Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Predator Drone Helps Nab Cattle Rustlers

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the cattle-rustlers-apparently-still-exist dept.

Crime 214

riverat1 writes "KTLA reports police in North Dakota arrested three men accused of cattle rustling with the help of a Predator B drone from nearby Grand Forks AFB. The sheriff of Nelson Country was chased off by three armed men when he went to serve a warrant, so he came back the next morning with reinforcements, including the drone, which, while circling 2 miles overhead, was able to determine the whereabouts of the men on their 3,000 acre spread and the fact that they were unarmed. A SWAT team quickly moved in and apprehended the men. Local police say they have used the Predator drones for at least two dozen surveillance flights since June. The FBI and DEA have used the drones for domestic investigations as well."

cancel ×

214 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Half-Life 2 (4, Funny)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348338)

I never would have guessed that they would actually take HL2 as a guide. Did someone forget to tell them it was just a video game?

We Now Live the Future We Warned Ourselves About (4, Interesting)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348560)

Some bizarre version of Phil Dick, Orwell, Terry Gilliam and Mat Groening.

If William Gibson had imagined anything like "The Kardashians" in Count Zero? It would have seemed over-the-top.

Now, we have the dystopian technologies, without the advances in immersive entertainment that these were supposed to come with.

Predator drones and Jersey Shore. The Jeffersonian experiment is really over.

Re:We Now Live the Future We Warned Ourselves Abou (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38349154)

Police using tech to catch bad guys.... this is a dystopia how?

Re:We Now Live the Future We Warned Ourselves Abou (3, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38349520)

"The average professional in this country wakes up in the morning, goes to work, comes home, eats dinner, and then goes to sleep, unaware that he or she has likely committed several federal crimes that day. Why? The answer lies in the very nature of modern federal criminal laws, which have exploded in number but also become impossibly broad and vague. In Three Felonies a Day, Harvey A. Silverglate reveals how federal criminal laws have become dangerously disconnected from the English common law tradition and how prosecutors can pin arguable federal crimes on any one of us, for even the most seemingly innocuous behavior."
http://www.amazon.com/Three-Felonies-Day-Target-Innocent/dp/1594032556 [amazon.com]

Re:We Now Live the Future We Warned Ourselves Abou (1, Troll)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#38349768)

"The average professional in this country wakes up in the morning, goes to work, comes home, eats dinner, and then goes to sleep, unaware that he or she has likely committed several federal crimes that day. Why? The answer lies in the very nature of modern federal criminal laws, which have exploded in number but also become impossibly broad and vague. In Three Felonies a Day, Harvey A. Silverglate reveals how federal criminal laws have become dangerously disconnected from the English common law tradition and how prosecutors can pin arguable federal crimes on any one of us, for even the most seemingly innocuous behavior." http://www.amazon.com/Three-Felonies-Day-Target-Innocent/dp/1594032556 [amazon.com]

No kidding. Consider patent law:

35 U.S.C. 271 Infringement of patent.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this title, whoever without authority makes, uses, offers to sell, or sells any patented invention, within the United States, or imports into the United States any patented invention during the term of the patent therefor, infringes the patent.

I hope you all have Proof of Authorization to Use documents for your cell phones, mp3 players, computers, etc.

Re:We Now Live the Future We Warned Ourselves Abou (1)

tmosley (996283) | more than 2 years ago | (#38349868)

When they use advanced tech to determine they are unarmed, then send in a SWAT team, yeah, that's dystopian.

What would they have done if they were armed? Call in an air strike?

Re:We Now Live the Future We Warned Ourselves Abou (4, Insightful)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 2 years ago | (#38349992)

The tech is not infallible. They appeared unarmed would be more accurate.

Re:We Now Live the Future We Warned Ourselves Abou (4, Insightful)

EdZ (755139) | more than 2 years ago | (#38350184)

I do feel that the whole "police UAVs = 1984" thing is slightly odd, given that all a UAV is in this role is a cheaper police helicopter. Unless your objection is specifically against all cameras between altitudes of 1.6m and 100km, I don't see much difference between the platform being manned or unmanned.

Re:Half-Life 2 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38348698)

Dude seriously. GTFO Slashdot. We know you're a shill employed by either New Media Strategies/Waggenere Estrom.

Get a real job. Your life is pointless. Make a new account.

STOP MODDING HIM UP -- this allows him to get to the top.

Re:Half-Life 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38349232)

I never would have guessed that they would actually take HL2 as a guide. Did someone forget to tell them it was just a video game?

Isn't flying a drone a lot like a video game?

Disappointed (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38348362)

three men accused of cattle rustling with the help of a Predator B drone

You know, the story would have been a lot cooler this way.

Re:Disappointed (3, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348588)

three men accused of cattle rustling with the help of a Predator B drone

You know, the story would have been a lot cooler this way.

I see a potential excuse for the US DoD on that captured drone in Iran...

"Yes, we were pursuing some cattle rustlers."

Need Jon Lovitz to make it credible.

Re:Disappointed (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38349668)

If Iran can override the signal and take control so can you!

Re:Disappointed (-1, Flamebait)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 2 years ago | (#38350018)

There is absolutely no proof Iran took control of the drone remotely. None-Nada-Zip. Please provide any evidence that supports your statement. If remote access was possible all of the drones would be grounded immediately in the region and that is not happening.The real problem is people like you who take Iran's word as gospel as long as long as it harms the US. Every single shit hole country in the middle east gets the benefit of doubt on anything they say as long as they are targeting the US with their bullshit. The US government might tell some whoppers now and then but lying is practically a genetic trait in the middle east. The have lied to themselves and the world for so long they no longer recognize the truth.

Not military (5, Informative)

Discopete (316823) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348382)

Before anyone goes all ape-s$%t about this being an intrusion of the military into civilian affairs, the drones in question are owned and operated by Customs and Border Patrol, a division of the Department of Homeland Security. They are housed at an Air Force base, but not used nor owned by the USAF.

CBP had been using drones for a couple of years to patrol the borders and this is an extension of that mission. Works better than a helo, especially for very large areas.

Re:Not military (5, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348402)

And that is supposed to make us feel better? CBP and Homeland Security are some of the worst domestic rights offenders out there.

Re:Not military (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38348564)

I agree. This is all fine and dandy and yeah we helped catch the bad guys, but now if I say wanted to bang my wife oustand in the back-yard of my own home, I have to worry about some predator drone, and a creeper viewing the tape. This just leads to yet another slippery slope to decreasing freedom and abuse of our lovely government.

Re:Not military (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38349158)

I agree. This is all fine and dandy and yeah we helped catch the bad guys, but now if I say wanted to bang my wife oustand in the back-yard of my own home, I have to worry about some predator drone, and a creeper viewing the tape. This just leads to yet another slippery slope to decreasing freedom and abuse of our lovely government.

No, you have to worry about your next door neighbor's kid with the quadcopter and GoPro camera.

Re:Not military (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348692)

However, this was NOT a case of the predator just flying around on a fishing expedition. The predator didn't come into play until after the police had been chased off by armed men while executing a warrant. So the real issue here wasn't cattle rustling, but rather apprehending known "presumed armed & dangerous" fugitives.

Re:Not military (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38349196)

PLEAASE, be real.

Just like the cop in Vail a few years ago, that used one of his police issued GPS tracking devices to find his cheating wife, just to gun down the wife and boy friend.

" "presumed armed & dangerous" fugitives " will be the catch phrase for all domestic spying.

Just like the Airport screenners looking for a terrorist in a little boy/girl underpants.

How many " "presumed armed & dangerous" fugitives " are there ??

2%, 5%, 35%, 98%, where will it end ?

PS: Watch the sale of hand held lasers jump in price.

Re:Not military (5, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348700)

Yes, it is supposed to make you feel better. The US military is forbidden from acting on US soil, and had it been owned by them, this would have been clearly illegal and a violation of US law. As it is, the drone was used after armed men chased a sheriff who was serving a legally-issue warrant away. Violation of rights: hells no, not in THIS case (they could have used a helo to do the same thing. Only reason this is a story is "oh noes, the drones!"). Could it become one? Sure.

Re:Not military (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38349376)

In this particular case, using a relatively cheap to operate drone instead of a fully-manned helicopter is probably far far cheaper.

Re:Not military (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#38350010)

The US military is sworn to defend against enemies, both foreign AND DOMESTIC. How can they do that if they are forbidden from acting on US soil?

Re:Not military (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38350226)

Posse comitatus act of 1878 prohibits the use of Army (and by extention Air Force) assets for use in civil law enforcement, except under authority of the Constitution or Act of Congress. The protections of the Posse Comitatus have been extended to the Marine Corps and Navy by Executive Order, but do not apply to National Guard troops in Title 32 status (not federalized) or Coast Guard generally. It also has specific exemptions carved out for drug enforcement and troops used pursuant to the insurrection act and particular threats to nuclear security.

Re:Not military (1, Insightful)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348410)

And promptly turned the technology against the American public with tears of joy in their beady little eyes.

Re:Not military (4, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348412)

Relax guys, this isn't the military piloting this drone, it's the DHS!

Re:Not military (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38348482)

FUCK YOU.

PERIOD.

NEXT!

Re:Not military (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38348894)

FUCK YOU PERIOD.

Is that the sister of Yahoo Serious?

Re:Not military (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348512)

Lots of military gear makes its way to civilian police, that is pretty normal.

The time to freak out is when they get armed.

Re:Not military (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38348574)

Lots of military gear makes its way to civilian police, that is pretty normal.

The time to freak out is when they get armed.

So, it's OK for the authorities to spy on Americans as long as their spy devices aren't armed?

Re:Not military (0)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348628)

Police helicopter vs unmanned drone

So you are ok with being spied on as long as it's a real person doing it with their eyes as opposed to being spied on by a flying video camera?

Re:Not military (1)

isotope23 (210590) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348702)

Frankly,

not happy either way, but WAAAY better IMO to make it manned. It does not scale well that way so the temptation to use aerial surveillance for every little thing
goes away.

Re:Not military (4, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348590)

That you consider the situation "Pretty normal"?

The frog is already half-boiled.

Re:Not military (1)

Gr33nJ3ll0 (1367543) | more than 2 years ago | (#38349732)

You do realize that you can't actually boil a frog that way, right? I mean its been shown that they jump out. http://www.snopes.com/critters/wild/frogboil.asp [snopes.com]

Re:Not military (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38349884)

True, but irrelevant for the illustrative purpose in this discussion. :-)

Re:Not military (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38349916)

I suspect that most posters here are aware of that. The illustration is still valuable as a colorful representation of the general problem. The actual efficacy of attempting to slowly boil frogs is irrelevant.

- T

Re:Not military (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38350156)

Hey now, you know those were for niner-leven, which no one will ever investigate again.

Re:Not military (5, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348622)

The issue is that ICE isn't responsible for cattle rustling and using them in this fashion that far from the border represents significant mission creep. If they found them while doing routine surveillance of the borer or near the border that would be one thing, but Grand Forks is quite far from the border with Canada and this isn't really something which the ICE has any right to intervene on.

Re:Not military (2)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348770)

And if local LEO asked ICE "Hey while you got that thing up there protecting us from illegal aliens from Canada would you mind checking out these rustlers since you have nothing better to do?"

Re:Not military (5, Informative)

TheReaperD (937405) | more than 2 years ago | (#38349552)

I wish I had mod points at the moment...

ICE has had a HUGE expansion of mission parameters in the last year. What makes this such a problem is that ICE is one of the few government enforcement agencies that has a large legal leeway that usually does not require warrants. This makes sense when they are patrolling the border as things happen really quickly and they have to react accordingly. But, as of earlier this year, their mandate has been vastly expanded to include things such as domain seizures and domestic law enforcement actions. Earlier this year, ICE's range was expanded to 200! miles inside the border and the media was silent. This covers a large portion of the country where a government law enforcement agency can act without a court order and detain you without cause. Now, the US Senate has passed a bill that will let them ship your ass strait to GITMO and leave you there to rot. It hasn't passed the house yet and Obama has issued a veto 'threat' but, don't hold your breath. In California, we had a recent series of of federal raids against medical marijuana growers and sellers that were legal by state standards (they went after the most clearly legal and above board operations first). The federal agency? Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), in northern California, against organizations and people that were local and had nothing to do with cross-border drug smuggling verified by law enforcement agencies. They're being used as a back door way of avoiding law enforcement annoyances such as laws, due process, courts and citizen oversight. At this rate, by the time most people realize what is happening, we will be living in a fascist military state where big brother is watching. I guess Hunter Thompson was right :(

Re:Not military (2)

bored_engineer (951004) | more than 2 years ago | (#38350026)

In California, we had a recent series of of federal raids against medical marijuana growers and sellers that were legal by state standards (they went after the most clearly legal and above board operations first).

President Obama, while he was campaigning, promised [huffingtonpost.com] that this wouldn't happen. I didn't vote for him, but did hold out hope that he would be better on civil rights than our last president. It's a shame that they're about the same.

Re:Not military (1)

capedgirardeau (531367) | more than 2 years ago | (#38349702)

The Border Patrol claims to be authorized to operate anywhere within 100 miles of the border. Conveniently, considering coast line, this covers a great deal of the population of the USA.

The ACLU calls it "Living in a Constitution Free Zone"

http://www.aclu.org/national-security_technology-and-liberty/are-you-living-constitution-free-zone [aclu.org]

Re:Not military (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38349996)

So in the US, the law enforcement can't ask help from other officials, and those officials have no responsibility by law of helping the best they can?

Re:Not military (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348634)

Lots of military gear makes its way to civilian police, that is pretty normal.

The time to freak out is when they get armed.

The DHS has been doing this for years - huge budget and give-aways which have left some local LEO's bewildered, such as the Armored ATV some Kentucky sheriffs department recieved. I mean, what are you going to do with with that thing, go Rambo on some moonshiners?

Re:Not military (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38350038)

Possibly. Moonshiners can get awful ornery when you fuck with their stills. Southerners may be ignorant, redneck savages, but they can also be quite dangerous in their home environment [cnn.com] .

Re:Not military (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38348958)

Kill yourself you fucking idiotic cunt.

big brother (1)

cod3r_ (2031620) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348418)

now all we need is like 50 million more of those and we'll all be safe!

Nelson Country (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38348436)

Bad summary. Not just the typo above or the plagiarism from TFA.

The drones may be "from nearby Grand Forks AFB", but they do not belong to the Air Force.
The FBI and DEA have used drones, but they are not the drones.
"Local police" is completely vague. Just because it might make sense in the article doesn't mean it makes sense here.

Captcha: rewrite

deeply into cure-worse-than-disease territory (5, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348466)

I'll take some cattle rustlers over militarized police chasing cattle rustlers any day, thanks. Much like the cure/disease metaphor, not every policing measure targeting every crime improves society, even if successful...

Re:deeply into cure-worse-than-disease territory (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38348678)

I like how your sentiment seems to boil down to "I'd rather the criminals advance in tactics, technology, and power, leaving law enforcement behind to comically blunder around with truncheons and MAYBE a six-shooter like in the old days".

Seriously, you're basically crying that law enforcement shouldn't have access to modern technology because you're afraid they might use it wrong. While the criminal element SHOULD get access to it BECAUSE they'll use it wrong? What? Is this just an authority figure issue you've had as a kid that eventually developed into full-on misanthropy?

Re:deeply into cure-worse-than-disease territory (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348884)

Did I miss the part where the cattle rustlers are using UAVs in their activities?

Re:deeply into cure-worse-than-disease territory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38348922)

wrong. the criminal element do NOT have access to a hellfire equipped, air force controlled $30 million predator attack drone. if they did i'd be fine with the police having it too. the fact that they are trying to track down cattle rustlers(!) without even basic firearms with a piece of pure military hardware should raise huge concerns with you. i find it shocking that it does not.
the DHS, homeland insecurity and whatever other bullshit TLA agencies have them should not have any access to them at all. neither should they be giving armored tanks and APCs to local police departments.

Re:deeply into cure-worse-than-disease territory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38349430)

I think it's kind of cool. If my cattle were stolen and I could bring the might of America's technology to catch the thieves, I would.

Re:deeply into cure-worse-than-disease territory (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348722)

I'll take some cattle rustlers over militarized police chasing cattle rustlers any day, thanks. Much like the cure/disease metaphor, not every policing measure targeting every crime improves society, even if successful...

Not the rancher, I take it. Funny thing, people are all over the Big Gummint and it's intrusion into their live and property, until that same Big Gummint catches the vermin who have been helping themselves to cattle. Now if that same drone finds the farmer's weed crop in the back forty, they'll be on again about Evil Big Gummint.

I certainly can see a lot of good use for these things - Search and Rescue, scouting forest fires, avalanche control (have one that drops small explosives to trigger intended avalance)...

Though I'm not particularly looking forward to the day the CHP use them to hand out tickets...

Re:deeply into cure-worse-than-disease territory (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348914)

Heck, even if I was the rancher, I'd rather lobby for taxpayer reimbursement through some sort of "cattle-rustlin' loss fund" or something, rather than going all-out with militarized law enforcement. By the standards of ag. subsidies, it'd be pretty small, too. Plus, that way it wouldn't run the risk that they'd also find my weed patch, as you say.

Re:deeply into cure-worse-than-disease territory (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#38349274)

even if I was the rancher, I'd rather lobby for taxpayer reimbursement through some sort of "cattle-rustlin' loss fund" or something

So how exactly does this replace your stolen cattle?

You can't just go out and buy more.

Re:deeply into cure-worse-than-disease territory (1)

caseih (160668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38350008)

Who said anything about militarized police? No really. The Predators used in border patrol are not armed. Maybe if the tea party has their way they will be.

It wasn't so long ago that cattle rustling was a capital offense. Many a hanging in the old west was the punishment for this (with or without the support of the law!). Heck it might still be on the books in Texas.

not rustlers (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38348478)

this story says otherwise:
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/12/12/sovereign-citizens-members-arrested-with-help-of-predator-drone/

they weren't cattle rustlers, but members of "Sovereign Citizens" movement.

Re:not rustlers (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348658)

That makes more sense, but it's still inexcusable mission creep. The FBI and local law enforcement, not ICE are the parties that are supposed to be monitoring and dealing with that. The ICE was not given those drones to spy on American citizens even if those citizens refuse to acknowledge a nationality.

Re:not rustlers (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348758)

this story says otherwise:
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/12/12/sovereign-citizens-members-arrested-with-help-of-predator-drone/ [rawstory.com]

they weren't cattle rustlers, but members of "Sovereign Citizens" movement.

And who are they, pray tell, some people with a "from each herd according to availability, to each larder according to capacity" point of view?

Re:not rustlers (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38348892)

And who are they, pray tell, some people with a "from each herd according to availability, to each larder according to capacity" point of view?

The sovereign citizen movement is a loose network of American litigants, commentators and financial scheme promoters, classified as an "extremist anti-government group" by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Self-described "sovereign citizens" take the position that they are answerable only to common law and are not subject to any statutes or proceedings at the federal, state or municipal levels, or that they do not recognize U.S. currency and that they are "free of any legal constraints."

They especially reject most forms of taxation as illegitimate. Participants in the movement argue this concept in opposition to "federal citizens," who, they believe, have unknowingly forfeited their rights by accepting some aspect of federal law.

Is this really a new thing? (2)

dougmc (70836) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348494)

I mean ... that could just as easily be a police helicopter up there as a drone.

Re:Is this really a new thing? (2)

egamma (572162) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348648)

I mean ... that could just as easily be a police helicopter up there as a drone.

OMG! The government is saving the taxpayers money by using a drone instead of a helicopter!

Re:Is this really a new thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38349116)

Only if you believe that the sheriff's department has a helicopter and would have used it. It's just as likely that, because aerial surveillance is cheaper with drones than helicopters, they'll use it much more often.

Re:Is this really a new thing? (1)

Rhacman (1528815) | more than 2 years ago | (#38349068)

This. A drone in this capacity is just a remote controlled aircraft with a camera on it. The only difference between this and a police helicopter is where the pilot sits. Post an article on Slashdot about 'hacker' tools getting scrutiny and nearly every commenter will cry (and have my sympathy) about all the legitimate defensive things such tools can be used for. Post an article on Slashdot about drones and nearly every commenter will cry about how this will only lead to a distopian society similar to some movie or video game. Heck, most private citizens could learn to fly an ultralight aircraft and get about as good a view, all without a warrant. Drones, like many technologies, can be abused but leaning on slipperly-slope arguments without providing evidence of actual abuse just reeks of tin-foil-hat paranoia.

Re:Is this really a new thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38349302)

Who will police that exactly? It's only paranoia if you're wrong. If they're doing it without warrants it's still spying on civilians and stripping more rights than the USA PATRIOT Act and TSA already has. It's not a slippery-slope, it's a slow, steady march that has been going on for some time.

Also, the issue of civilian airspace safety hasn't been addressed when using drones for non-military operations and in non-theater operation. How hard would it be to equip a drone with a gun for non-military use? Pretty easy since that's their intended configuration. Harder to do if they're not allowed to be used for civilian enforcement at all.

The issue is excessive power in the hands of power hungry people that don't need more power and control. The sheriff was correct to come back with more men. The drone was unnecessary and just an excuse to show us 'how safe and useful' these devices are so everyone will relax their guard and allow them to be used more.

I recommend we don't relent and allow the military to bring more unnecessary weapons into public law enforcement especially ones with such a high potential for lethal abuse.

Re:Is this really a new thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38349478)

Paranoia is paranoia regardless of reality. Paranoid delusions are when they break from reality.

Give that drone a medal! (1)

arcite (661011) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348516)

Look its just like anything else, if you're not a criminal you have nothing to worry about. Remember that scene in Minority Report, the one where those "Spider Drones" are released in the low income tenant building and proceed to crawl under every door, claw their way up the pant leg of every tenant, and then scan their eyeball for identification? Perfectly harmless!

Story really from Los Angeles Times (3, Informative)

Scareduck (177470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348542)

It's poorly identified at the story link. The original can be found at latimes.com [latimes.com] .

These aren't... (1)

Bodhammer (559311) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348598)

These aren't the drones you're looking for. ...

SWAT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38348642)

If they determined that the men were unarmed, what was the need for a SWAT team? What happened to old fashioned policing?

Re:SWAT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38348756)

three armed men

This wasn't referring to the fact they had 3 arms each, where did you pull "unarmed" from?

Re:SWAT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38348896)

TFA

Re:SWAT? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38349140)

Maybe from:

the drone (...) was able to determine the whereabouts of the men (...) and the fact that they were unarmed.

Re:SWAT? (2)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348870)

SWAT teams are often called in when a suspect has threatened violence, and especially when violence is threatened against (presumably) armed law enforcement personnel, as it indicates even less fear about using it. Just because the suspects did not appear armed from the air does not necessarily mean that they couldn't have retrieved weapons rapidly from a vehicle or structure, or that they were not carrying concealed weapons.

Re:SWAT? (3, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348942)

The other reason is that there are a lot more SWAT teams than they used to be, so the threshold for calling them out is a lot lower. Gotta justify that taxpayer money spent on fancy equipment somehow...

Old crimes, New times (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38348718)

For most of the country, cattle rustling is a serious offense. And such is felt moreso by the cattle owners themselves, than what the law currently holds. Do that sorta thing and get caught by the wrong property owner, and they'd probably shoot you on sight, dig a hole, and think none to much more of it.

Now as far as using drones for this kinda thing, and in this particular instance, I see it as a valid use of technology. Large land area to cover, minimal personnel resources... Jurisdiction is questionable, IMO, since ICE shouldn't be involved unless they were along the Canadian border or trying to cross it with said cattle, but 'cattle rustling' itself may be a Federal crime to begin with, I'm not sure.

Either way, it all boils down the specifics, right? Who is using it? For what purpose? And are they justifying the success of one instance, for its use on tangential issues that necessarily wouldn't be beneficial to the stopping of crime?

There's also the jump in argument that with the slow adoption of such technology at all in modern society, urban or rural, regardless of its effectiveness on crime in progress, that the monitoring of citizens will eventually be considered. Be it 'free speech' zones, or everyday life. Remember, it's much easier to stop the introduction of these practices now, than to retract such practices later when they become entrenched into the system, with an adequate line item on the annual budget!

cattle rustling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38348730)

6 cows=$6000,
2 days of drones=priceless

Rustlers were from extremist group. (2)

godel_56 (1287256) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348800)

From TFA:

The six adult Brossarts allegedly belonged to the Sovereign Citizen Movement, an antigovernment group that the FBI considers extremist and violent. The family had repeated run-ins with local police, including the arrest of two family members earlier that day arising from their clash with a deputy over the cattle.

So it's a good chance they were violent nutters, which makes the use of drones a lot more reasonable in my book.

Still, you have to worry about the cost (~$3200 per hour) of using predators for civilian use.

I Love the Smell of Astroturf in the Morning! (2)

Psion (2244) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348810)

This looks suspiciously like an effort to make the use of Predator drones in conjunction with police investigations seem acceptable to the general public. The fact is the Department of Homeland Security was behind the use of drones in this affair, and this is yet another camel's nose under the tent. A few more stories like this and then stories about the use of drones in police surveillance will no longer be "newsworthy". That's when their use will become truly ubiquitous ... when no one's paying attention any longer.

Re:I Love the Smell of Astroturf in the Morning! (4, Insightful)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348940)

Dude, the tent is full of fucking camels already.

Killing a fly with a shotgun? (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348824)

Seriously. Firstly they use a drone, then the drone establishes that the men are unarmed, and then they send in SWAT? WTF? 2 or 3 cops with pepper-spray would have done the job, or were the SWAT team bored?

Re:Killing a fly with a shotgun? (4, Insightful)

BBTaeKwonDo (1540945) | more than 2 years ago | (#38349078)

Once you chase off a sheriff with weapons, your claim to use of excessive police force goes out the window, in my book. Further, the drone technology may have limitations that prevent it from being able to determine whether the suspects were truly unarmed. If you have 3 guys walking around a field, a drone can probably tell that they don't have long guns on them, but I highly doubt that the scan (thermal mode or visual) can detect sidearms. If I were a sheriff, I certainly wouldn't bet my life on that technology.

Not rustling (0)

fermion (181285) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348904)

So from what I can tell these were radical extremist who apparently refused to give back six cows. They were heavily armed, but no mention of anyone with anything that was not legal. The police came to remove 6 cows that had apparently wandered onto these peoples property. The police refused to leave the property and the residents prepared to defend themselves. I do not know the laws of this location in terms of trespassing livestock, but I do not think that predator drones are part of the recovery process.

So the police reacted to the recovery of these six pieces of livestock by calling a predator drone from customs and immigration. Since this was neither a federal customs or immigration issue, I do not know why the drone was there. There were American Citizens on American Soil, not apparently engaged in interstate commerce of import/export, yet drones that have no been authorized for local use were used. This was like when Texas conservative misappropriated federal resources to hound legislators that were boycotting the session. These are your federal tax dollars being misused by local cops to harass citizens.

Now I probably do not agree with what these people are doing, but in america we have to deal with people we do not agree with. We can't just ignore the constitution and 200 years of laws and court ruling and go onto other people private property and intimidate them. On thing with which I disagree with this radicals is that guns are going to protect anyone from government excesses. Clearly this is another case where that is proven wrong. The toys that the NRA allows the citizens of the US to have can do nothing. The NRA is a front for the part of the government that wants to control the population, giving people a sense of security by allowing cap guns, but insuring that anything that could actually be used to defend property remains out of bounds, both by removing materials and processes. The only time the NRA is going to help is if one wants to commit suicide by cop.

We should all be worried that predator drones are being used by rogue cops for purposes that have not been approved by our representatives. This was a case of mickey mouse crime with mickey mouse radicals being escalated to scare the populous into use not so mickey mouse defenses.

Re:Not rustling (0)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#38349566)

The cows constitute probable cause for search.

If something belongs to ME and someone else takes it, I want them to die if necessary that I may get MY property back, and I don't care if it takes an MLRS launch on their house.

Forcible recovery of stolen cattle has ample precedent in US history.

"On thing with which I disagree with this radicals is that guns are going to protect anyone from government excesses"

You have to be ready to use them and go down fighting. If the issues in question aren't worth that yet, then do something different. If they are pussies, they lose. If they play Taliban and go down fighting, then they make a statement.

Re:Not rustling (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38349710)

Where I grew up (large ranching community) if a cow wanders onto your property it doesn't become yours. In fact if you want to keep cows out it's your responsibility to fence off your land. I personally feel its ridiculous, but if similar laws apply here, they weren't allowed to keep the cows.

Property ownership in the west is complex (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38350036)

I don't know what the rules are in this case; but I know property ownership in the west isn't as simple as "stay off my land".

Cows that aren't yours can legally graze on your land, and you can't do anyting about it except maybe fence them out. I'm not sure; but the grazing rights might be sold separately, as the water rights and mineral rights are.

Even in Virginia, I seem to recall having read that hunters are allowed to persue game onto your property. It's a right. You have to know the rules. You can't just go shooting people for stepping over a line. The property ownership model in the US is a lot more "communal" than you might think.

Potentially, law enforcement may also have a right to persue suspected rustled livestock across open range without obtaining a warrant. IANAL, so I don't know...

They'll sort it out in court, not Slashdot of course...

The stupidity of some people never fails amuse (1)

tekiegreg (674773) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348936)

So you've ran off some law enforcement with lethal weaponry...but then, didn't you'd think they'd come back in force? I can almost see them: Bad Guys: Hurrrr hurr hurr...you shoulda seen them cops runnin...they ain't coming back at us hundreds strong with SWAT Teams or Drone aircraft now....harharhrharrharharhar.... If it were me after having run off some cops with some lethal weaponry, I'd be running myself too.

Economics (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38349250)

Cost [wikipedia.org] of a predator drone: $30M

Cost [ask.com] of a cow: $2K

So, as soon as they use a predator to round up 15,000 cows stolen, they'll break even....

Re:Economics (1)

hawkingradiation (1526209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38349946)

Won't anybody think of the cows. This could be a new reality-show spinoff. To catch a cow or something.

Re:Economics (1)

tekiegreg (674773) | more than 2 years ago | (#38350098)

Interesting analogy, but I'd like to think the drones have other uses too....

Question: Was the drone armed? (1)

bradorsomething (527297) | more than 2 years ago | (#38349322)

If this was being flown by the military it better not have had any weapons on it. Otherwise they just flew a drone over the Rubicon.

Re:Question: Was the drone armed? (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38349554)

Is there such thing as an unarmed, remote controlled guided mis^H^H^Haircraft?

Photo of the drone chasing down suspects... (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#38349328)

Drone in action! [llnwd.net]

Drone confirmed them as unarmed... (1)

Roobles (1880882) | more than 2 years ago | (#38349638)

I find myself wondering if there's any chance the drone actually saved the life of one or more of the men. I hear so many stories about police shooting unarmed civilians, that I wonder if the drone footage (confirming the men to be unarmed) prevented the situation from escalating to the point where the police would shoot first and ask questions later.

(Note: I'm not condoning nor justifying the use of drones against American civilians. I'm only pondering if one questionably unethical act played part in preventing something a lot more horrific.)

FAA and UAS's (UAV is a military term) (3, Informative)

flyboy974 (624054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38349724)

The FAA is still trying to figure out how to integrate UAS's. (They are not called UAV's in the FAA NAS system).

Many legal issues remain:
- Enforcing see and avoid rules required in VFR flight
- Defining standards for communication with aircraft
- Who do you enforce rules with a violation when there is an accident if there is no pilot
- How to handle technical issues such as loss of control / software failure, physical issues such as loss of a trim type control, flap system, etc.
- Weather issues such as high winds, icing

As a pilot and somebody active in aviation software, I'm interested to see where things go here. The reason the military has been able to fly UAV's is because they don't have any rules. Do whatever you want. But in the civil area, we have rules because we choose to protect ourselves from our government and others.

Re:FAA and UAS's (UAV is a military term) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38349964)

Presumably rules violations are enforced by dealing with the pilot of the drone. Just because the pilot is on the ground, doesn't mean they're not the pilot of the craft.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?