Drones. Killer Drones, Spy Drones, Predator Drones, there are all kinds of drones, but they’re just used to track and kill enemies overseas right? WRONG.
Congress passed a bill in February that would have 30,000 surveillance drones in US airspace by 2020. In addition to those, there are Predator Drones being used on our borders right now, and the Justice Department is working with the drone industry to get lightweight drones into the arsenals of metropolitan police and county sheriffs.
Well, ok, so the government is using drones, that’s OK Calamity, there’s oversight and I’m sure they are only used against “bad” people. WRONG. There’s a House committee, the House Unmanned Systems Caucus, looking at the drone rollout in America. Sounds good, but in reality, the members are all receiving campaign contributions from drone manufacturers and Representatives are drooling at the thought of drone bases and drone manufacturing coming to their districts. The caucus hasn’t uttered a peep about domestic liberties or reining in the big brother surveillance. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the price tag for this domestic drone attack is estimated to be $34 Billion.
Drones are proliferating with virtually no governmental oversight.
Yet the mission of the bipartisan drone caucus, which includes liberal and conservative representatives, is not to regulate drone operations but to promote them.
Over the past three years, the concerns of the drone caucus have mirrored the concerns of the drone industry about access to domestic airspace, export controls and the modestly declining military budget.
The lack of oversight over drone operations and the booming international drone industry has alarming implications for war and peace. Drone proliferation is also rapidly advancing on the home front.
Congress recently mandated that the Federal Aviation Administration open up domestic airspace to private and commercial drones by 2015 and that it immediately speed up the licensing process to permit the deployment of government (military, homeland security and law enforcement) drones in commercial U.S. airways.
Drones can be as small as model aircraft or have the wingspan of a full-size jet and are operated remotely by pilots. The USAF intelligence brief says that if any of those drones should “accidentally” capture footage of Americans, the data can be stored for three months to be scrutinized by the Pentagon. No warrant, no consent, just pure 1984-style surveillance on US soil. As drones become a weapon to use against American citizens, it’s time to educate yourself and think about ways to protect your family and your information from them. If history has taught us anything, it’s that governments abuse their powers. 30,000 drones is a lot of potential abuse. Will they watch farmers to tally up potential food stores? Will they watch “terrorists” and track their weapons and food preparations? Will they be watching YOU?
– Calamity Jane