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Who's Flying Those Drones? FAA Won't Say

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the speed-monitored-by-aircraft dept.

Electronic Frontier Foundation 405

netbuzz writes "The Electronic Frontier Foundation nine months ago filed a Freedom of Information Act request to prompt the FAA to release the names of government agencies and private entities that have received permission to fly unmanned aircraft over our heads. Nine months later, the FAA has neither released the information nor explained why it hasn't. On Tuesday the EFF filed suit (PDF) to force the agency to do so. Says EFF staff attorney Jennifer Lynch: 'Drones give the government and other unmanned aircraft operators a powerful new surveillance tool to gather extensive and intrusive data on Americans' movements and activities. As the government begins to make policy decisions about the use of these aircraft, the public needs to know more about how and why these drones are being used to surveil United States citizens.'"

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US = (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38665502)

new China

Re:US = (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38665868)

I agree with you 100%. I mean, just the other day my neighbor was sentenced to 25 years of hard labor for Googling "free Tibet".

Re:US = (5, Insightful)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38666044)

I mean, just the other day my neighbor was sentenced to 25 years of hard labor for Googling "free Tibet".

Mod parent up. Comparing the USA to China does a disservice to people who live in true police states. Could the USA do much better? Absolutely - But Suggesting the USA is as bad as China means one has no clue as to how bad things really are elsewhere in the world.

As ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38665516)

Google!

Whos asking? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38665520)

Not me.. I don't want to be groped and scaned by the tsa or worse by any of those tla alphabet groups for not doing anything.

Citizen moving along, not looking at anything at all. Don't hellfire missile me bro.

 

Re:Whos asking? (4, Funny)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665958)

These are not the drones you're looking for.

Your name's not on the list, friend (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38665522)

Guess I can fly my own since they won't show me the list to prove my name's not on it...

Re:Your name's not on the list, friend (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38666128)

Not to worry, you'll have a fine time proving that your name is on the list...

Why? OWS, for one thing... (5, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665540)

With all the economic problems going on, and no end in sight, and the approval rating of the entire government in the shitter, it's pretty obvious. This government knows that the populist uprisings are going to eventually come to our shores, this is why they're bringing the troops home, this is why there have been so many laws restricting the rights of American citizens as of late...

There's going to be an American Spring, maybe not this year, but soon. Things cannot continue as they are...

Re:Why? OWS, for one thing... (5, Funny)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665572)

And here I thought they were bringing the troops home at the demands of the American people.

Re:Why? OWS, for one thing... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38665588)

You must think the demands of the American people counts for something.

I wanna be a warlord! (5, Insightful)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665618)

It's gonna get really bad when those troops are demob'd, can't find jobs and join OWS.
Or gangs.

Re:I wanna be a warlord! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38665980)

It's gonna get really bad when those troops are demob'd, can't find jobs and join OWS.
  Or gangs.

There are a zillion of possible acronyms for OWS.
http://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/OWS

Could you tell what were you writing about?

Re:I wanna be a warlord! (3, Informative)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 2 years ago | (#38666022)

I would have guessed at Occupy Wall Street since the media seems to be obsessed by it and it's constantly in the news.

Re:I wanna be a warlord! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38666118)

Those ex-special forces troops found jobs in Mexico in the Los Zetas corporation.

Re:Why? OWS, for one thing... (4, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665690)

Yeah, because just now all of a sudden people are demanding to bring the troops home. Everything was all hunky-dory up until recently.

Come on. There were a lot of people in this country that were against the war in Iraq before we had troops on the ground there. They're listening to the American people no more now than they were then.

Re:Why? OWS, for one thing... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38665584)

Needs a tinfoil had moderation option.

Re:Why? OWS, for one thing... (2)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665804)

Tinfoil, you say? It was a recent invention when my grandfather was sent to a gulag and my uncle was forcibly drafted into the Russian army to be what are now called "shock troops" or more accurately, "cannon fodder."

Re:Why? OWS, for one thing... (3, Interesting)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665632)

you are probably right. they are circling the wagons. no american spring! that would upset the balance of power, here!

things will get worse before they get better; but oh boy, are we in for some 'interesting' times ahead of us ;(

anything that represents freedom to the people is fearful to the government (all of them, not just the US).

world war 3 is not going to be fought with conventional weapons and it won't be single countries against single countries. I hope this does not happen, but all roads point to some big problems ahead for us all.

Re:Why? OWS, for one thing... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38665720)

you are probably right. they are circling the wagons. no american spring! that would upset the balance of power, here!

Yeah, how dare the powers that be don't want the fundies overthrowing the state and imposing their religious restrictions on us through force of arms, throwing their political opponents in jail on questionable charges of blasphemy and homosexuality, and getting rid of the legal mechanisms for popular agreement to change the behaviour of the government.

Were you not aware how the Arab Spring turned out?

Re:Why? OWS, for one thing... (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665834)

Are you actually that ignorant and obtuse, or just trying really, really hard to sound that way?

Re:Why? OWS, for one thing... (4, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665846)

Of course, because the people fighting the erosion of our freedoms here in the U.S. in the wake of 9/11 just want to institute a theocracy! It's all a big scam!!

It amazes me how many people support the restriction of our rights (or resist anyone upsetting the status quo) because a bunch of fucking assholes crashed hijacked planes into buildings 10 years ago. We can be safe without infringement of our constitutional freedoms.

Re:Why? OWS, for one thing... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38665724)

There's going to be an American Spring, maybe not this year, but soon.

Problem is, what we get after is not likely to be any better.

The original founders of the country were pretty effing brilliant in ways that few are any more. They set up a system that worked for a pretty long time to guard against the kinds of abuses we're seeing now, with a recommendation that we throw it all out and start over every once in a while after it becomes too bloated and power-hungry, as it has. I haven't see much out of either OWS or the TP that comes anywhere *near* the sophistication of political thought that those guys had in the 1700's. These days, it'd be all about "gimme!" and not about trying to create a free state.

Re:Why? OWS, for one thing... (4, Insightful)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 2 years ago | (#38666034)

OWS and TP both fail, but for different reasons. The TP followers had the passion and focus to affect some pretty significant political "change" in a remarkably short period of time. Their problem though, is that most of them were so "unsophisticated" that they failed to realize that they were being played by big money. Can you say "astroturf"?
OWS, on the other hand, seems to grasp the issue (that we are fast-becoming a facist state) but lacks the focus and leadership that was built into the TP movement from the start.
Will that change? If things get bad enough, sure, but right now, the only one's seriously making change happen are the the Tea Baggers.

Re:Why? OWS, for one thing... (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665836)

I somehow don't see american soldiers controlling the states, sure they can lock a city or two down, but not the country, we have about a million soldiers (much less very soon), and about 500x the population. If anything I can see more of a v for vendetta type scenario w mass protests. It's not the first time it's happened to this country though, we actually banned alcohol once.

Re:Why? OWS, for one thing... (4, Insightful)

Splab (574204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665894)

You don't need to lock down a city. You just need to take out the trouble makers, most people are sheep and will act as such.

Take away food and water and reward people who tell on trouble makers - wont take long to get a tight grib on the population.

Re:Why? OWS, for one thing... (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665942)

...the populist uprisings are going to eventually come to our shores, this is why they're bringing the troops home

This is much funnier if you read it with the voice of Dale Gribble. :-D

Re:Why? OWS, for one thing... (2, Funny)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665978)

Or the "Cancer Man" from The X-Files...

If they were manned aircraft would it be an issue? (4, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665542)

Movements are publicly viewable.

Re:If they were manned aircraft would it be an iss (4, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665594)

so, if a camera was placed on the street corner aimed at your front door, you'd have no problem with it?

your abstraction loses touch with reality.

what do you WANT for a world, in terms of how we live? you WANT to encourage this creeping intrusion on our privacy?

is that what you are arguing for?

Re:If they were manned aircraft would it be an iss (0, Troll)

dave420 (699308) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665648)

You have no expectation of privacy in public, which is why we have those two words: "private" and "public". A camera looking at your door is the same as someone just standing on the street looking at said door.

Re:If they were manned aircraft would it be an iss (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38665694)

You have no expectation of privacy in public, which is why we have those two words: "private" and "public". A camera looking at your door is the same as someone just standing on the street looking at said door.

which would be loitering

Re:If they were manned aircraft would it be an iss (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665814)

Is loitering illegal?

Re:If they were manned aircraft would it be an iss (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665864)

Technically the GP should have said stalking which is more clearly illegal. Loitering itself is going to depend upon where one is located and the specifics.

Re:If they were manned aircraft would it be an iss (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38666064)

Not in the US. At least not generally speaking. It was in fact ruled by the SCOTUS [wikipedia.org] that loitering itself couldn't be outlawed (Chicago tried). It can only be illegal if done in a way that shows criminal intent. Stalking, for example. Watching a person's house may or may not be illegal, it would depend, but the police could likely warn someone who tried.

Re:If they were manned aircraft would it be an iss (1)

project5117 (2550152) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665698)

What if the camera hovers 20m above the street and stares into someone's sleeping quarters rather than at the ceiling, as one could view from a normal 1-2m height from the street? Or if it sits in the air above a property and takes pictures from there? Does an expert on air traffic have information on how far from the ground vehicles need to be before they're considered "in public space?"

Re:If they were manned aircraft would it be an iss (4, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665880)

FAR Part 91.119

Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:

(a) Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.

(b) Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.

(c) Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.

(d) Helicopters. Helicopters may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (b) or (c) of this section if the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface. In addition, each person operating a helicopter shall comply with any routes or altitudes specifically prescribed for helicopters by the Administrator.

Re:If they were manned aircraft would it be an iss (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38665714)

It is not reasonable for a police officer to watch your door, 24x7... unless there's been a warrant issued.

While there may be no expectation of "privacy", it's not the same thing as expecting the State is constantly watching.

Not the same thing at all.

Re:If they were manned aircraft would it be an iss (1)

khr (708262) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665820)

It is not reasonable for a police officer to watch your door, 24x7...

And it's even less reasonable for a police officer to watch your door, 24x7, from the comfort of their own office... If they're going to do that, they should at least pay a penalty in terms of work...

Re:If they were manned aircraft would it be an iss (1)

El Torico (732160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665732)

In this case, someone standing on the street who is able to direct or launch military strikes.

Re:If they were manned aircraft would it be an iss (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665874)

Not really, that would be considered stalking in most of the developed world. One has a reasonable expectation typically that somebody isn't going to be camped out on the sidewalk across the street filming all that come and go.

Anything outside is public? (2)

Pokermike (896718) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665896)

I have an expectation of privacy in my backyard. I have a 7 foot high privacy fence and trees which prevent/block views from my neighbors' 2nd floor windows. A drone flying above my house can easily look into my private backyard. So could a manned vehicle, I realize, but unless the FBI, local cops, etc. are using a U2 or something similar, I assume I'd know they're there visually or audibly. Drones can be much smaller, quieter, and even look like a bird.

Re:If they were manned aircraft would it be an iss (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665938)

What if that someone started logging when you came and left, what kind of things you bring in your front door and called the police if they saw you carry a "suspicious" brown bag into your home?

Re:If they were manned aircraft would it be an iss (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38666102)

This is a terrible attitude to have, it ignores the differences between a human and a machine and enables terrible abuses that are possible with the tirelessness and low running cost of a machine but would be terribly impractical to do with humans. You're allowing laws designed with humans in mind to be worked around through technological advances.

Re:If they were manned aircraft would it be an iss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38665650)

Screw the front door, aim it at your windows.

Re:If they were manned aircraft would it be an iss (2)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665822)

so, if a camera was placed on the street corner aimed at your front door, you'd have no problem with it?

Nah! I can hit it with a paintball or pellet gun easy. Or, pay the neighbor's kid to smash it with a hammer. Or, just wait two days for someone to steal it.

Re:If they were manned aircraft would it be an iss (4, Interesting)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665840)

I actually find this subject interesting.

Ignoring evil government spying and abuse, and just focusing on the standard issue crime we all know and hate...

We are now near a point where we could use technology to very effectively cut down crime. The issue is no longer technological but social.

As you said, imagine a camera on every street corner. Imagine a system that constantly monitored every road for bad driving and issued immediate tickets. Cut someone off.. drive too fast.. forget your turn signal.. instant ticket. Imagine how much that would improve safety on the roads. Bad drivers would either improve or driving would become so expensive that they'd give it up.

Go forward a bit, imagine a system that can automatically detect crime. Imagine literally not being able to rob someone.. or steal anything.. because a system would immediately identify the action, and track you wherever you went until the police picked you up making it virtually impossible to escape. Imagine how much crime that would cut down on.

All at the expense of having very little privacy, and of course opening the door for massive abuse.

Do you want to live in that world? Personally I don't think I would either. Do we want to or can we find a middle ground?

Re:If they were manned aircraft would it be an iss (2)

prshaw (712950) | more than 2 years ago | (#38666000)

>> All at the expense of having very little privacy, and of course opening the door for massive abuse.

Except that in all the cases you describe they have always been able to be there and monitor us, it was just more manual and luck based.
It was easier for us to look around for a man in a uniform watching, or a marked patrol car following, or a plane in the air, but they could always be there.
We aren't giving up any private area, or any privacy, we are just giving up our odds of being viewed in what was always a public area that we could be watched in.

Re:If they were manned aircraft would it be an iss (5, Interesting)

chill (34294) | more than 2 years ago | (#38666018)

How's the crime rate in London? Has it fallen significantly since they implemented this?

Re:If they were manned aircraft would it be an iss (2)

ckaminski (82854) | more than 2 years ago | (#38666056)

Ask how well that's working out for the UK and the City of London?

Let me give you a hint - it hasn't.

You cannot EVER prevent crime. You can only prosecute it after the fact. Unless you make thoughts crime. In which case I don't want to live in your world.

Re:If they were manned aircraft would it be an iss (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38666116)

I, for one, would LOVE it. Oh, yeah. Three years ago, this would have been a bad idea. Now it is a great idea.

If you disagree, you are racist.

Re:If they were manned aircraft would it be an iss (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665796)

The big question is would you want a feed of YOUR POOL running on one of the Times Square Video Boards??

(bonus BB points if you have a young daughter)

(and thats not even getting into the issue of drones with IR cams or other wall penetrating sensors)

Re:If they were manned aircraft would it be an iss (2)

w_dragon (1802458) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665904)

Oh won't someone think of the children!

Traffic stations have had helicopters and small planes at low altitudes for decades, if you are scared of people seeing you in a bathing suit then cover your pool.

Re:If they were manned aircraft would it be an iss (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38665810)

Movements are publicly viewable.

I, sir, do my movements with the door locked and the window shade drawn. No one wants to see that.

Re:If they were manned aircraft would it be an iss (1)

voidptr (609) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665866)

Only if you're operating under IFR. If you're under visual flight rules, the FAA doesn't have to have a record of the flight.

OTOH, a manned plane under VFR rules must have the N-number registration painted on both sides, and that publicly links back to the registered owner. If you can read the tail number, you can figure out who owns it. Theoretically, a drone in shared airspace and heavy enough to be a collision hazard should have the same registration and markings, but the FAA regs may not say that.

Re:If they were manned aircraft would it be an iss (5, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665986)

The issue here is that WHO these are operated by appears to be a government secret. The Government should not have a secret about which government agencies are operating in the US.

Most effective drone technology is still in government hands. (Yes there are some private drones available for anyone with the money to spare, but these are expensive and unlikely to be deployed on anything that is secret, and would more likely be used for forest management, crop evaluation, mapping, etc.)

That leaves two principal areas of sponsorship. Law Enforcement (DEA, ICE, etc), or Military. Military training over military training areas seems perfectly permitted. Military assistance watching the boarders or off shore seems well within the military mandate.

But military operating inland, over cities to spy on citizens is on pretty shaky grounds, and when doing so is a government secret the ground are not only shake they are slippery. You get tangled up with the Possee Comitatus act [wikipedia.org] when you start using Air Force drones for non-defense purposes or to aid Law enforcement without a formal orders to do so, that must originate with the United States Constitution or Act of Congress.

So if the drones are flown by CIA, or Air Force there is a problem.

If the government comes out and says they are flown by DEA, fine.

But refusing to say seems pretty short sighted for an administration that promised open government [whitehouse.gov] .

Pretty Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38665548)

Sad when you own government by you own people does not trust you and has to keep a eye on everything you do with every new
technology that comes out.

Re:Pretty Sad (4, Insightful)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665774)

Sad when you own government by you own people does not trust you and has to keep a eye on everything you do with every new technology that comes out.

Incorrect. Aside from you (sic) atrocious language skills you've obviously never heard that the price of freedom is constant vigilance. Its just part of the price of admission. I also hope that this will serve as a reminder to everyone that its not longer "our" government anymore, its "a" government, one staffed by members of a ruling elite which stretches around the globe and into the other governments.

Can I make a drone ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38665550)

What would happen if someone shot one down?

I'd like to make a pac-man drone that could eat one and keep it in it's belly safely.

Seriously, I don't think it's anything to worry about. Satellites and helicopters are much more locally efficient. And as far as citizens doing it, states have the say. Arizona really kicks ass when it comes to model rocketry. When I lived there I saw people launching 15 foot tall rockets with cameras, etc. What's sad about this story is that the govt thinks they NEED to do this here.

Re:Can I make a drone ? (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665726)

hmmm... how high are these drones flying? get the right sized engine and you could start taking potshots. If people show up asking questions, you can claim that you were just launching models... of course I condone none of this, but if you could have a camera and youtube handy, we'd all be appreciative.

Re:Can I make a drone ? (4, Interesting)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665736)

What would happen if someone shot one down?

I would be very surprised if that, in itself, did not qualify as one of those "terrorist acts" that allows the government to ship you off to Gitmo and hold you indefinitely without trial now thanks to the new NDAA.

CORONA, anyone? (3, Interesting)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665972)

If the drones are prop driven, it wouldn't be hard to build a counter-drone to snag the prop on a line attached to a parachute.
Jet powered would be a bit harder, maybe a a strong, lightweight lead that could get sucked into the engine without breaking.

just sayin'...

damn, that would be a fun job, dreaming up and testing counter-measures.

They already have aerial surveillance... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38665580)

In the forms of helicopters and planes.

Now I am not saying we as people don't need to be concerned and watchful of how this develops, but the ZOMG!!! They have drones, omg omg knee jerk sensationalism if redonkeylous.

Drones save money over a helicopter or plane. You get more for less. A drone could also be set to follow a pursuit. It is a tool that I forsee becoming quite valuable. That includes us little citizens. But like any tool it could be abused. Just don't fall into the faux news sensationalism style knee jerk reaction

Re:They already have aerial surveillance... (2)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38666068)

You get more for less.

We have quite enough already, thank you.

Where did you acquire this lunatic idea that the purpose of government was to watch over every citizen every hour of the day?
Try this link [archives.gov] . You may find it was something you slept through in the 6th grade.

There do need to be FAA licenses for it. (5, Interesting)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665596)

I don't see any reason why such licenses couldn't be sold to the general public. The plane has to meet FAA UAV standards which they'll have to make up as they go along... and some sort of background check and licensing procedure for the pilots will be important. But why shouldn't everyone get in on this thing? UAV crop dusters. UAV traffic helicopters. UAV medical helicopters. Any situation where we might use human pilots... consider if we need them. Maybe we can get skybuses. Big helicopters that take people across traffic congested cities to depots, train stations, or airports.

Re:There do need to be FAA licenses for it. (2)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665756)

FAA UAV standards which they'll have to make up as they go along

or they could just use the ones they already have.
http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/uas/reg/ [faa.gov]

Re:There do need to be FAA licenses for it. (2)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38666092)

Who owns it is not the issue. Who operates it is.

The government keeping secret who is operating it is the issue.

UAV crop dusters wouldn't be secret. You'd find them in the yellow pages.

say it (1, Funny)

phrostie (121428) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665598)

Those aren't the drones you're looking for

Get rid of Bush and elect a Progressive (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38665604)

If we finally get rid of George Bush and elect a Progressive (someone like Obama, who has campaigned on maintaining transparency in government), I think we'll do away with this.

But as long as we keep Bush and Republicans in office, we'll always have these types of issues.

Re:Get rid of Bush and elect a Progressive (1)

ichthus (72442) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665652)

I sure hope we can change these practices.

Re:Get rid of Bush and elect a Progressive (5, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665702)

If we finally get rid of George Bush and elect a Progressive (someone like Obama, who has campaigned on maintaining transparency in government), I think we'll do away with this.

But as long as we keep Bush and Republicans in office, we'll always have these types of issues.

This must be the longest-delayed HTTP POST request I've ever seen in my life! Get a better ISP, matey.

Re:Get rid of Bush and elect a Progressive (-1, Redundant)

evil_aaronm (671521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665766)

You've been whoosh-served. He's basically saying "Bush == Obama" - or the other way around; doesn't matter. Or: "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

Re:Get rid of Bush and elect a Progressive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38665852)

The irony! The goggles do nothing!

Re:Get rid of Bush and elect a Progressive (3, Informative)

sidthegeek (626567) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665878)

And you don't understand sarcasm.

Re:Get rid of Bush and elect a Progressive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38666040)

Oh Captain Oblivious, what would we do without you!

Re:Get rid of Bush and elect a Progressive (1)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665788)

Thats the price you pay for being AC!

If nobody responds... (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665662)

...it will be obvious that they must belong to some evil foreign country and you're allowed to kill their cams with that high powered laser that you have never built in your backyard. ;)

re- whose flying those things..... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38665674)

it's just a bunch-a old guys from the local rc-model club.

When they're shot down, you'll know (4, Informative)

realsilly (186931) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665678)

Surveillance on US Citizens is wrong, but we the people have let our politicians rule over us and we gave them permission to do this. We constantly re-elect the same political individuals who have systematically stripped our rights away from the citizens of this country all in the name of "they know what's good for us". Well once those drones are taken down, that's when the FAA will try to step out of the picture and the owners who have to replace these (at taxpayer expense mind you) will come a hootin' and hollerin' claiming they need more Federal $ from the budget office to replace their drones.

Re:When they're shot down, you'll know (2)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665768)

Surveillance of US Citizens is wrong, but far less than surveillance to non US citizens. Taking it as something right is at least as disturbing as there are any surveillance drones.

Think of the children (4, Insightful)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665870)

I have discussed the surveillance state we live in now with several people, and the one overriding factor that determines someones "ease" with accepting it is whether they have children or not. Those with kids almost always(actually always...) will accept any form of "safety" whether it's taking their shoes off at the airport, having all their electronic communications sniffed for anything suspicious or now, having drones with incredibly powerful cameras spy on them constantly. The argument invariably devolves into the "I want my kids safe, Dammit!" tack. Any amount of evidence pointing to how we are slowly but surely devolving into a 1984 style society is greeted by blank looks and animosity, almost as if I'm the bad guy because I don't agree with the "save the children via becoming a police state" direction we are on.

Re:Think of the children (1)

ckaminski (82854) | more than 2 years ago | (#38666134)

I always counter to them, how the FUCK did you ever survive to adult-hood without all this shit? Especially you UKers, who lived through the IRA terror-bombings.

Fuck you and your children.

Simple (4, Insightful)

pluther (647209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665680)

Easy way to find out:

Capture one. See who knocks down your door.

Just make sure you're livestreaming, because you probably won't get a chance to talk to anybody about it for a very long time...

Re:Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38666030)

Or just shoot the fucking things down. They want to play dirty? We can play dirty too.

EFF is the wrong group to get this done (5, Interesting)

netwarerip (2221204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665752)

Get some trial lawyer lobbying group to ask for this info and it will happen a lot sooner.
Once a drone crashes people will want someone to sue, and without a pilot there is no one to go after. Enter an attorney from Dewey, Faulkum, and Howe looking for his 33%, and you'll have more briefs flying around than in the showers at Penn State.

Re:EFF is the wrong group to get this done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38665962)

Simple just build a signal jammer and it will crash and burn, then let the lawyers do the rest of the leg work!

I've never actually seen one of these drones in ac (1)

Froggels (1724218) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665794)

or at least I'm not aware of having seen them flying overhead. Are they easily identifiable from the ground?

Re:I've never actually seen one of these drones in (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38665922)

Hello, former sensor guy here.
No, they are very rarely detectable from the ground. Look at how efficient the exhaust system on a prius is at reducing acoustic signatures. Now put that on a plane that's blue-gray and 16000 feet over you and smaller than a cessna (in fuselage size).

Barely ever spotted unless deliberately flying low.

Coincidence? (5, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665798)

Drones being flown all over the country, by unidentified pilots, Microsoft giving their Flight Simulator game away for free. I coincidence? I think NOT.

Re:Coincidence? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38666074)

Ender's Game.

Acronym hell. (4, Funny)

Feyshtey (1523799) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665808)

So to be clear, the EFF filed and FIA request to the FAA about USAF activity.

Omg, wtf?

Re:Acronym hell. (1)

plsenjy (2104800) | more than 2 years ago | (#38666036)

That's four. That's not acronym hell. Try being an international relations or polisci major where you have to frequently cite acronyms, then you're getting into the thick of things.

The thing is (1)

bytesex (112972) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665830)

This is *only* going to bite them in the ass. Sooner or later, somebody screws up - lightly - and in the resulting suit, some judge will order this information to be public. The fall-out will be considerable, and people will be less trusting. The general who now, obsessed by his power to protect and the technological possibilities, decided to withold this information, is going to rue the day. Or not. But hey - maybe it's his retirement in three or four years, and maybe he can sing it out until then.

Here are a few... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38665908)

General Atomics flies the predator variants for DHS CBP along the borders (norh and south), JIATF-S flies the marine variants of these planes as well as the GlobalHawk and such.

Insitu flies the scan eagle in Arlington, OR Though in a very limited COA?

ISR inc. has a facility in West Virginia, though I don't believe they have an active COA anymore.

And countless military bases (Creech AFB, Nellis, Sierra vista, etc... Fly the drones)

Seriously though the EFF isn't trying very hard, all of these COAS are publicly available. You don't really need to file a FOIA request, the FAA is one of the organizations that makes it very hard to fly UAVs in the U.S, right now you should be more afraid of black helicopters than UAVs tracking you.

too big commitment (1)

zugedneb (601299) | more than 2 years ago | (#38665976)

In some articele (do not remember) that in the countries where there is civil war now, the regime made the police and military dependent of themselves for the luxury and lifestile they had... So, when there is an uprising, the military and police are against the civilians... I the US, it is the same thing, to many are involved in this industry... To many are employed to make decisions that have a certain "direction", to many poeple are employed to make the decisions happen, too many industries thet want to sell tools, services to this industry... Too many poeples income depend on this... There will be no freedom, until we have not found some, generally, lefty way of coexist...

Tresspass to Private Property? (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 2 years ago | (#38666042)

Company "A" flies over my property with their new spiffy surveillance drone. I power on my manual shot gun and shoot the trash down. Who do I send the bill to for recovery of scrap found in my yard?

Private Contractors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38666066)

I can almost guarantee you this is outsourced to private US contractors.

As much as calling it on DHS or ICE would make sense here, I don't believe they would hire compenent enough people who have the proper background to fly these drones. Yes, that IS my actual argument.

I don't want to entertain the thought that they really, truely outsourced this to someone outside the US. That would be downright nightmarish! Possible, but nightmarish.

In the final analysis.... (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 2 years ago | (#38666070)

...we all realize it's the multinationals which is really flying those drones. (And the latest from that Eureqa program filtering out the current news bites.)

Be Like Mitt

I want to be like Mitt, who has never done an honest day’s work in his life!

I want to be like Mitt, who would convince his cronies to invest 10% in a fund, and then borrow the remaining 90% from the banks, using the targeted company in the leveraged buyout as collateral -- that means transferring the 90% debt to the target company. (I’m going to buy a car, what’s your collateral, the bank asks me, the car I’m buying, I reply, try the bank next store, they reply.)

I want to be like Mitt, and receive free millions from the banks (after the LBO or leveraged buyout, they would borrow more millions from the banks against the targeted company – known as dividend recaps -- thus paying themselves a fortune while adding even more debt onto the target company).

[The proper term for this is debt financing or deficit financing, creating unbelievably burdensome debt on the takeover company to enrich themselves. Romney’s vast wealth, and that of other private banks and hedge funds, is directly responsible for the increase of the national debt.]

I want to be like Mitt, who avoided military service during the draft.

I want to be like Mitt, free money for no work and super-rich!

(Where’s the risk? There is no risk as the laws they bribed congress to pass, back in the ‘70s and ‘80s, ensured that!)

Aren't Cell Phones Slightly Worse than Drones? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38666096)

...in terms of privacy. Not conducting airstrike operations, obviously...

I mean, we all (frequently) carry cellphones on our person. It's like willfully tagging yourself with an RFID tag, Microphone, and maybe even adding in a Camera and an Accelerometer for good measure.

If you think it's no big deal, considering that it's not always on your person, and that you choose when to carry it, your head is in the sand. These things are powerful POWERFUL surveillance devices. Telecom companies and not only compliant with government requests, they willfully collude with governments. And that's just the service providers.

Consider that even if you don't carry one yourself, there likely will be someone within earshot and maybe even line of sight carrying one. Whether that person is familiar to you, or even friendly is another matter.

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