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VA Governor Wants Military Drones For Police

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the these-are-not-the-drones-you're-looking-for dept.

Government 183

New submitter Screen404-O writes "During a radio interview, Virginia governor Bob McDonnell suggested that using unmanned drones to assist police would be 'great' and 'the right thing to do.' 'Increased safety and reduced manpower are among the reasons the U.S. military and intelligence community use drones on the battlefield, which is why it should be considered in Virginia, he says. ... McDonnell added Tuesday it will prove important to ensure the state maintains Americans' civil liberties, such as privacy, if it adds drones to its law enforcement arsenal.' Is this the next step toward militarizing our law enforcement agencies? How exactly can they ensure our privacy, when even the Air Force can't?"

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From this Governor (5, Funny)

MikeMacK (788889) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160501)

We can call them the transvaginal ultra drones...

Re:From this Governor (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40160601)

Governor Ultrasound wants access to your vagina, and your back yard.

Re:From this Governor (4, Interesting)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160859)

McDonnell added Tuesday it will prove important to ensure the state maintains Americans' civil liberties

. "Not 'Top of the list' important", McDonnell continued, "but up there with other priorities I share with the VA GOP, like the environment, public education, and a woman's right to choose."

Re:From this Governor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40160969)

What does anyone expect? It's VIRGINIA. You know, spook-central.

Re:From this Governor (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 2 years ago | (#40161161)

No, no. You're mixing up your memes. If it's flying saucer/robot drones, then it's anal probes not vaginal. All the abductees are pretty clear on this point.

Re:From this Governor (3, Insightful)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 2 years ago | (#40161837)

How's this for an idea?

The first cunt we fly one of these things up should be the Governor himself.

Welcome To The Former ( Score: +4, PatRIOTic ) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40160507)

U.S.A. [newyorker.com] :

You have NO rights.

Cheers.

And I want a pony. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40160511)

Anything not to get off their behinds, isn't it?

Re:And I want a pony. (1)

jakimfett (2629943) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160629)

All the more doughnuts for the rest of the team...

Re:And I want a pony. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40161267)

Careful what you wish for [youtube.com] :)

Skynet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40160527)

Is that you?

Re:Skynet... (1)

jakimfett (2629943) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160599)

We welcome our new robotic overlords...

Re:Skynet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40160871)

I think we can put our differences behind us. For science. You monster.

Papers please (3, Insightful)

chadenright (1344231) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160553)

So, do they want them for the ability to conduct unmanned remote assassinations? Or do they think the drones are going to be able to give speeding and parking tickets?

Re:Papers please (1)

jakimfett (2629943) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160615)

...or just snap a picture of the infringing motorist, and they receive a ticket in the mail five business days later...

Re:Papers please (2)

MikeMacK (788889) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160663)

Wonder how long it will take before a Virginian shoots one down...

Re:Papers please (1)

bartolomae (1779576) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160735)

I would shoot at it whenever possible...

Re:Papers please (3, Insightful)

RightwingNutjob (1302813) | more than 2 years ago | (#40162385)

Interesting. Do you take shots at stationary security cameras as well?

Re:Papers please (4, Interesting)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160837)

Follow the Iranian lead: jam the GPS, land it in a field, and reprogram "home". They don't "have the manpower" to track you down, do they?

For years you Americans have been saying that you can't outgun the military because they have gunships and drones. Well fuck man, they're going to just hand over drones to use as you see fit.

Balance.

Re:Papers please (2)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160855)

My first guess is to use them in a pinch when tracking down fleeing suspects. I didn't see the kind of drones mentioned, but somehow I doubt it's going to be global hawks. Rather, something to replace helicopters perhaps?

Re:Papers please (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40161125)

#Other states
I'd agree.

#Virginia
Traffic Enforcement. If you report a rape, you might as well play Monopoly to pass the time. If you report a guy in a red sport compact doing 5 over, the VSP practically teleport there.

Trying to invoke paranoia? (1)

elucido (870205) | about 2 years ago | (#40161739)

Of course they don't want to use the drones to assassinate American citizens. They just want to arrest American terro er... I mean criminals.

Re:Papers please (2)

ae1294 (1547521) | about 2 years ago | (#40161921)

You make a joke but as someone who has lived in Virginia there are signs everywhere that say 'speed limit enforced by aircraft' [alienspouse.com]

Re:Papers please (1)

jd (1658) | about 2 years ago | (#40162001)

Yeah, but it's not normally considered to mean "violators will be stopped with hellfire missiles", although apparently nobody has told the VA governor this.

Re:Papers please (1)

Salgak1 (20136) | more than 2 years ago | (#40162275)

But only outside of peak traffic hours. Hellfires tend to cause hellacious traffic backups, not to mention rubbernecking delays. . .

Re:Papers please (1)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 2 years ago | (#40162403)

using drones != to shooting them down with missiles.

I dont like being spied on any more than the rest of us, but lets not pretend that using a unmanned plane to do the same job as a manned helicopter is the same thing as shooting down speeders with a missile

They will protect your freedoms... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40160567)

By making sure that even you don't have access to them. In a completely unrelated set of events, other English speaking G7 countries have announced new immigration systems that are very friendly to high value occupations that typically employ people with enough brains to get out while the getting's good.

He's right (2)

UPZ (947916) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160595)

Because your home is the real battlefield.

Re:He's right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40161973)

because they want to spy though your 10th floor window to see what you are doing

Drones are double plus good (1)

MNNorske (2651341) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160633)

We can ensure better individual privacy through more surveillance of all individuals. While I think certain arguments can be made that drones are effectively like helicopters employed by many police departments they take things a step further. They are less invasive than helicopters making it easier for the police to monitor the unsuspecting public. If drones are adopted by police departments without clear laws on when and how they can be used we are looking at further erosion of our fourth amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure. I'm all for giving police reasonable powers to protect the public good. But, when it becomes too easy for them to violate my constitutional rights without proper checks and balances I draw the line.

What about What I want? (4, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160671)

I want public Video cameras all over the VA governors mansion and private home.

He can have the drones as soon as he let's us install tons of cameras all over in his home that allow anyone to watch him.

If he is against it, what is he hiding?

They just want some shiny new toys (4, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160737)

Cameras can do the same job, are much cheaper, don't need supervision and can be set up not to be intrusive. A policeman controlling a drone that's patrolling an area could just as well get on his bike and do the patrol himself.

Re:They just want some shiny new toys (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40161271)

As someone who works for a company that builds drones... you are absolutely correct.

They have a time and a place where they are useful, but there's a time and a place where they're NOT. I could maybe see them being useful along the border, where exists many miles of barren-ass desert (south) or frozen-ass tundra (north) that would be difficult for a human to patrol... but if you want a military-grade weapon walking your beat down the local Main Street, fuck right off.

If anything, more cops need to be out and about bolstering public image. Walk your beat (or ride a bike), help people and generally don't be a douche. You'll be amazed at what some sweet PR can do for you.

Re:They just want some shiny new toys (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40162229)

From the perspective of having operated military RPA's. RPA's are good for things that are "dull, dirty or dangerous". Law Enforcement is certainly dull. However, it's not dirty, and it's not dangerous. If you accept that these things should be, oh, say "airworthy" and flown by qualified pilots, then there is no way they can be cheaper than manned aircraft, as they're more complex. The only good domestic uses I've figure out are crop-dusting (dangerous), flying fuel to remote villages in Alaska (insanely dangerous), water bombing (dangerous) and perhaps, just maybe, getting away from the ETOPS requirements and therefore saving some jet fuel, but for cargo only (mildly dangerous). No state government, and most certainly no police force, should be doing anything dirty. That's why we have a military and the CIA. Dull, well, maybe patrolling the southwestern border for 24 hours straight, but DHS has already demonstrated that it's not actually better. I hope some of you can come up with a good idea of what we should do with RPA's domestically, but law enforcement is the last thing on my list.

Re:They just want some shiny new toys (1)

RightwingNutjob (1302813) | more than 2 years ago | (#40162397)

Speed enforcement on rural highways? Possibly cheaper than having manned aircraft do it.

Bullshit and the Wrong thing to do. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160739)

What is up these politician's asses? Besides their heads, I mean.

This isn't a war. But some of the politicians seem dead set on making it one.

Hint, politicians: today it is not only quite possible, but not even that difficult to make a drone-killing missile in one's basement, complete with propeller- or heat-seeking electronics. And they'd never see it coming. ("Missile" might be misleading: it might be simpler and cheaper to make a self-guided ballistic projectile.)

I'm not suggesting that I would do that. I don't even have a basement. But you can count on the fact that somebody would.

Re:Bullshit and the Wrong thing to do. (3, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160799)

Clarification:

There are 2 big issues here that the politicians need to start considering, much more than they have been:

(1) The fact that a certain technology CAN be used, and might even represent monetary savings, is largely a different question that whether it SHOULD be used.

(2) That improved technology works both ways: not only do you have the ability to move surveillance to the sky, but also: civilians have drastically improved ability to bring it down. And strong motivation to do so.

Re:Bullshit and the Wrong thing to do. (1)

elucido (870205) | about 2 years ago | (#40161793)

Clarification:

There are 2 big issues here that the politicians need to start considering, much more than they have been:

(1) The fact that a certain technology CAN be used, and might even represent monetary savings, is largely a different question that whether it SHOULD be used.

(2) That improved technology works both ways: not only do you have the ability to move surveillance to the sky, but also: civilians have drastically improved ability to bring it down. And strong motivation to do so.

Why is no one asking the question if this stuff actually makes communities safer? I don't think this particular kind of surveillance will stop murders or find missing children. This kind of surveillance will be used to look into peoples houses to find marijuana plants, or meth labs, or just to give people tickets.

Re:Bullshit and the Wrong thing to do. (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 years ago | (#40162015)

"Why is no one asking the question if this stuff actually makes communities safer?"

Another good point. I would make that #3. And that brings up:

(4) Safety is not the end goal of all existence. You cannot make everything 100% safe without taking all the meaning and enjoyment out of life.

Re:Bullshit and the Wrong thing to do. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40161535)

You are a terrorist for even thinking about that, let alone posting it online. I bet you are muslim or islamic or a communist or chinese. Or some combination. You are probably homosexual. I hope they come and find you and ship you and your family and all your friends off to some internment camp.

Re:Bullshit and the Wrong thing to do. (0)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#40161595)

Hint, politicians: today it is not only quite possible, but not even that difficult to make a drone-killing missile in one's basement, complete with propeller- or heat-seeking electronics. And they'd never see it coming. ("Missile" might be misleading: it might be simpler and cheaper to make a self-guided ballistic projectile.)

And what they're doing is adding 8 million potential felons to the database for the crime of attempted destruction of government property. Somehow I don't think 'But you deployed these things and they violate my rights!' is going to be an adequate defense.

Re:Bullshit and the Wrong thing to do. (1)

elucido (870205) | about 2 years ago | (#40161781)

What is up these politician's asses? Besides their heads, I mean.

This isn't a war. But some of the politicians seem dead set on making it one.

Hint, politicians: today it is not only quite possible, but not even that difficult to make a drone-killing missile in one's basement, complete with propeller- or heat-seeking electronics. And they'd never see it coming. ("Missile" might be misleading: it might be simpler and cheaper to make a self-guided ballistic projectile.)

I'm not suggesting that I would do that. I don't even have a basement. But you can count on the fact that somebody would.

They aren't fooling anyone with this drone crap. Why is it okay for the police to fly drones over our houses but it's not okay for us to fly drones over the police to monitor their activities at all times?

Why do the police get to use encryption, but if we try to use it then we are terrorists? Some stuff is none of LE business. When we are on our own property, in our own homes, and aren't hurting anyone else, they shouldn't be flying drones or wiretapping or trying to scan inside our houses with satellites. We should be asking the people who support this idea who the enemy is and what they are looking for?

It's like we take it as if they have a right to search us in our homes and look for stuff, but aggressive searching almost always leads to a crime if you know what I mean.

Let's take a deep breath (2)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160751)

I don't live in Virginia. I will say up front I do not the camel's nose to come under a tent in Virginia, nor any other state.

However, let's take a deep breath and ask how, specifically, unmanned aerial vehicles will help the mission of the Virginia police forces. And how and where, specifically, will they operate?

If the people of Virginia don't get a specific answer, then I think it's fair for them to deny the proposal on a variety of grounds. Without a specific mission in mind it is unlikely that drones will save money (they'd be just expensive new equipment with no clear purpose). Without a specific operational plan it is unlikely the drones will operate in a way compatible with FAA regulations and, oh yes, a little thing I call THE FOURTH AMENDMENT. [wikipedia.org]

However if one were to object without hearing the specific plan first, one could more easily be dismissed as alarmist.

I would even concede there is a remote possibility that a reasonable and effective police application of drones exists. None has not occurred to me so far.

Cost (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160851)

Because maned helicopters are far more expensive and don't have the loiter time of a drone maybe.

What are they searching for? (1)

elucido (870205) | about 2 years ago | (#40161801)

That is the question we should be asking. We have a right to know what the police are hoping to find with this surveillance.

Re:Cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40162329)

Bullshit. If we accept the reasonable assumption that these things need to be airworthy (safe to fly around people) and piloted by competent professionals (called pilots) than these can not be cheaper than manned helicopters, as they will, by necessity, be more expensive than manned helicopters.

Re:Let's take a deep breath (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40161167)

In Michigan a drone was used to spy on the farms of many farmers. When the police saw one of the farmers raising wild pigs they stormed his place. And then murdered all the pigs..... unfortunately the police misidentified domestic pogs as wild pigs. Ooops (and destroyed the man's career).

Re:Let's take a deep breath (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40161769)

In Michigan a drone was used to spy on the farms of many farmers. When the police saw one of the farmers raising wild pigs they stormed his place. And then murdered all the pigs..... unfortunately the police misidentified domestic pogs as wild pigs. Ooops (and destroyed the man's career).

I looked up this story and it's not true. They did say the farmer expects a career destroying raid, but that's not they same as it actually happening. The pigs aren't even misidentified. Instead, there's a debate about which pigs are a danger if they get lose. And that's what I read in the most crazed ranting blog. Other articles didn't even go that far. What insane blogs are you reading and why don't you ever give us a link?

Valid uses of drones (1, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40161291)

The main thing I could see them making sense for is replacing helicopters for following suspects if on a chase (a drone would be a lot cheaper and you could have a few engaged). But there are of other valid peaceful governmental uses of drones:

* Surveying the city. You could use them to get an idea of what areas of town needed more work than others. You could do weekly flyovers just to see if streetlights were out in an area. You could build up a highly detailed aerial map of your city/county/state and then let the people make use of that data to make cool mapping products.

* Work in tandem with other sensors to get video on an area where needed ASAP. Video of traffic accidents moments after they occur (or any sudden drop in traffic speed). Video of an area where gunshot detectors picked up shots.

I don't at all understand the concern over drones, they are simply cameras that are more mobile than traditional surveillance cameras. Are people concerned with drones also concerned that police cars have cameras in them?

Obviously if you included weapons on the drones that's a whole different matter, but I've not heard anyone say they are considering weaponizing them.

Re:Valid uses of drones (1)

elucido (870205) | about 2 years ago | (#40161815)

The main thing I could see them making sense for is replacing helicopters for following suspects if on a chase (a drone would be a lot cheaper and you could have a few engaged). But there are of other valid peaceful governmental uses of drones:

* Surveying the city. You could use them to get an idea of what areas of town needed more work than others. You could do weekly flyovers just to see if streetlights were out in an area. You could build up a highly detailed aerial map of your city/county/state and then let the people make use of that data to make cool mapping products.

* Work in tandem with other sensors to get video on an area where needed ASAP. Video of traffic accidents moments after they occur (or any sudden drop in traffic speed). Video of an area where gunshot detectors picked up shots.

I don't at all understand the concern over drones, they are simply cameras that are more mobile than traditional surveillance cameras. Are people concerned with drones also concerned that police cars have cameras in them?

Obviously if you included weapons on the drones that's a whole different matter, but I've not heard anyone say they are considering weaponizing them.

It's only a matter of time before they claim the drones need weapons to keep people from destroying or jamming them.

Re:Let's take a deep breath (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40161509)

You're citing the wrong amendment. The right to bear arms exists so that the people are able to stand up to the tyranny of government.
The military exists to fight wars against foreign foes. For that purpose weapons of all types and abilities exist and are available to them (bombs, chemical & nuclear weapons, etc.). Most of these weapons do not belong in the hands of normal citizens.
The police exists to fight criminal elements of the citizenry. Once the police gets military grade toys, a power balance shifts and an ever smaller minority is able to suppress the under equipped growing majority. This is a very dangerous situation (and has been exploited countless times in human history to tragic effect).

For these reasons, the external and internal police forces should never mix.
Or are they suggesting that unmanned drones should be sold and used commercially? I know where I'm sending mine...

Sauce for the Goose. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40160753)

So he won't mind if my friends & I take turns having our drones follow him around ?

google air (or, "it's drones, all the way down") (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160925)

I see a huge $ market for anti-surveillance drones . Automated swarming shouldn't be hard, right? Couple of one-shot shotguns and Bowb's your uncle. Those should be pretty small and cheap.

And then we can sell $$ them anti-anti-surveillance drones. And then we can cash in $$$ on anti-anti-anti surveillance drones. Your imagination's the limit $$$$ ! (that's four dollar signs...)

The (Flying) End of Privacy (1)

dryriver (1010635) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160757)

Why would you want drones in the sky over civilian areas? Aren't police with cars good enough to keep the peace? Does there have to be a "EYE IN THE SKY" flying overhead for people to feel safe? ---------- I happen to think that this is more about making BIG Dollars for drone manufacturers, than anything law enforcement requirements related. -------- Or maybe America is keen on showing the world, once more, how NOT TO RUN a country? ------ Stupid, stupid, stupid this whole "Police Drones" business. Reminds me of the creepy spider ID bots in Minority Report.

Threat to privacy? (1)

grimmjeeper (2301232) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160783)

What I want to know is how these drones are more of a threat to privacy than a manned helicopter flying around doing the same thing.

Re:Threat to privacy? (2)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160907)

Ubiquitous autonomous flying robots is not the same thing at all. We dont want an automated police force because it scales far too easily.

Re:Threat to privacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40161341)

And who do you hold responsible if one of the drone kills an innocent? What sort of punishment do you dispense?

Re:Threat to privacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40160921)

Low-cost low-visibility surveillance means ubiquitous surveillance.

Off the top of my head ... (2)

AkkarAnadyr (164341) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160973)

There could be many more of them per police officer (let alone police force) than is feasible for helicopters.

They're much smaller and more agile, allowing access to your daughter's hot tub^W^W^W^W more private areas.

They're much easier to make silent, thus enabling stealth surveillance.

They can operate 24/7/365 in aggregate.

They'd be in the hands of people who do things like this [wusa9.com] .

Re:Off the top of my head ... (1)

elucido (870205) | about 2 years ago | (#40161887)

There could be many more of them per police officer (let alone police force) than is feasible for helicopters.

They're much smaller and more agile, allowing access to your daughter's hot tub^W^W^W^W more private areas.

They're much easier to make silent, thus enabling stealth surveillance.

They can operate 24/7/365 in aggregate.

They'd be in the hands of people who do things like this [wusa9.com] .

Each police officer could in theory operate thousands of drones all around the city. The drones could go from being large UAV's to toy airplane size, to insect size, to the size of dust particles, depending on how much money the police have and how drone is defined.

In practice the smallest drone would be nano-dust which is about the size of a flake of rice. This would be too expensive today but if mass produced by the police all around the country the price would go down to the point where we'd have a police officer practically everywhere without any way to stop it. It would be 24/7, and the problem is some drones can see through walls, hear through walls, so yes a drone can see you smoking a joint in your house or see you having gay sex with your wife.

How about micro drones? (1)

elucido (870205) | about 2 years ago | (#40161845)

What I want to know is how these drones are more of a threat to privacy than a manned helicopter flying around doing the same thing.

If you don't understand the privacy implications of UAVs, how about if they were made really small, smaller than birds? small like insect small, like fly small, and were spread by the tens of thousands throughout the city to pick up conversations, capture video, etc?

Spire said it right, this sort of thing scales ridiculously easily. The drones will get smaller, fly for longer, get smarter, and there will eventually be thousands of them swarming an area. Honestly if this doesn't disturb you then wait until nano technology allows for even better surveillance.

Re:Threat to privacy? (2)

ewieling (90662) | more than 2 years ago | (#40162271)

The only thing which keeps people safe is the fact it is too expensive to spy on every citizen. Technology (drones, GPS, etc) is reducing the cost to spy on people. This is a very bad thing.

Back to 1987 (1)

InspectorGadget1964 (2439148) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160813)

Send him to watch Robocop, he will lovet it!

new and improved speed traps... (1)

harvey the nerd (582806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160877)

Yes, police drones with Hellfire missles, backed by Civil asset forfeiture laws could reduce ex-urban speeding violations by 30%.

Re:new and improved speed traps... (1)

jd (1658) | about 2 years ago | (#40162017)

It would also boost new car sales, due to the reduction of used cars on the market.

Use manned aircraft instead. (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160879)

If there is meat in the cockpit it's a non-issue, be it police meat or the hundreds of thousands of recce aircraft training sorties the US had back when we used RF and RB-series aircraft.

Meatless cockpits are scary, so let's use Virginia's current Bell 407s for everything instead.

Reason number 9,387 I've disowned my birthstate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40160889)

I can see it now: "Speed enforced by UCAV".

If you do .000009 MPH over the speed limit, your car gets blown up by an AGM-114. If you have a Radar Detector, you get an AGM-88 coming at your windshield.

Masters of Science Fiction (1)

mcl630 (1839996) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160897)

"Masters of Science Fiction" had an episode about exactly this... it was a bad idea.

Re:Masters of Science Fiction (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40161037)

That was non-informative. Which episode? What was it about? I'm guessing you meant this one:

WATCHBIRD http://www.gutenberg.org/files/29579/29579-h/29579-h.htm [gutenberg.org]

Re:Masters of Science Fiction (1)

mcl630 (1839996) | more than 2 years ago | (#40161191)

Sorry, didn't think anyone would want know that much. Yes it was Watchbird. Here's another link:

IMDB [imdb.com]

i would rather... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40160899)

search and rescue have them

Another great tool for the police, or is it? (1)

mikeiver1 (1630021) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160957)

Sounds great until you recall that even the military and the industrial complex that builds the drones can't seem to keep them under control. Remember that Iran now has all the cutting edge tech of a front line drone in their front pocket and also by extension, so does China. Post-mortem conclusion is that we were arrogant about the security of our com link and failed to see this one coming though we knew that they were working hard on it. Now just suppose that they decide to hack one of these drones and fly it into a school. Who is to know that they were to blame. Pilot error, computer glitch, GPS jamming, soft/firmware issue, ... You get the idea, people die all the same. These drones are simply toys and serve no real purpose in our kind of civil society other than to monitor the odd idiot that runs from the state police for going 10 miles over the speed limit. The cost is high and the returns are low. but we can still put our heads in the sand to another civil liberty being taken away in the name of better security. BS!

Re:Another great tool for the police, or is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40161483)

The "real" post-mortem conclusion, after the sensational first reports is that the drone crashed and the Iranians duct-taped it back together for the cameras. It's pretty obvious in the pictures if you know what to look for (and I do). Whether they caused the crash or what knowledge they have or don't have is up for debate. I guess we won't really know for a few years when we capture one of thier drones.

Re:Another great tool for the police, or is it? (1)

elucido (870205) | about 2 years ago | (#40161903)

Sounds great until you recall that even the military and the industrial complex that builds the drones can't seem to keep them under control. Remember that Iran now has all the cutting edge tech of a front line drone in their front pocket and also by extension, so does China. Post-mortem conclusion is that we were arrogant about the security of our com link and failed to see this one coming though we knew that they were working hard on it. Now just suppose that they decide to hack one of these drones and fly it into a school. Who is to know that they were to blame. Pilot error, computer glitch, GPS jamming, soft/firmware issue, ... You get the idea, people die all the same. These drones are simply toys and serve no real purpose in our kind of civil society other than to monitor the odd idiot that runs from the state police for going 10 miles over the speed limit. The cost is high and the returns are low. but we can still put our heads in the sand to another civil liberty being taken away in the name of better security. BS!

Why would anyone fly a drone into a school?

This affects access to news crews folks.... (2)

Subgenius (95662) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160971)

With drones in the air, the access to crime scenes by news helicopters and planes will be a thing of the past. The neat thing about this issue is that the gov. can say "I didn't pass any laws restricting news access to sites, it was the feds!" since the FAA will have final determination regarding access to the airspace.

Niiiiice.

Re:This affects access to news crews folks.... (1)

elucido (870205) | about 2 years ago | (#40161909)

With drones in the air, the access to crime scenes by news helicopters and planes will be a thing of the past. The neat thing about this issue is that the gov. can say "I didn't pass any laws restricting news access to sites, it was the feds!" since the FAA will have final determination regarding access to the airspace.

Niiiiice.

They can use drones too.

So what does this buzzword mean? (0)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 2 years ago | (#40160983)

Is this the next step toward militarizing our law enforcement agencies?

I've finally figured it out - "militarization" is a buzzword for "cops doing anything but walking a beat with no radio, no gun, and no other technology".
 
No, the police aren't turning in a military.

Re:So what does this buzzword mean? (2)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 2 years ago | (#40161743)

Is this the next step toward militarizing our law enforcement agencies?

I've finally figured it out - "militarization" is a buzzword for "cops doing anything but walking a beat with no radio, no gun, and no other technology".

No, the police aren't turning in a military.

Let's see...

Requiring all cops to go through SWAT team training, which is basically small unit assault training. To, you know, catch those militant speeders.
Military grade equipment (assault rifles, military grade body armor, 'military-only' ammo for antiarmor use, etc)
Armored vehicles.

Naw, the police isn't a damned bit militarized. (/sarcasm)

Re:So what does this buzzword mean? (0)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 2 years ago | (#40161913)

Naw, the police isn't a damned bit militarized.

Naw, you just haven't a clue what "militarized" actually means.

Northrup Grumman (4, Interesting)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 2 years ago | (#40161017)

I am sure this has absolutely nothing to do with the move or Northrop Grumman's corporate HQ to Virgina in 2010, but only after a bunch of "meetings" with McDonnel.

Nope, not a thing.

In fact, I am sure Grumman is not going to win any of these contracts.

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/2010/apr/26/grumgat26_20100426-184201-ar-156839/ [timesdispatch.com]

What is the rights difference between heli/drone? (1)

sirwired (27582) | more than 2 years ago | (#40161025)

Civil-liberties-wise, what exactly is the difference between a remotely-piloted drone and a helicopter?

I think it's a silly idea and not of much use, but I'm not seeing civil liberties implications here.

Re:What is the rights difference between heli/dron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40161047)

Cost, obviously. Having a bunch of cheap drones flying around would make it easier for the state to do things like this:
http://www.readthehook.com/101282/2-plants-citizen-terrorized-swat-team-pot-raid

Re:What is the rights difference between heli/dron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40161449)

None. There's no constitutional right to anonymity, yet, AFAIK. There's barely a constitutional right to privacy, the leading cases being those which protect women's reproductive choices and homosexuals' sex lives. Ironically, in opposing these things conservatives are systematically eroding the only basis in constitutional law protecting a right to privacy from government per se (that is, intrusion by _laws_, instead of men). Mere procedural rules of evidence, such as Search & Seizure constraints, are usually no protection at all given the myriad defenses the gov't has, such as good faith.

Re:What is the rights difference between heli/dron (1)

plaukas pyragely (1630517) | more than 2 years ago | (#40161081)

It's not that different but... Flying helicopter is expensive. Flying drones can be a lot cheaper and lead to mass surveillance. This is where I see a problem.

Re:What is the rights difference between heli/dron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40161087)

#Drone
Cheaper to run, cheaper to maintain, much better time on station, much less noticeable by the general population.

#Helicopter
Expensive on fuel, maintenance, louder, more noticeable, Pilot can only remain on station so long due to fatigue.

As far as civil liberties go, I don't believe in using either of them to monitor the general populace. However, it is much more feasible for them to send a drone up. With a helicopter, they only usually send one up if they really need it (Usually for hot pursuit or if they're doing one of their usual Aerial Vascar campaigns.

First he wants probes in vaginas (1)

ZeroSerenity (923363) | more than 2 years ago | (#40161057)

Now he wants them in the air. I can't help but think Governor Ultrasound here is just some pervy wanker.

Who will watch teh watchers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40161131)

How long until there are Republican and Democrat controlled drones?

Helicopter replacement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40161203)

As a replacement for a helicopter for trailing fleeing suspects, drones are great. They're way way cheaper, have more endurance, and are less obvious to the suspect. There's no extra privacy implication for using a drone for that instead of a helicopter. But of course, once you have the drone, you might be tempted to just let it hang out "monitoring", which is more troublesome.

Why stop with drones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40161207)

Perhaps the governor of VA would also like a few ED-209's for redlight duty?

Duckhunt for freedom (1)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 2 years ago | (#40161357)

I can't wait for this + the revolution. It's going to be so fun shooting them down.

Mandatory Drug Testing for VA's Favorite Son (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 2 years ago | (#40161459)

...the U.S. military and intelligence community use drones on the battlefield, which is why it should be considered in Virginia

But wait! There's more!

...it will prove important to ensure the state maintains Americans' civil liberties, such as privacy

Does the Governer of Virginia speak English?

Re:Mandatory Drug Testing for VA's Favorite Son (3, Funny)

rewt66 (738525) | more than 2 years ago | (#40161661)

No. He speaks something that sounds like English, but the words have different meanings. It's called "Politician".

Hmmm DEA takeouts of drug lords (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40161529)

subject says it all. Lets move to a star chamber of justice. more convenient -- ooops is that the soviet union and/or china -- wtf happened to the USA that we used to admire?

Uh... (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 2 years ago | (#40161621)

How exactly can they ensure our privacy, when even the Air Force can't?

Who said anything about privacy?

Soon everyone I know will be in jail. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40161633)

Because if they start looking into houses with unmanned drones and listening to everyone I'm sure there are enough laws to lock up everyone I know.

This is not just a bad idea, it's a treasonous idea. Unless we are declaring war on American citizens there is no reason to destroy communities with these drones. What is next? Allowing the police to attach guns and bombs to these drones?

I don't recall Patrick Henry saying (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | about 2 years ago | (#40161723)

Give me surveillance or give me death!

Privacy? (1)

macsforme (1735250) | about 2 years ago | (#40161771)

Everyone rallies to protest the idea of the police having move capable and modern surveillance and tracking tools, until they discover the criminal who victimized them will not be apprehended because the nearest traditional police patrol unit was five miles away trapped in traffic or stuck behind the 90% of motorists who can't be bothered to yield the right-of-way to first responders driving to an emergency.

HAIL hitler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40162225)

oh wait wrong country and time .....or is it....

A little refresher (2)

jxander (2605655) | more than 2 years ago | (#40162363)

I suggest we all read up on our civil liberties, presumption of innocence, and the 4th, 6th, 9th, 10th and 14th amendments of the constitution. Here's a quick recap, in case anyone slept through school

Presumption of innocence, aka "innocent until proven guilty" under drone surveillance suffers the same as current red light cameras, in that they provide no ability to confront your accuser (more on that later) and they presume guilt. Have you ever received on of those red-light-camera tickets. I've received two, neither for me or my car, and both presuming my guilt and with LENGTHY instructions for how to pay up and plead guilty... and with a tiny little footnote about how to plead innocent. The most recent was over 6 months ago, and I'm *STILL* going through the process. The first one took over a year to deal with. The current system is tantamount to extortion, "pay $500 for this blurry picture that may or may not be your car and might not even show you driving, or spend the next year going back and forth between courts and cops to clear your good name."

Can you imagine this system getting any BETTER for the people with unmarked mobile cameras?

.

Constitutional Amendments -

4 : Protection from unreasonable searches, sets the rules for search warrants and probable cause. - What probable cause do the cops have to potentially tail any person they want, remotely, 24/7, without a warrant? None. If you can get a warrant, you can put a real cop on the case.

6 : Right to a fair trial, and the rights to confront your accuser, obtain witnesses and defend yourself. - How does one confront a drone? How do I obtain witnesses and prove my innocence if a drone accuses me of speeding 3 weeks ago.

9 : Protects all civil rights not stated here. - Basically a catch all that protects you from getting fucked by the government you in ways unforeseen at the time of writing, like using military grade spy hardware to peep on jaywalkers.

10 : Limits the power of government to what is written in the constitution. -The same as 9, from the other direction. The government is not allowed to make up crazy shit that's not in the constitution, like using military grade spy hardware to check up on you.

14 : Privileges and immunities (among other things) which basically repeats 9 and 10, but at the state level. Virginia, or any other state, cannot make any laws which screw with the rights and freedoms granted by the constitution, like using military grade ... yeah you get the idea

. .

Seriously though people. Lets actually examine our rights, examine the governors suggested plan, and think for ourselves if they can exist together.

Finally, ponder for one second how you would feel about less-transparent hardware of this same caliber used here at home. The governor wants MILITARY drones. That's on par with guys in combat fatigues with M-16s and grenades rolling down the street in an M1A1 Abrams. That's on par with Cobras and Apache strike helicopters replacing news choppers in covering high-speed pursuits down the freeway. If that mental image doesn't disturb you in the slightest, I'm not sure what will. This is the exact same level of gear, but some people think it's okay because we can't see it as easily? Really?

Fuck. That.

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