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California’s Drone Rush

March 27, 2013 by  

California’s Drone Rush

State agencies in California are working feverishly to declare a large area in the southern portion of the State as a “drone zone” where unmanned aircraft can be tested.

The San Diego Military Advisory Council (SDMAC) and the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC) filed an application with the Federal Aviation Administration to create the drone zone. The groups reportedly believe that being on the forefront of drone development will help the financially suffering State stimulate its economy.

The drone industry in San Diego County alone is worth roughly $1.3 billion and growing. Major drone producer Northrup Grumman has relocated branches of its drone program to other areas of Southern California; and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, which produces Predator drones, is located in Poway.

Other States are following California’s lead in attempting to garner a chunk of the $10 billion dollar drone industry. About 40 applications have been or are being filed with the FAA by various groups throughout the Nation.

The American Civil Liberties Union, a constant voice of concern over privacy with regard to drones, issued a statement this week calling for clear rules before the unmanned aircraft take to the skies.

It reads, in part: “Unmanned aircraft carrying cameras raise the prospect of a significant new avenue for the surveillance of American life … The technology is quickly becoming cheaper and more powerful, interest in deploying drones among police departments in increasing, and our privacy laws are not strong enough to ensure that the new technology will be used responsibly and consistently with constitutional values.

“We need a system of rules to ensure that Americans can enjoy the benefits of this technology without bringing our country a large step closer to a ‘surveillance society.”’

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • Warrior

    And what other kind of response would one expect from the “legal factory” than to “produce” more laws? Just the kind of response our “elected” leaders love to hear. As soon as you get back from your “recesses” you can get yourself “busy” killing more trees. Dolts!

  • Vigilant

    Every once in a while the ACLU is correct…then again, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  • STEVE E.

    I wonder if I could get a job flying drones. I already fly radio control airplanes. There is nothing more exciting than to fly over and around people taking their pictures, and then kill them.

  • Dave

    LOL… scary stuff indeed… LOL you have uncovers such a horrible thing the gov has been doing haven’t you?

    Newsflash, CA and AZ are both going after this business because they have had this business for a long time. Why? Large areas of open desert spaces to test this technology. Where would you have them test this and other technologies? Does anyone here know anything about Palmdale CA? Fort Huachuca AZ?

    No, I don’t think any of you do… Its only where some of the most top secret technology is tested and where our spy apparatus is located.

    Sam has uncovered something that has been in place for DECADES.

    Wow! Awesome job there.

    Somebody get the medal of freedom ready…

  • FreedomFighter

    What about the drone program for US Soil?

    In an essay published by the United States Army Combined Arms Center, Pryer laments how the use of unmanned drones – which kill 50 innocent civilian for every suspected terrorist – are perpetuating wars and endangering America’s global reputation. He then makes a stark warning that the drone strike program is merely a pre-cursor to the kind of nightmare technocracy depicted in the Terminator movies.

    “It seems heart-breakingly obvious that future generations will someday look back upon the last decade as the start of the rise of the machines,” writes Pryer, adding that the US government is developing, “robots so advanced that they make today’s Predators and Reapers look positively impotent and antique. These killer robots, though, will share one thing in common with their primitive progenitors: with remorseless purpose, they will stalk and kill any human deemed “a legitimate target” by their controllers and programmers.”

    drone strike program is merely a pre-cursor to the kind of nightmare technocracy depicted in the Terminator movies.

    nothing more exciting than to fly over and around people taking their pictures, and then kill them.–Steve E.

  • Dave


    There is a legitimate danger of having some person in an office controlling these drones in the theater of war. But these drones do not act alone. There are usually people on the ground “lighting” up the target to be hit so that helps know the target better.

    War is war, there is no such thing as a “clean” war. Innocents get hurt and killed no matter how much the Gov tries to tell us otherwise. But to say the gov will use drones to spy and kill Americans is a fantastic leap and one that I am not ready to say is anywhere near happening.

    That said, we can help keep the gov under the people’s control better by eliminating big money in the political process. Big money in the political process and lobbying by the wealthy are the biggest threats to this country.

  • Dan Mancuso

    I watchd the video of those ‘developing’ robots on info wars – absolutely terrifyng! I’m sure that as those images become more commonplace in our conciousness, that terror will recede with familiarity…

  • Michael Shreve

    Big Brother started this way.

  • JimH

    Hi Vigilant, And so far the broken watch is still up by one.

  • JimH

    We all know in a bee hive what a drone is. Why wouldn’t California be a drone zone?

  • FreedomFighter

    Even so…the ability for those robots to deal death will only improve, not recede, even if our awareness does – actually this creates an even more dangerous environment for Americans.

    Laus Deo
    Semper FI

  • vicki

    Dave writes:
    “But to say the gov will use drones to spy and kill Americans is a fantastic leap and one that I am not ready to say is anywhere near happening.”

    No need to leap into the future. The event, gov uses drones to spy and kill Americans, is a past tense. It’s here already.

    Now that you are up on current events how say you about “ready”?

  • vicki
  • Dave


    That American was in Yemen taking up arms against the United States. Slight difference.

  • vicki

    Dave. You didn’t specify location nor guilt. You ignored the fact that there was an innocent American killed too. Thus my observation remains un-challenged. US Government drones killing Americans (without even an attempt at due process) is a part of history not a future prediction.

  • vicki
  • Deerinwater

    I see a day went drone will be used in medicine. Ready or not ~ the future will be full of drones of all sorts and for many different purposes.

    Are we ready for a bio drone today? ~ I think not.

    Science fiction has been showing us the future for the last 70 years . ~ Don’t worry ~ it will not affect us but future generations.

    What we see today ~ is more or less little more the “crank handle” for a “T Model” Ford. ~ a beginning to another way of taking care of business.

    ooooo ~ scary!


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