An Ol' Broad's Ramblings
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.
Is this a declaration of “war” of the federal government on the American citizens? Who gave DHS the authority to use such technology on U.S. citizens? Claiming this will be to track criminals and invaders on the border is all well and good, but these drones can also track law abiding citizens as well. Publius gives us a simple way of learning the enumerated powers of Congress, and of the POTUS. Anything past those listed in the Constitution are unlawful. Giving any of the alphabets the power to spy on us is NOT Constitutional.
Concern about domestic use of drones is growing, with federal legislation introduced last month that would establish legal safeguards, in addition to parallel efforts underway from state and local lawmakers. The Federal Aviation Administration recently said that it will “address privacy-related data collection” by drones.
I think we all recognize the fact that this government is not concerned with privacy issues. Our liberties have been eroded, bit by bit, over the years, especially with this administration. The U.S. was founded as a Constitutional Republic, but is no longer Constitutional, nor a Republic. We are on the verge of complete collapse of what was once the most free nation on the planet. The idea that my government would spy on me, know whether or not I was carrying a weapon for my own protection, tracking me through my phone, is stepping way beyond the bounds of the powers WE granted by the Constitution. I’m no expert on the Constitution, but I would think this would be complete violation of the 4th Amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. (emphasis mine)
It’s my opinion that having a drone watch your every move, is a violation of our God given right to be secure in our person. I don’t remember ever reading in our Constitution that the Federal government had been given the power to spy on our every move.
Although CBP’s unmanned Predator aircraft are commonly called drones, they’re remotely piloted by FAA-licensed operators on the ground. They can fly for up to 20 hours and carry a payload of about 500 lbs.
Why would the FAA need to have a “payload of about 500 lbs”? Are they planning on using them against American citizens?
Added by The Bunker: