Congress has once again decided that the American people aren’t submitting to enough surveillance and have thus have approved the usage of drones in United States airspace:
Look! Up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It’s … a drone, and it’s watching you. That’s what privacy advocates fear from a bill Congress passed this week to make it easier for the government to fly unmanned spy planes in U.S. airspace.
The FAA Reauthorization Act, which President Obama is expected to sign, also orders the Federal Aviation Administration to develop regulations for the testing and licensing of commercial drones by 2015.
According to some estimates, the commercial drone market in the United States could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars once the FAA clears their use.
The agency projects that 30,000 drones could be in the nation’s skies by 2020.
30,000 drones? Hell they can keep an eye on a large majority of Americans 24/7 with a fleet like that. While privacy advocates are rightfully up in arms I see a far more dangerous outcome to this decision. The drones will obviously be used by police departments for reconnaissance just like they were in North Dakota. In the North Dakota case the drone was used because officer safety was at risk and that excuse will eventually be used to justify the usage of armed drones to take out suspected criminals. Anwar Al-Awlaki and his son were both American citizens killed by drones without so much as charges being brought against them so a precedence has already been set for the usage of armed drones against American citizens. Basically drones will become the new SWAT Team, when a situation looks potentially dangerous and local law enforcement doesn’t want to risk their own skin they’ll just send in an armed drone and blow up whoever is the current target.
Militarization of the police continues to increase and with it the potential of civilian deaths during police operations.