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Full Version: Bill Clears Path For 30,000 Surveillance Drones Over USA....enjoy your privacy now!
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Quote:Bill Clears Path For 30,000 Surveillance Drones Over US In Next Ten Years
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Ready to see drones flying over your house? A new bill passed by Congress will give commercial, private and military unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) greatly increased access to U.S. airspace that’s currently reserved only for manned planes.
Right now drones are mostly limited to the U.S.-Mexico border and military airspace, as well as use by around 300 public agencies located far away from cities and airports. That is now scheduled to change by September 30, 2015.



A bill passed in by Congress this week paves the way for the use of surveillance drones in US skies. The FAA predicts that by 2020 there could be up to 30,000 drones in operation.

Once signed by president Obama, the FAA Reauthorization Act allows for the FAA to permit the use of drones and develop regulations for testing and licensing by 2015.
The bill will exponentially speed up and streamline the process by which the FAA authorizes the use of drones by federal, state and local police and other government agencies. Currently, the FAA issues a certificate on a case by case basis.

The legislation represents the result of a huge push by the military industrial complex to open up US skies to what will become a multi-million dollar business.
The American Civil Liberties Union warned Monday that the legislation could severely undermine Americans’ privacy.
“Unfortunately, nothing in the bill would address the very serious privacy issues raised by drone aircraft,” Jay Stanley of the ACLU said. “This bill would push the nation willy-nilly toward an era of aerial surveillance without any steps to protect the traditional privacy that Americans have always enjoyed and expected.”

“We don’t want to wonder, every time we step out our front door, whether some eye in the sky is watching our every move.” the ACLU statement reads.
“The bottom line is: domestic drones are potentially extremely powerful surveillance tools, and that power — like all government power — needs to be subject to checks and balances,” Stanley concluded. “We hope that Congress will carefully consider the privacy implications that this technology can lead to.”

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) re-iterated those privacy concerns, noting that the bill has “implications for surveillance by government agencies.”
The EFF is suing the FAA to obtain records of which agencies were granted certificates to operate drones in the past year, following a refusal by the federal agency to disclose which agencies have the certificates and for what purpose.

Other privacy advocates also share concern over the legislation.
“Currently, the only barrier to the routine use of drones for persistent surveillance are the procedural requirements imposed by the FAA for the issuance of certificates,” said Amie Stepanovich, national security counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC).



The main focus of the bill is the FAA’s adoption of NextGen, a program that will allow commercial aircraft to install and use GPS technology for steeper, more efficient take-offs and landings instead of the ridiculously outdated way things are done now. All in all, this should help make air travel a lot more time efficient.
We shouldn’t, however, ignore the implications of letting drones into airspace that was previously off-limits. While the military and local police forces have long been able to use UAVs in operations on U.S. soil, the prospect of commercial and privately owned drones presents plenty of new questions.
First, there’s the issue of privacy. Rigging a cheap drone with a video camera was no problem for an Occupy protestor; how hard would it be for someone with deeper pockets to finance a drone with even more powerful surveillance equipment to monitor, well, who knows what? How will we know what purposes any private citizen has for deploying a drone overhead?
Then there are the corporations. Forbes points out that companies like Google could ditch their Street View cars and start deploying advanced, autonomous drones to roam the country for incredibly thorough mapping. If the idea of fleets of corporate-owned drones monitoring us from above doesn’t scare you, then you are a much less paranoid person than I.
Safety is the other unmanned albatross in the room. According to the Associated Press, “Within nine months of the bill’s passage, the FAA is required to submit a plan on how to safely provide drones with expanded access.”
What will that entail? The Air Line Pilots Association thinks that all drone operators should have the same amount of training as pilots, a standard that would eliminate a lot of potential drone enthusiasts and force corporations to hire pilots (which we would hope they would do anyway). It seems like a sound idea.
In the end, drones are going to have a lot less leeway when it comes to crashing. If a pilot crashes through someone’s roof and dies, it’s an unpredictable tragedy. If a drone crashes through someone’s roof and explodes? Expect plenty of moral outrage. Let’s hope the lawmakers err on the side of caution, lest one downed drone ruin it for everybody.
http://forum.canucks.com/topic/322967-bi...ten-years/







The legislation represents the result of a huge push by the military industrial complex to open up US skies to what will become a multi-million dollar business.

The American Civil Liberties Union warned Monday that the legislation could severely undermine Americans’ privacy.



“Unfortunately, nothing in the bill would address the very serious privacy issues raised by drone aircraft,”

“This bill would push the nation willy-nilly toward an era of aerial surveillance without any steps to protect the traditional privacy that Americans have always enjoyed and expected.”


Jay Stanley of the ACLU said.

http://destructionist.wordpress.com/tag/...veillance/
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