Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty

Center For Democracy And Technology Speaks Out Against Drones

April 2, 2012 by  

Center For Democracy And Technology Speaks Out Against Drones
The skies may be opened up for private or commercial use of drones in the near future.

It’s a bird… it’s a plane… it’s a surveillance drone? The signing of the Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 will likely open the skies to drones of all kinds. Businesses and individuals alike will be able to have drones at their disposal in the near future. Currently, more than 300 temporary licenses have been issued.

The statute deals with the details of the drones, such as their size and the altitude at which they can fly, but it fails to address privacy issues.

The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) issued a statement recently about the lack of privacy and liberty afforded by the legislation. Harley Geiger, speaking on behalf of CDT, wrote in a statement released on March 27: “The FAA is ready to start issuing a lot more drone licenses, now that Congress passed a law requiring the agency to open the skies to government and private drones of all kinds within a few years. Yet nothing in the drone law requires the FAA to create any privacy protections.”

Geiger has said the drones could be equipped with facial recognition cameras and license plate detectors. He approves of the drones as long as they stay within the realm of law enforcement. However, he notes that that they could easily be used to survey the public.

Bryan Nash

Staff writer Bryan Nash has devoted much of his life to searching for the truth behind the lies that the masses never question. He is currently pursuing a Master's of Divinity and is the author of The Messiah's Misfits, Things Unseen and The Backpack Guide to Surviving the University. He has also been a regular contributor to the magazine Biblical Insights.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Center For Democracy And Technology Speaks Out Against Drones”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at

  • cawun cents

    Somebody sold their soul to the company store huh?
    So they are going to need facial recognition software?
    If they have electronic signature software,why would they need facial recognition software?

    “Gee Wally,if they have injected me with nanobots,and I make a certain electronic squelch,why would I need to wear a disguise to keep em’ from knowin who I am?”

    “You wont need a disguise Beaver,you cant hide from them that way anymore.That electronic signature….heck its like shining a flashlight in the closet,and they’ll know its you by the signal you put out.You could look like Phyllis Diller and they’d still know it was you.”

    “I dont know if I like that idea Wally,how can a guy get out of havin’ that happen to em’?”

    “You cant Beaver……it may be in the food or in the water,or when you visit the doctor,or even sprayed on you from a plane or somethin’,who knows?Then they can just tell that drone to find you and you’re gonna get found.”

    “So what else do they got….like some kinda DNA recognition software or something Wally?”

    “You bet Beaver….they’ve got all the bases covered and they are gonna hit a grand slam every time.”

    Ah,the subtle nuances of todays emerging technologies.
    A veritable grab bag of privacy invasion,and a “nowhere to run to baby,nowhere to hide”connotation that comes along with it.
    Magnificent isnt it?
    You folks arent the only ones allowed to have new toys.
    Just think of what life will be like for truly oppressesd folk who are just a source of amusement for their leaders?Or perhaps a drug-crazed cartel captain who wants to amuse himself with a show of force,by blowing folks up with a drone?
    Who will be able to purchase these neat new pieces of technological fancy?
    We dont need drones.
    They are just a drop in the bucket.
    Eventually there wont be a need for money.
    Electronic signature software and DNA recognition software,will tell the merchant what you are worth.I believe there was a book that made this prediction two millenia ago,but I wont bother quoting that particular passage to enlighten folks who dont care.
    Just keep on listening to the history channel,or perhaps this week you can electronically purchase the suppository version,and eliminate the middle man.
    Then when you learn that everything will come in the form of a suppository later,it wont bother you so much.
    I look forward to Roseanne Barr farting the words to the national anthem.

  • http://none chuck

    RF Id chips can be burnt out with microwaves. Think!

    • Sirian

      Enjoy the microwave chuck, RFID chips are on their way to the “nano” scale and eventually they will be within your body. Check out this article. . .

    • Robert Smith

      Why is an SR-71 Blackbird pictured as a drone?


      • Michael Beglin

        Because it is probably the most beautiful aircraft ever made?

      • http://naver samurai

        Who cares? FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

      • Sirian

        The SR-71’s (retired) primary function was surveillance – the same as a Predator. As to why they tacked a cropped pic of it instead of a Predator doesn’t really matter. Each are surveillance platforms with but one exception. SR-71’s were unarmed, surveillance only, Predators are armed with missiles used to attack targets when decided to do so. SR-71’s flew at 80,000+ whereas Predators are a low level surveillance/weapons platform. Predators do not fly anywhere near the same speeds as a SR-71. Predators are equipped with “Turtle Drive”, you know, they just mosey along in comparison. But again, as to why they used that pic doesn’t really matter all that much. Your guess is as good as anyones.

  • Deerinwater

    This technology is practical, over the self and affordable. It’s here to stay.

    When they start invading your house with them, we’ve got a problem.

  • Holton F. Brown

    I think that the government, in order to protect the masses, should have the right to use drone aircraft to monitor same .. and by the way .. the photo at the beginning of this take is not a drone .. it’s a close cropped shot of an SR-71.. which is a full-sized manned aircraft …
    drones are usedd now for monitoring the borders against illegal aliens and drug smuggling as well as tracking idiots that steal cattle ,,,,,

    • Sirian

      You just don’t get it. Drones flying around, over cities, inter-state highways or anywhere else they may wish to direct them to is not what is overly acceptable as “protecting the masses”. Then again, are you so sure it wouldn’t be “controlling the masses”? Do you honestly have any idea as to the surveillance power these drones have? Besides, there is a tremendous difference between an SR-71 and a Predator. Predators are low level (altitude) surveillance systems proven quite useful and capable at a much lower cost. You can probably buy a dozen Predators (if not more) for what one SR-71 used to sell for. Which in turn provides a much broader range of information that can be accumulated. Keep in mind, SR-71’s were unarmed – Predators carry Hell Fire missiles. There are plenty of videos available on YouTube of missile strikes from Predators over in Afghanistan and Iraq. With that being the case then who’s to say they could not do the exact same thing on any of us? Since NDAA now exists the government has the power to do so. But if you approve of their usage over us, fine. Just remember, the possibility exists and besides, you’d never see it coming. . .

      • 45caliber


        You are wrong. The drones certainly “protect the masses” who live in Washington …

      • Sirian

        Ooopppsss, sorry. . . :)

    • Doug

      Very much like police who carry guns; they aren’t arrrying them for your protection. They carry them for their own protection. The SR-71 shown in the photo is simply put there as an example of the most effective surveillance aircraft ever built (as far as we know or as far as we have built, openly). Do we know what “other” cultures have been using to surveille the inhabitants of this planet? I should add that any government who allows (and manages) firearms to be distributed to drug cartels and who actually operates cocaine smuggling operations to fund war, is capable of anything. We truly are living in a totalitarian society. The only reason that this is kept semi-secret is that the citizens seem to be asleep and simply wish not to admit it. We are proud to call ourselves a Democratic Republic while our leaders treat us like disposable pawns. We no longer actually elect our leaders, via clear thinking, since we are so completely hypnotized and manipulated by media and a totally immoral surrounding. People have lost sight of the fact that we ARE the government and that dependance upon ANY government assistance is self destructive, both individually and collectively. We have become a society of fools with an education system “managed” by union thugs and corrupt politicians. Our earnings are distributed to the most non-productive portions of society based upon race and vote blocks. We pay for the shredding of the unborn and see them as a burden to our depraved lifestyles. We are to blame for our own Godless path. As Einstein wrote …The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who allow it and who do nothing.

      • Michael Beglin

        Well said. My only disagreement with you would be that you do not have to have a god to lead a moral life. We should depend upon ourselves. If you have to get your guidelines of right and wrong from a 2,000 year-old book written from non-eyewitness information, then you are seriously messed up in the first place.

        Everyone except the insane knows right from wrong, unless you are a politician. They get told what is right by their corporate owners.

    • Michael Beglin

      This has nothing to do with “protecting the masses”, and everything to do with monitoring the masses. There is a huge difference. This is nothing but a blatant invasion of our privacy, and is being helped along by the cowards among us.

      People that want to be watched for their own safety are simply cowards, and should frankly stay indoors if they are that afraid. Our government is not here to spy on us. That is not what it is for, but it is what it is becoming. You cannot be protected from life.

      “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
      Ben Franklin

      What happened to the people of our country? We used to be afraid of nothing, and now we allow drones to spy on us “for our own good”. What a crock. America is becoming a nation of cowards.

      We need to keep on our “representatives” until this is no longer allowed. This is just another step by our “government” in its War on Americans. This war started under Nixon with the War on Drugs, and has been creeping into different parts of our lives ever since. I sometimes think that our government is trying to see how far they can push us before we finally have had enough. They are rapidly approaching that point.

  • Big Woody

    The drones are just one more step in total loss of privacy for Americans. When you combine the drones with backscatter technoligy. They now have the ability to not only observe everything you do from the air, but can now x-ray everything you own inside your home, just like the naked (x-ray) searches at the airport. If the police are using this technoligy, they (in theory) must have a search warrant. If private companies are using this stuff for quote MARKET RESEARCH end quote, then our case for invasion of privacy might be weaker. Are we going to have to put lead layers in our roofs and walls just so we can have privacy in our own homes? Or should we just all move into caves? Remember, WE voted these people into the offices they have used to enact such violations of our Constitutional Rights.

    • 45caliber


      Well, a limp lead barrier (1/32″ of lead nailed to your studs and rafters) will certainly help sound-proof your house so it may be the new requirement of house design for the future.

    • Michael Beglin

      Yes. Everything that is happening now is our fault for letting our government do them to us. I personally will be voting against every incumbent on the ballot this year. Without term limits for these sell-outs, that is our only option. That is, until they take voting away from us.

  • nick beck

    replace clay pigeons with drones–big drones , bigger guns could be a new american hobby—i taut i taw a fesant a flying over me he he he …

    • bulldogpi

      Boy that’s an intellectual coment….

    • Robert Smith

      Posted: “replace clay pigeons with drones–big drones ,”

      What do I call a sky-diving lawyer?



  • 45caliber

    When you consider that over 60% of all American spy satellites are pointed at the US, why bother to get concerned about drones watching you too? Everything you do is photographed every four seconds and has been since the late 1960′s/ early 70′s.

  • bulldogpi

    I don’t quite really buy the argument here.

    Drones aren’t capable of doing anything that LE (as well as private investigators) can’t already do via helicopters, planes, etc….

    The difference is that the drones enable us to do it so much cheaper, and granted, quieter. So it does make aerial surveillance more practical, but it’s not creating a new threat to personal privacy. A threat to personal privacy via aerial surveillance and imagery has existed for quite some time.

    If you have an issue with drone use, then you might want to also address goodyear and fuji film working out agreements with ‘homeland security’ in the name of the public good. Also, please discuss or address all the cameras showing up at intersections complements of your local PD. Don’t sit there and single drones out.

    • 45caliber

      Keep in mind that these drones will NOT be used to solve crime. An attempt was made to use the satellite photos to solve crimes and the feds almost came unglued. They didn’t want to let the general public know they were being watched that much. These are meant to give the athorities a heads-up when bands of angry citizens begin to form with tar and feathers…

      • Shivertothink

        So true 45.. NDAA Fodder.. Watch out! Those good o’boys are about to become nastier. Drones.. Who needs the ‘thought’ police?

    • Big Woody

      Sorry to tell yo but I will single drones out and I will single traffic cams out and I will single backscatter x-ray vans out andI will single out the TSA at the airport and I will single out Obama care mandating I pay for his version of insurance. I will fight each and every battle as if it were the only battle until they pry my copy of the Constitution from my fingers.

  • nick beck

    speed cams had a VERY short shelf life in upstate new york and other areas–used to be that stop signs took a beating up to the time some found more interesting things cummon now lets move to the next interesting thing–intersection cams etc

    • 45caliber

      They do make better targets than stop signs. Those were too easy to hit …

  • Phoenix

    just a “what if” here…
    spy equipment in the form of flying nanobots that fly in any crack, under the door, through the window screen…so tiny you can’t even see them with the unaided eye…
    think about it…

    • 45caliber

      That is exactly where they are headed.

  • fastfood

    I wonder what will happen when folks start shooting these little snooper troopers out of the air. I wonder how much of the air above my back yard is actually MY air space.


Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.