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Thread: DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones

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    Re: DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones

    Probably for joint use with the BATF to watch for poor people buying a gun so they can sniper them from the air by remote control.

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    Re: DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones

    Quote Originally Posted by BMCM View Post
    You can go to any electronics store and buy stuff to listen in on cell phone conversations. GPS tracking has been available for years. OnStar does it, Police, Fire etc can do it. This is nothing new.
    Sure, you can go buy that stuff off the rack. But if the police want to do it, they have to get this thing called a warrant. The military has the capability to listen to... all sorts of things, and there are very strict laws about doing that listening over American soil, on American citizens. If the police ping the gps on your phone to track it, they have to have a documented "life or limb" scenario, and by documented, I mean they have to fill out documents toward that end that end up in the case file (they cannot simply ping any phone they want for any reason they want).

    Having this stuff on a drone is one thing; having this stuff on a drone that flies exclusively over American airspace is quite another. Additionally, there are hard-and-fast rules (otherwise knows as laws) on the books governing the military and the police how they use technology like this. As far as I know, no such laws are in place to govern other government agencies, and with the Patriot Act in place... I'm not sure if any regulations would even matter.

    No sir, I don't like it one bit.
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    Re: DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones

    Quote Originally Posted by Pilot View Post
    TSA flying drones in close proximity to passenger aircraft, now that's a scary thought.
    May very well be closer to the truth than you think.

    "The FAA is investigating a report... he saw a small, unmanned or remote-controlled aircraft while on final approach to Runway 31 Right," according a statement sent to CNN by FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown. "The sighting was approximately four to five miles west of the airport at an altitude of approximately 1,500 feet," she said.

    That description puts the aircraft somewhere over Brooklyn and on the other side of the airport from where the plane was coming in for a landing.

    Pilot reports spotting 'drone' over Brooklyn - CNN.com

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    Re: DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones

    Of course if were revealed that there was a terror group on the run up to an imminent attack in the US or that there was possibly a loose nuke believed somewhere in the lower 48, people would be screaming, "We spend trillions of dollars on defense. Why do we not have the capability to deal with these threats?"

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    Re: DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones

    I'm not okay with the tracking and interception equipment in helicopters. However I am not aware of it being used domestically in any law enforcement or government aircraft. To the best of my knowledge, this would be the first time it is used domestically.

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    Re: DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones

    Quote Originally Posted by Pilot View Post
    DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones | Politics and Law - CNET News


    On one hand this seems to be another means to accomplish things they already can do. Determining whether or not someone is armed with a long gun seems perfectly reasonable. However I don't particularly like the signal interception and tracking portions. What do you think?
    I am missing something that the article implies happened, but i see no evidence of it. the article seems to imply that the drones are specially built for requirements stated by DHS, but a list of the specifications on the drones does not make it a request by the DHS to have these things. The specification list is just a list of what the drones have on them. I understand the concern on that, but the article implies something far more sinister, where the evidence just shows the DHS has a bunch of drones with these specifications.

    I would have to imagine that drones made for our military fighting terrorism on foreign soil would have the ability to spot armed people, and have the ability to listen in on 2 way and cellular broadcasts. Saying those things were specially added for DHS seems like a bold faced lie unless someone can show us that military drones cannot do these things. If it is the case that DHS just got a bunch of standard military drones that actually makes sense, and is far less sinister than the article makes it sound. The article does not do it's job of proving DHS gets drones with special abilities most drones do not have.

    As for the government needing drones to listen in on your cell phone calls, that is really stupid. Seriously, they are broadcast signals. unless your cell phone is without connection to the provider, which would make it useless, they could monitor you with an old pinto equipped with the equipment that they already have. These are not devices running over wired systems they would need physical access to, they broadcast signals through the air. Even if they are having trouble in the US, I cannot imagine how that would be, they could simply go to the provider.

    in legal terms you have little to no legitimate expectation of privacy on broadcast signals. Even the claims that it is illegal to own cell phone monitoring equipment by private citizens would not give you an expectation of privacy. You may think your cell phone conversations and wireless broadcasts are private, but the law doesn't. You have to remember it is like using a huge megaphone to send those signals, and that is not private. If you really are concerned about privacy from the government you should probably do some actual study regarding what you do and what they do, along with the laws and judicial interpretations of privacy. The beliefs many people have bout their privacy are best equated with the king's clothes analogy. In other words, you are probably exposed and have no idea.

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    Re: DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones

    Quote Originally Posted by Gonzo Rodeo View Post
    Sure, you can go buy that stuff off the rack. But if the police want to do it, they have to get this thing called a warrant. The military has the capability to listen to... all sorts of things, and there are very strict laws about doing that listening over American soil, on American citizens. If the police ping the gps on your phone to track it, they have to have a documented "life or limb" scenario, and by documented, I mean they have to fill out documents toward that end that end up in the case file (they cannot simply ping any phone they want for any reason they want).

    Having this stuff on a drone is one thing; having this stuff on a drone that flies exclusively over American airspace is quite another. Additionally, there are hard-and-fast rules (otherwise knows as laws) on the books governing the military and the police how they use technology like this. As far as I know, no such laws are in place to govern other government agencies, and with the Patriot Act in place... I'm not sure if any regulations would even matter.

    No sir, I don't like it one bit.
    If that scares you, then you really don't want to open your eyes. They don't have to go through all that effort if you turn on broadcasts. They do not have to ping anything if you are broadcasting. All they really have to do is wait for you to want to call someone and then you are broadcasting for them. They do not need to send your phone a request to send a signal when you do it for them. Some people even turn on their GPS trackers for their friends and family to see where they are. If you are using your GPS system to plot your course, you are sending the signals yourself.

    It is not hard to track someone when you give them toys they want to use that let you track them. If you really do not want the government tracking your movements you need to toss the cell phone registered to your name, and screw having a car that in onstar capable or has it's own GPS. They are fun toys people don't like living without, but that is how they can easily get around laws and privacy concerns if they want to track you. in the end if you are not doing much these things are creepy but not terribly dangerous to you.

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    Re: DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones

    Quote Originally Posted by Gonzo Rodeo View Post
    Sure, you can go buy that stuff off the rack. But if the police want to do it, they have to get this thing called a warrant. The military has the capability to listen to... all sorts of things, and there are very strict laws about doing that listening over American soil, on American citizens. If the police ping the gps on your phone to track it, they have to have a documented "life or limb" scenario, and by documented, I mean they have to fill out documents toward that end that end up in the case file (they cannot simply ping any phone they want for any reason they want).

    Having this stuff on a drone is one thing; having this stuff on a drone that flies exclusively over American airspace is quite another. Additionally, there are hard-and-fast rules (otherwise knows as laws) on the books governing the military and the police how they use technology like this. As far as I know, no such laws are in place to govern other government agencies, and with the Patriot Act in place... I'm not sure if any regulations would even matter.

    No sir, I don't like it one bit.
    Exactly what I was trying to say, only articulated much better.

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    Re: DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones

    Quote Originally Posted by BMCM View Post
    You can go to any electronics store and buy stuff to listen in on cell phone conversations. GPS tracking has been available for years. OnStar does it, Police, Fire etc can do it. This is nothing new.
    Clubbing people in the head has been around since the caveman days. That doesnt mean we should right it into law. Stuff like OP is enabling through wordsmithing (the topic not the OP himself). Its "not spying" if the info is "easily and readily available info". So to insert the "spying" aspect "legal" through law they just make all the spying easily and readily available.
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    Re: DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones

    On the surface I also like the idea of police having access to this tool. I also think the faster ones could be useful in high speed chases. Instead of the police chasing after a fleeing suspect, thus endangering the public, they could hang back and let the drone follow. The suspect likely wouldn’t even know he was being followed.

    But I also am very concerned for potential abuses. Maybe if Internal Affairs gets to have them as well to follow the cops around.

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