In February, Congress approved a bill allowing up to 30,000 spy drones to be deployed over american soil by 2020. In late April US Law Enforcement Agencies were given approval by the FAA to use unmanned spy drones for mass surveillance. More than 50 non-military organizations in the country have been granted permission to fly. FBI, Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Some Police Departments, and even some universities. It is thought that many of institutions, which include Cornell, the University of Colorado, Georgia Tech, and Eastern Gateway Community College, are developing drone technology.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation civil liberty group warned that the use of drones poses a serious threat to personal privacy. You can’t really blame them for feeling this way. 30,000 drones over 50 states (excluding territories) is equal to 600 drones per state. With smaller states in the North East I’m sure you will have less there, and more in larger states. You could have upwards of 1000 drones flying over Texas or California, at any one time.
The use of drones to keep an eye on American citizens is just the next step in what has become the move towards a so-called “surveillance society” that is growing rampant in the U.S.
Barry Steinhardt, director of the ACLU’s Technology and Liberty Program, says while the widening use of video cameras in American society may have helped nab some criminals, they often provide a false sense of security.
“It’s the illusion of security … public authorities like to give the impression they are doing something about crime and terrorism,” he told Wired.com.
Furthermore, are we comfortable with being constantly under surveillance?
“Do we want a society where an innocent individual can’t walk down the street without being considered a potential criminal?” asks the ACLU, on its Web site.
The video below gives some exact wording from the bill that was passed.