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Thread: DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones

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    DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones

    DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones | Politics and Law - CNET News
    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has customized its Predator drones, originally built for overseas military operations, to carry out at-home surveillance tasks that have civil libertarians worried: identifying civilians carrying guns and tracking their cell phones, government documents show.

    The documents provide more details about the surveillance capabilities of the department's unmanned Predator B drones, which are primarily used to patrol the United States' northern and southern borders, but have been pressed into service on behalf of a growing number of law enforcement agencies including the FBI, the Secret Service, the Texas Rangers, and local police.

    Homeland Security's specifications for its drones, built by San Diego-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, say they "shall be capable of identifying a standing human being at night as likely armed or not," meaning carrying a shotgun or rifle. They also specify "signals interception" technology that can capture communications in the frequency ranges used by mobile phones, and "direction finding" technology that can identify the locations of mobile devices or two-way radios.

    The Electronic Privacy Information Center obtained a partially redacted copy of Homeland Security's requirements for its drone fleet through the Freedom of Information Act and published it this week. CNET unearthed an unredacted copy of the requirements that provides additional information about the aircraft's surveillance capabilities.
    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?

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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?
    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.
    I confess, I did it, I let the dogs out.

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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.
    I understand that very well. I even said "On one hand this seems to be another means to accomplish things they already can do"

    I just have reservations about it being deployed in domestic drones.

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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.
    Your statement about buying stuff to listen in on cell phone conversations is inaccurate and untrue. Since the late 80s early 90s, americans are prohibited from owning such equipment, and it is not sold here.

    It can be purchased in other countries including Canada, but not in the US. Only government agents can possess and operate such equipment.

    With today's all digital format, even if one had such a receiver, there is nothing to hear but white noise, because it's all digital.

    Big Brother can listen and watch, but you may not.

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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?
    Why don't they park one of these drones outside an airport and not make everyone take there shoes off, then?

    Fire 99% of the TSA and just have a few drones fly about.

    Oh, but we can't do that, because personal searches are about conditioning us to letting the government invade our privacy, not actually making anyone safe.

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    Re: DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    Why don't they park one of these drones outside an airport and not make everyone take there shoes off, then?

    Fire 99% of the TSA and just have a few drones fly about.

    Oh, but we can't do that, because personal searches are about conditioning us to letting the government invade our privacy, not actually making anyone safe.
    TSA flying drones in close proximity to passenger aircraft, now that's a scary thought.

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    Re: DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones

    I think it is better to have and not need it most of the time, than it is to need something and not have it.

    Drones doing surveillance is nothing more than what police helicopters do when they track a suspect. If they use drones for this it will make it possible for law enforcement to track more bad guys because a drone is more flexible because it does not need a pilot.

    For people on the ground tracking criminals using a drone should help with the noise pollution a helicopter causes.
    Former military man (and now babysitter of Donald Trump) John Kelly, is a big loud lying empty barrel!

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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 think it would be perfect for search and rescue. Border Patrol is another task they would be well suited for. It's a cheaper alternative to the cost and time required to train pilots for even more expensive helicopters, so there's that to consider as well, especially for police departments with small budgets. I don't really understand why people are so opposed to UAV's, honestly. It's not the Terminator, it's not some big scary monster that fuels its battery cells with the blood of puppies and children, it's just a big R/C airplane with a camera on it. The only difference between a UAV and a conventional aircraft is that the pilot isn't in the UAV during flight.
    I love the NSA. It's like having a secret fan-base you will never see, but they're there, watching everything you write and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside knowing that I may be some person's only form of unconstitutional entertainment one night.

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    Re: DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones

    Quote Originally Posted by Pilot View Post
    I just have reservations about it being deployed in domestic drones.
    Why? There is no moral difference between such equipment being on a manned aircraft or on a drone. Are your reservations based on anything more than an irrational objection to "drones" as a concept due to their bad press in a military context?

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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?
    The real problem is that any one given thing doesn't seem too bad, right? Oh they’re tracking you through your cell phone, and so many other agencies already do that. Well, maybe not the worst thing ever, yes? They can listen in on your conversations. Well that one even by itself isn’t good; the government needs warrant. But you’re not going to get all bent out of shape for the spying and the tracking.

    Now they’re just adding to it, why would you be upset? Lots of State Pleasers and Knee Benders will say such. Why are you upset? The issue is the level to which the State, the government, is aggregating their tracking, spying, and databasing of its own people. It’s not “oh it’s only tracking us through our cell phones” or “well it’s not bad, they only listen into our conversations”. They do both, they track our e-mail, they look up and keep tabs on you. And they’re just adding to it. Now they have the drones, drones will be cheaper, more effective than Helicopters to use.

    Oh…but you’re ok with helicopters, aren’t you? Why are you upset at drone planes, says the Servants of State. Well first off, they already have helicopters, so they don’t need the drones. The helicopters seem a bit more reasonable to people. They don’t fly all the time, they aren’t used for routine surveillance. They’re called in for certain and specific situations to provide aerial surveillance for a current police chase. Not so with the drones, the drones BUILD on what you can do with helicopters, it TAKES IT FARTHER. Slowly but surely the fire under our little pot is being turned up. Drones can maintain constant surveillance, and do it cheaper, easier, stealthier, and more sustainably than helicopters. Their adaptability is crazy. People talk about weapons, but I say you’d better be more scared of optics. There’s plenty of packages they can add to these things that will let them see through walls essentially, to look anywhere they want, whenever they want, and piss off if you don’t like it. Drones are a threat, like it or not, and their abilities will not stop with the simple surveillance the government is positioning itself for now.

    Why should you fight? Why should you resist? Why is there that nagging thought in the back of your head telling you something is wrong? Surely you aren’t upset at the myriad of things the government already can do to spy on you, to pretend that 4th amendment just doesn’t exist. It’s because the aggregation on their power and their ability to bypass the Constitution has grown to such level, it’s finally starting to sink in to a lot of people, it’s becoming so obvious the government cannot hide it much longer. They have aggregated too much power. While we could let any one of these things slide individually, collectively they are TOO MUCH. The government was not meant to have this much freedom, this level of unchecked and unrestrained movement. The drones are just another in the long string of events that turn our water from a warm swim hole to a boiling pot of soup.
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