IR camera and figure out other stuff -- like if they have any strange heat sources that suggest illegal grow operations -- but you can't "look directly" into buildings with it.

That's not to say I'm defending this. I think it's disgusting and yet another sad example of the sheepification of the people that gave us most of our civil liberties.

Re:Slipperly Slope (3, Informative)

mhajicek (1582795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907572)

Huh? Infrared doesn't go through walls the last time I checked.

That depends on the frequency range of the detector. My company makes some parts for a military infrared binocular that can see people through concrete block walls.

Re:Slipperly Slope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30907602)

Going to need a citation on that. Concrete block is fairly dense, I'm not even sure you could get a clear x-ray through one...

Re:Slipperly Slope (2, Interesting)

mhajicek (1582795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907762)

Going to need a citation on that. Concrete block is fairly dense, I'm not even sure you could get a clear x-ray through one...

Using thermal imaging technology, we can see through cement walls and look at structural integrity of many objects.

http://www.thermalimagingcamera.org/ [thermalimagingcamera.org]

Re:Slipperly Slope (1)

tibman (623933) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907672)

Could i get the NSN for that? I would love to order one and show it to the CDR.

Re:Slipperly Slope (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907852)

My company makes some parts for a military infrared binocular that can see people through concrete block walls.

Got any sample pictures of that that?

Re:Slipperly Slope (2, Informative)

mhajicek (1582795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908020)

Got any sample pictures of that that?

I believe this is a lesser version of it: http://www.nightvisionweb.com/thermal_systems/elcan_ph50.html [nightvisionweb.com]

Re:Slipperly Slope (1, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908214)

I meant a picture from one of your devices looking through a wall. That's just a sales website. Interestingly enough though it lists the capabilities of the device and doesn't claim that it can see through walls.

The Phantom IR allows users to observe the heat signatures of people and objects at extreme ranges in daylight or at night, and through smoke, fog or camouflage.

I'm calling bullshit on IR passing through walls unless you can provide some evidence to the contrary.

Re:Slipperly Slope (3, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907648)

They get a surprisingly good picture through curtains. If your on a military base at night, you can often tell which barracks the women are in because the guards sight each of the windows through their scopes as they pass on patrol...

Re:Slipperly Slope (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907838)

I think it's disgusting and yet another sad example of the sheepification of the people that gave us most of our civil liberties.

People are either fooled into believing that it's for their own good or they know they can't fight back in any meaningful way.

The mass civil unrest it would take to fix the UK isn't likely anytime soon.

Re:Slipperly Slope (2, Interesting)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908146)

I've used this quote before, because it keeps coming up as relevant:

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.

--Frederick Douglass

Re:Slipperly Slope (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907910)

You can look at a home with an IR camera and figure out other stuff -- like if they have any strange heat sources that suggest illegal grow operations

And how would you be able to determine whether or not what they were growing was illegal? I've seriously thought of growing tomatos in my basement because the ones you buy at the grocery taste like cardboard, but fear of the War On (some) Drugs keeps me from doing it.

Re:Slipperly Slope (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908032)

You wouldn't be able to determine it just from the IR data. Combined with other factors though (strange smells, unknown cars that visit every few minutes, etc.) it becomes enough probable cause to get a search warrant.

Then: Open!=Overheard. Now: Open=Overheard (4, Insightful)

professorguy (1108737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907582)

The slippery slope is your attitude that "if it's in the open, they can record it." Because for the last ten thousand years of human civilization THIS HAS NOT BEEN TRUE. So to say there is no effect from this radical change in human circumstances is either naive or disingenuous.

Re:Slipperly Slope (4, Insightful)

Unequivocal (155957) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907604)

Recording every inch of public space is (and should be) different from policing public space. At least that's how I see it. We want to keep down crime but we also want people to carry on their lives without everything being dissected and analyzed. Public privacy/anonymity may already be a myth but we don't need to help things along by supporting universal surveillance.

Re:Slipperly Slope (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907740)

Exactly. Oh well, it's US and UK. Here we actually have laws in place that if you even want to record video for security, you need to have a clear sign about it outside your store or other place.

I wouldn't ever want any kind of spy drones and I think most people feel the same way.

Re:Slipperly Slope (1, Interesting)

Thinine (869482) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907678)

I don't see any issue with deploying robotic or other automated assets that would replace actual people. If a cop can sit in a helicopter over the city and report things, why not a drone? Lower cost, lower risk, higher capability. This is also why I don't oppose red light cameras or other community surveillance, as an officer could just be doing it instead. Yes this standard can be extended quite far, but as long as we draw a line at the required physical bugging of private property, I'm okay with it. If it's something I, or a police officer without a warrant, can do, the government should be able to do it too.

Re:Slipperly Slope (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907758)

Yes this standard can be extended quite far, but as long as we draw a line at the required physical bugging of private property, I'm okay with it.

Which merely means that by the time they do decide that they're going to install cameras in your house, you won't be able to do anything to stop them.

Opposing a slippery slope is much easier at the top than at the bottom where it's approaching with the momentum of a thirty-ton truck with a rocket on the back.

Re:Slipperly Slope (1)

Thinine (869482) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907954)

Merely because you can conflate public surveillance with private does not mean that one leads to the other. Frankly, it's a logical and clear limit that physical surveillance can't be conducted on private property, one that has stood for hundreds of years.

Re:Slipperly Slope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30907680)

On the surface, this does not seem like a bad idea.

Grounded on the surface of the earth, you mean.

Re:Slipperly Slope (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907766)

On the surface, this does not seem like a bad idea.

It seems like a bad idea to me. I don't like being spied on by my government. Of course, I'm against having secret police* in a "free" society, too. Cops should be visible and wear distinctive uniforms driving distinctive vehicles.

* In the US, the secret police are called "undercover agents", "plainclothesmen", and "DEA". Laws that make victimless crimes are an excuse for having secret police in the first place, and should be repealed.

Re:Slipperly Slope (5, Insightful)

krou (1027572) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908054)

Actually, it is a terrible idea for citizens, and whoever modded you insightful doesn't live in the UK. Past experience suggests that if you give an inch, they take a mile. Terror laws were introduced on the understanding that they would not be abused. Guess what? They were abused, and not just by the police harassing legitimate protesters, photographers, and just every day civilians. Councils used terror laws to justify snooping on people suspected of lying about where they lived [bbc.co.uk] so they could get their child into a local school, spying on suspected litterbugs, and spying on council employees. There's plenty other cases documenting the systematic exploitation of these laws.

The mere fact that these iditos knew full well there would be a public outcry, and that they should focus on shipping lanes and illegal immigrants in order to spin this, should sending warning bells across the UK. It's quite clear that the police view activists and legitimate protesters as "domestic extremists [guardian.co.uk] ", so there's only one reason they want the capabilities of these drones: They're lying bastards who want to infiltrate what little privacy we have left in our lives even further to make us live in fear, and to stifle dissent.

Re:Slipperly Slope (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30908116)

Not a bad idea? Common sense tells me that ANY surveillance of innocent civilians is unjust and directly at odds with liberty.

If I've done nothing wrong, then exactly what right do you have to track me? If I am no threat to the liberty of others, then there is no logical reason for you to track me. That leaves us with malice. A government that spies on innocent civilians is nothing but a glorified stalker.

But let's not overlook the primary reason and goal of programs like this: money. It pulls money through the hands of those who control the business of government. No matter whether they "succeed" or "fail", when all is said and done, the business of government is more lucrative as a result.

At the top of the power pyramid, as long as the money passes through your hands, you win. There are plenty of ways for the bureaucrat to profit from this "initiative", and rest assured, they will.

There's a reason why every year government costs more than the year before, and it's obviously not because government is getting better. I have a feeling you already know how this ends.

Re:Slipperly Slope (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30908198)

It seems that rival technologies [slashdot.org] grow together

Re:Slipperly Slope (1)

odin84gk (1162545) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908206)

There was a recent patent/article about using wifi signals to "see" through walls. Essentially, they look at the wifi signal from several wireless sources, see the change, and do the math to see movement. It would be a bit harder to implement on a vertical scale, but the science is there. I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes more mainstream 10 years from now.

Missing Tag (4, Insightful)

grayshirtninja (1242690) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907436)

1984

Re:Missing Tag (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30907524)

V for Vendetta.

Re:Missing Tag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30907882)

Sadly even he might have trouble hitting a drone with a dagger... hmm maybe DIY mini-stingers is the market of the future. ;-)

Re:Missing Tag (1)

Bovius (1243040) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907526)

See "bigbrother".

Re:Missing Tag (5, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907542)

and Blue Thunder

Why not arm them while we are at it, after all its for the children.

Re:Missing Tag (3, Funny)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907622)

Why not arm them while we are at it, after all its for the children.

Indeed. Evil Britons won't try sneaking recyclables into their garbage bin when they know there may be a Hellfire missile pointing their way.

Re:Missing Tag (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907702)

No. No! It's "Skynet, meet Mr. 1984's Brave New World."

There's Only One Way To Boil A Frog (1)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907788)

Slowly turn up the heat.

If you crank up the heat too fast, the frog jumps out of the pot. Turn the heat up slowly, and the frog will not notice until it's too late.

Re:There's Only One Way To Boil A Frog (2, Informative)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907912)

That's actually a myth, as it turns out.

Re:There's Only One Way To Boil A Frog (2, Insightful)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907938)

There's a second way to boil a frog: knock it over the head before you toss it in the pot.

Anyway, who boils frogs?

Big Brother? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30907462)

But Big Brother wasn't bad, he was always there to protect you...to watch out for you. He would never hurt you.

What is really amazing isn't that they're implementing this system, it's that their rhetoric is so very similar to that from 1984. They don't call the system or the watchers big brother, but they tell you that it's for your protection, only bad people have anything to fear, and generally have a nearly indistinguishable attitude about it. The only difference is the name. But not many actually read 1984 I suppose (from the general populace, geeks here not included) so most people I imagine don't realize the similarities in rhetoric.

This is obviously a bad thing, and makes me very cautious about even wanting to enter the UK. Yikes.

Re:Big Brother? (-1, Troll)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908188)

Health Care, Welfare, Social Security, Medicare, Police Surveillance .... it is all the same to me.

I know I'm gonna get modded "troll" for this, but you can't have the Government protect you from everything all the time, UNLESS you're willing to give up essential liberties for the sake of security. You deserve neither security nor liberty!

The problem is that the whole "Do it for the children" argument is used by both Left Wing and Right Wingers alike. It doesn't matter if it is to protect against "starvation" or "molesters"; they are both the same.

Commercial purposes? (3, Insightful)

click2005 (921437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907468)

'[detecting] theft from cash machines, preventing theft of tractors and monitoring antisocial driving,'

They're either going to have tens of thousands of them or hoping to get really lucky.

Also, due to the expense involved, it has also been suggested that some data could be sold off to private companies, or the drones could be used for commercial purposes

So we'll see TV shows featuring footage captured by drones?

Google might buy it too but if its targeting people it'll make obscuring faces harder.

Re:Commercial purposes? (5, Funny)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907556)

Great Britain, I'd like to introduce you to this American invention we call the "cowboy hat". It's related to some older technology (the sombrero) and serves to protect the face (and neck) from sunburn and observation by aerial surveillance drones.

Re:Commercial purposes? (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907684)

And another excellent invention, the bounty hunter. Wonder what sort of bounty a drone would be worth??

Re:Commercial purposes? (2, Insightful)

lobiusmoop (305328) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908092)

In the UK, the hoodie [wikipedia.org] serves that purpose, and has grown in popularity pretty much in parallel with the deployment of CCTV in the cities.

Re:Commercial purposes? (1)

mhajicek (1582795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907598)

They're either going to have tens of thousands of them or hoping to get really lucky.

Half a dozen Global Hawks at high altitude should do the trick.

Re:Commercial purposes? (1)

BigSlowTarget (325940) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907686)

I'm sure celebrity nude sunbathing shots are expected to be the primary revenue generation source.

Given how successful the ten jillion cameras in London have been at preventing crime I expect this will finish the criminals off.

Re:Commercial purposes? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908118)

I can't help feeling that the Scottish Nationalists have the wrong idea. Rather than independence for Scotland, maybe we can just kick England, or even just London, out of the union and let their politicians keep doing stupid things while the rest of us ignore them.

Re:Commercial purposes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30907690)

So we'll see TV shows featuring footage captured by drones?

It occurs to me that, in the US at least, TV news programs could save money by renting time on a police drone instead of maintaining a helicopter for their on-the-scene traffic reports.

I'm not advocating the use of police drones in general, just pointing out one tiny advantage.

Re:Commercial purposes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30907872)

and yet a million loopholes. How much accountability is there for a robot?

Re:Commercial purposes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30908158)

and yet a million loopholes. How much accountability is there for a robot?

For traffic reports?

Instead of selling the data, sell the drone (2, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907984)

the undersides and such or have it tow a big big banner.

This Surveillance Drone is sponsored by Big Brother, MTV 7pm daily.

More than likely the revenue model will be new crimes for which there is a nice monetary penalty attached. Perhaps we can combine this with the Global Warming cabal and fine people for barbecue grills or too much outdoor lighting.

Re:Commercial purposes? (1)

odin84gk (1162545) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908160)

Marketing information. They will gather information about the amount of foot traffic down a certain road, the demographics (white, male, middle age, family...), and the time of day they get the traffic. Companies will pay good money for that, especially one trying to determine the best location for their specialty shop.

Or, lets put a powerful projector on these, and let them project commercials directly in front of someone.

Oh! How about changing these to helicopters and hang signs on them.

From The Colonialist-Imperialist Country (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30907494)

with interference in:

Afghanistan, Israel, Iraq, Pakistan, India, Hong Kong, Australia, United States, and Canada.

Just follow the money trail for the bribes from the manufactuer.

Yours In Ulyanovsk,
Kilgore Trout

Good thing they took your guns away. (4, Interesting)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907560)

In the United States, we'll shoot at helicopters with actual people in them. If Homeland Security tried to spy on us with drones, it would become a sport to shoot them down. And they WOULD go down, too. Lots of expensive wreckage.

I hear in the UK you've got people dropping tires on traffic cameras and setting them on fire. Your hearts are in the right place, but it's tough to get a tire over a UAV.

Re:Good thing they took your guns away. (2, Insightful)

farlukar (225243) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907744)

If Homeland Security tried to spy on us with drones, it would become a sport to shoot them down. And they WOULD go down, too. Lots of expensive wreckage.

But I guess they'd have footage of the culprit who shot it down and let him pay for the expensive wreckage...

Re:Good thing they took your guns away. (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908014)

Indeed, anyone wearing long sleeves, long pants, a hat, facemask, and sunglasses needs to watch out. When your suspect has no discernible features, everyone's a suspect.

Re:Good thing they took your guns away. (5, Insightful)

mhajicek (1582795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907850)

Sounds like a good application for hackers; don't shoot them down, commandeer them.

Re:Good thing they took your guns away. (1)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907870)

or EMP the hell out of them with that device that was intended to be used by cops in car chases

Re:Good thing they took your guns away. (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907888)

In the United States, we'll shoot at helicopters with actual people in them. If Homeland Security tried to spy on us with drones, it would become a sport to shoot them down. And they WOULD go down, too. Lots of expensive wreckage.

As much as I love the 2nd amendment, you do realize that most small arms top out at 10,000 feet and these drones fly around 20,000 feet or higher, right?

Re:Good thing they took your guns away. (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907898)

In the United States, we'll shoot at helicopters with actual people in them. If Homeland Security tried to spy on us with drones, it would become a sport to shoot them down. And they WOULD go down, too. Lots of expensive wreckage.

These drones go 20,000ft high, you can't even see them yet alone shoot at them.

Re:Good thing they took your guns away. (2)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907982)

In the United States, we'll shoot at helicopters with actual people in them. If Homeland Security tried to spy on us with drones, it would become a sport to shoot them down. And they WOULD go down, too....

Really? I remember at the Republican National Convention in NY in 2004, there was a Fuji labeled blimp (balloon, actually, it was tethered) overhead the entire time and it was supposed to be there for surveillance. I don't recall anyone taking shots at that and it was a big, stationary target.

Re:Good thing they took your guns away. (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908074)

I don't recall anyone taking shots at that and it was a big, stationary target.

That's because the only people who have guns in New York City are criminals and cops. Honest citizens can't be trusted with them.

Re:Good thing they took your guns away. (1)

TiberiusMonkey (1603977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908078)

You'd need a MIG to shoot down a UAV.

RTFM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30907606)

It must clickthrough to theonion.

Antisocial driving? (5, Funny)

ChinggisK (1133009) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907614)

preventing theft of tractors and monitoring antisocial driving

What the heck is 'antisocial driving'? A car driving separate from the other cars because it is shy and lacks social skills?

Re:Antisocial driving? (1)

ChinggisK (1133009) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907632)

Here, let me Google that for you. [lmgtfy.com]

Re:Antisocial driving? (1)

ChinggisK (1133009) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907646)

Why thank you sir.

Police Helicopters (2, Insightful)

Manip (656104) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907628)

Apart from being far cheaper and safer, how is this different from police helicopters they already use and have been using for over twenty years?

Re:Police Helicopters (3, Insightful)

rotide (1015173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907956)

I would guess the cameras are very steady and will have much better vision than human eyes from 500ft.

Helicopters are also usually out assisting ground units in specific cases. Meaning, the ground units need an eye above them for a _limited_ amount of time to track a fleeing suspect or to just keep an eye open in the even a situation they are engaging in turns into a chase situation (IE: meth lab bust, etc).

Drones can just go up and stay up. They aren't there to follow chases and they aren't there to provide lighting. Drones can simply stay up recording anything a controlling officer finds interesting to look at.

Basically, helicopters are specific use and drones are whatever the camera operator wants it to be.

At least, that's the way I see it.

Re:Police Helicopters (1)

EdZ (755139) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908144)

It's not. But we can't let that get in the way of Bemoaning the Police state now, can we?

Too slow? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30907630)

Was going to try for "In before 'hurr ya magically lose yer fancy right to privamacy when ya go to da outsidez!'", but I suspect that bullshit travels faster than light.

Great opportunity for housewives in the UK (2, Interesting)

himitsu (634571) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907634)

Just pair this program with this [itproportal.com] and you've got the perfect captive audience.

Since wage-slaves can't be paid enough to focus on monitors for hours on end, just recruit the populace. The upside is that if you're an especially good snitch they can let you pilot a drone as a reward. Then they can make a TV show about that, a weekly feature to show off the citizen response to the dangers of knife crime and truancy.

Who needs a community of people working for the common good when technology can step in and keep us apart?

WE ARE EURASIA. (1)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907666)

You can't impose Draconian surveillance and anti-privacy laws immediately. The British government are imposing them the only way they can, by slowly freezing Britain into a harsh moral winter.

(Un)armed? (1)

lorg (578246) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907700)

Since most police officers in the UK dont carry firearms this would or could be a faster response then sending out the Armed response vehicles. So I do wonder how long it will take them to arm the drones, after all what harm could that possibly do ... That way you can stop all them tractor thieves and cashpoint burglers dead in the their tracks.

Re:(Un)armed? (1)

ArbitraryDescriptor (1257752) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908130)

That way you can stop all them tractor thieves and cashpoint burglers.

Right along with the tractor or cashpoint; thus preventing any future crimes involving them.

The State Surveilance Handbook. (1, Funny)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907714)

Politicians take note: George Orwell's Ninteen Eighty-Four is not a manual for statecraft.

Re:The State Surveilance Handbook. (3, Funny)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908034)

Politicians take note: George Orwell's Ninteen Eighty-Four is not a manual for statecraft.

That's just paranoia and coincidence. They really do have your best interests in mind. And they do hope you'll be showing up at the patriotism rally the day the citizen-protecting drones are launched from Airstrip One.

"Welcome ..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30907748)

"... to City 17."

Why the outrage? (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907750)

Helicopters are already here. I don't see any outrage over those.

Besides, it's a little late to say "oh you know we may have privacy issues" in the UK of all places. There's a camera on every street corner and then some.

I'm not for this or against it. IMHO it's just like a helo circling all day which in some places, like LA, is not too far from the current reality.

Re:Why the outrage? (2, Informative)

stei7766 (1359091) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907934)

In principle its the same as a helicopter, but due to the reduced cost I would imagine you could put lots more of these in the air. I think that's where the concern is.

Not sure about airspace though, I would imagine airspace over much of the UK is pretty busy.

People's privasies invaded yet again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30907782)

The fear factor works everytime!

Eeek (5, Interesting)

rotide (1015173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907798)

What are the laws going to be on probable cause to stop someone that is on "candid camera"?

What I mean is, if it spots you jaywalking, can they just follow you around and order local units to stop you? If you're walking by a street vendor and they see you reach into a bin, then moments later just happen to put your hand in your pocket, are they allowed to detain and search you?

Anecdotal evidence here, take this as you will.

A few years back I joined a "Citizens Police Academy". Basically, at its core, it is a PR program setup to bring the community and its police together. We got to basically take a free 10 week course meeting once a week where we went over the basics of all the police duties.

Personally, I got to partake in classes where they taught you about evidence gathering, etc. We got to do mock pull overs in the parking lot (quite interesting scenarios), I got to go on ride alongs (4 hours "on the beat" with an officer), I got to fire their weapons at their range, and I also got to partake (although limited) in on site SWAT training where I got to be the bad guy and we basically played hide and seek.

The most enlightening part of the whole experience, as well as my point, lie in the ride along.

Once nighttime hit, we were patrolling the back roads and an out of town car was just going along doing its thing. The driver, as far as myself and the officer were concerned, was obeying the traffic laws. However, the officer I was with had a hunch that this kid might be up to "something".

We followed him for a bit waiting for him to screw up. Although, we were certain he knew we were behind him (crown vic headlights are easily spotted when you know what they look like). Eventually the car we were following pulled off onto a private driveway.

The officer still was suspicious of his activity and wanted a reason (probable cause) to stop him. So we quickly u-turned and headed out to a "lookout" spot above the side street the officer expected him to exit from. The reason he wanted a good lookout spot was to see if he would not come to a complete stop at a particular stop sign.

Interestingly enough, the kid did come out the way the officer was expecting, however, he did come to a complete, 2 second, stop. No probable cause.

We followed him for a while longer and finally, the kid didn't come to a complete stop at another stop sign. Bam, cue the flashing lights and Signal 6.

While I wasn't allowed out of the vehicle, I noticed him take his time in talking to the driver. Smelling for smells and looking for things to see.

In the end, no ticket was written and it was a simple stop. However, I'm sure the kid had no idea we were 100% focused on stopping _him_ for the better part of half an hour.

We had no reason to suspect anything and simply followed him long enough until he made a simple and honest mistake. At that point the noose was tightened and we had Probable Cause to interrupt his night for no other reason than to quench the curiosity of a random police officer.

**For the record I want to state I didn't sense any malice or any power trip from the officer I was with. I also want to state that I won't second guess the intuition and gut feelings of police officers who deal with scum on a day to day basis. You never know when they will be right, then again, shoot a gun blindly into an ocean enough times and eventually you'll catch dinner.**

Now is this same thing going to be commonplace with drones overhead? Are officers going to look for anyone they find interesting and purposely waste time following them until the person does _anything_ to trip probable cause?

This just reeks of abuse of power and reeks of "show me your papers". Sure, you'll still need Probable Cause (hopefully) to stop the person, but with an unseen eye watching your every move from above, what are the chances you _won't_ do _something_ to trip PC and have your privacy invaded?

The potential here is scary...

Quantum patrolling (5, Insightful)

professorguy (1108737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908192)

He only had to do all that "probable cause" thing because you were there. Without you in tow, the cop could have stopped the driver and just SAID the driver had broken some law. And who's the judge gonna believe?

Remember remember the fifth of November (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30907810)

lets hope they use these,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MQ-1_Predator
(Iraq insurgents hack into video feeds, which are not encrypted, using a $26 Russian software named SkyGrabber. The encryption for the ROVER feeds were removed for performance reasons.)

i might buy myself some Satellite tuning card / dish.

Nothing to see here (1, Troll)

sponga (739683) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907820)

Exactly what the difference between using these UAV's and the helicopters that they have already been flying for over a decade, these helicopters have long had the ability to do infrared/night vision. So don't act shocked. Also I see a couple references to 1984 and some fear mongering about it "peering into the windows in my home"; well that is simply fear mongering and don't stress yourself out mentally over it.

These UAV's fly at a certain elevation like they do in America they have to register with their equivalent of the FCC(UK Civil Aviation Authority), so it's not like these UAV's are gonna be flying down in the streets between buildings and looking at people.

If anything I would think this would be a money saver from having to pay 2 pilots six figures and heavy maintenance with a regular helicopter.

You say the word 'UAV' and there is a knee jerk reaction around here to yell about privacy and 1984 for some reason.

Anyways here's a decent link to actually look at what the UAV might look like, although they might scale it down for police use.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BAE_HERTI [wikipedia.org]

I love Big Brother (3, Insightful)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907880)

Strong and peaceful, wise and brave, Fighting the fight for the whole world to save, We the people will ceaselessly strive To keep our great revolution alive! Unfurl the banners! Look at the screen! Never before has such glory been seen! Oceania! Oceania! Oceania, 'tis for thee! Every deed, every thought, 'tis for thee! Every deed, every thought, 'tis for thee! Every deed, every thought, 'tis for thee!

Even less effective than street level cameras? (4, Insightful)

hol (89786) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907946)

Well, I guess this had to happen. Full fail for street level cameras for billions, so the only option left is to go full retard.

One cannot even argue that this is a responsible use of public funds:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/6082530/1000-CCTV-cameras-to-solve-just-one-crime-Met-Police-admits.html

Of course, tourist photos must be deleted though, you know, in the name of public safety. Where is the "shake my head in disbelief" animated icon again?

Didn't help before (1)

Propaganda13 (312548) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907970)

Didn't they already say that all of their cameras didn't help solve crimes? So why do they need drones now?

Sigh (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 4 years ago | (#30907996)

Wasn't there a UK study released last year that showed all their CCTV's didn't make a thimble's worth difference on the crime stats?

Let's gather MORE info that can be hacked (4, Insightful)

professorguy (1108737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908008)

And when the massive tracking database of 'observations' is hacked and used against the populace, this will be seen as evidence of a need for MORE surveillance.

When it comes to data:
To PROTECT it,
Don't COLLECT it.

Britannia is lost (1, Interesting)

Werrismys (764601) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908096)

Britannia is lost. Former empire is now a police-state. V (original comic) was right.

Really - only criminals (predominantly of foreign (muslim) origin) carrying guns, police carrying MP5s at every streetcorner, all kinds of surveillance running rampant.

Britain is gone. British no longer have the will or the means to save themselves, they have already in spirit surrendered to muslims and while the process will take some time, it will happen unless they find a fucking clue and stop treating their own british-born citizen like sheep.

Smile for the camera (1)

zehaeva (1136559) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908178)

Why is this really necessary for the UK? Don't you folks have like 1 camera for every 10(or is it 15?) people? Is that not enough? Do you really need more surveillance? Why not better utilize the surveillance you currently have? Why add under utilized surveillance on top of under utilized surveillance? I don't understand. ~Z
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