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Past, Unpublicized Spy Drone Programs Reveal Surveillance Could Already Be Under Way

March 1, 2013 by  

Past, Unpublicized Spy Drone Programs Reveal Surveillance Could Already Be Under Way

There could already be a drone conducting surveillance in the skies above your city, according to documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that discuss a series of surveillance drone tests carried out by the U.S. Marshals Service that have gone unreported for more than seven years.

The documents were obtained through an ACLU Freedom of Information Act request filed in October. The request sought records from five Federal agencies — the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the General Services Administration and the Air Force — pertaining to drone funding, capability, surveillance and domestic use.

The USMS provided a heavily redacted document that explained:

USMS Technical Operations Group’s UAV Program provides a highly portable, rapidly deployable overhead collection device that will provide a multi-role surveillance platform to assist in [redacted] detection of targets.

…This developmental program is designed to provide [redacted] in support of TOG [presumably the agency’s Technical Operations Group] investigations and operations. This surveillance solution can be deployed during [multiple redactions] to support ongoing tactical operations.

ACLU reported that while USMS officials claimed to have uncovered 30 pages of drone-related material, only the above information was provided.

ACLU said in a statement: “It is surprising that what seems like a small-scale experiment remained hidden from the public until our FOIA unearthed it. Even more surprising is that seven years after the program was discontinued, the Marshals still refuse to disclose almost any records about it.”

Meanwhile, the Electronic Frontier Foundation updated its list of authorized drone flight sites throughout the Nation. The list contains more than 20 new entities — including law enforcement agencies, universities and even an Indian tribal agency — that have been authorized for drone flights since the FAA published a list of sites last year.

Some new drone license applicants are:

  • The State Department.
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
  • Barona Band of Mission Indians Risk Management Office (near San Diego).
  • Canyon County Sheriff’s Office (Idaho).
  • Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office (Northwest Oregon).
  • Grand Forks Sheriff’s Department (North Dakota).
  • King County Sheriff’s Office (covering Seattle).

With local law enforcement as well as Federal agencies like USMS seemingly gearing up with spy drones, a number of lawmakers are scrambling to update personal privacy laws to protect American citizens’ 4th Amendment rights.

One bipartisan legislative proposal sponsored earlier this month by Representatives Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) would require law enforcement to prove drone use was based exclusively on criminal wrongdoing. They would also be forced to seek judicial approval and, in many cases, a search warrant before taking to the skies with drones. The bill would also flatly prohibit the use of armed drones.

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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  • Harold Olsen

    Here in Seattle, Mayor McIdiot…I mean, Mayor McGinn…has said that he won’t allow the drones to be used. However, I read somewhere that Holder’s Justice Department is planning on overruling cities who won’t allow them. Holder has apparently said it’s a federal matter and cities will not have any say in it, even though cities were told that it would be up to them whether or not they used them.

    • VENOM

      I am waiting for someone with a sniper rifle to start taking them down, I will laugh my ass off…..

  • Howard C

    I seem to remember a book written by this guy named George Orwell, but I can’t remember the name of the book… What was it again?? You know… they made a movie of it. OH YEAH… 1984. That guy George Orwell was pretty smart. Here we are on the leading edge of what he predicted.

    • omanuel

      You are exactly right.

      The destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Aug 1945 scared world leaders into

      a.) Promptly forming the United Nations on 24 Oct 1945 to save themselves and the world from nuclear annihilation (without considering the foolishness of their decision):

      b.) Eliminating national boundaries, national constitutions, and national governments that people like our founding fathers had created in 1776, and

      c.) Promoting false information on the energy [1] stored in cores of
      _ 1. Heavy atoms like uranium and plutonium,
      _ 2. Some planets like Jupiter and Saturn,
      _ 3. Ordinary stars like the Sun, and
      _ 4. Galactic centers like the Milky Way

      d.) Destroying the foundation of the scientific method for producing reliable information on which to base government policies, and

      e.) Ultimately destroying their own ability to govern.

      George Orwell and Fred Hoyle apparently worked together in 1946 to try to get a warning message to society about the tyrannical government that would engulf our planet by “1984.”.

      Most scientists did not take this warning seriously until Climategate emails and documents revealed that global temperature data had been manipulated for thirty years to create the illusion of CO2-induced global warming (AGW).

      What a sad, sad fate for mankind. Our leaders have selfishly destroyed their own ability to lead..

      With deep regrets,
      - Oliver K. Manuel
      Former NASA Principal
      Investigator for Apollo

      [1] “Neutron repulsion”

    • Bonnie Robles

      Every one needs to read this book.It was required reading in my high school in the 70′s.

      • javamann

        Don’t miss out on ‘Animal Farm’!

  • Gary L

    “They would also be forced to seek judicial approval and, in many cases, a search warrant before taking to the skies with drones.”
    Oh, right! We have every reason to believe and trust the government. After all, they are only looking out for us.

    • empty pockets

      We have long since passed the time when there are so many laws and regulations that virtually every single person can be deemed a “law breaker” if the STATE is out to get them. And as the article states…this began over 7 years ago, BEFORE Obama. As in other progressive ideas began by his predecessor, he has no problem keeping any Bush program that advances the prog/communist/statist agenda.

      • javamann

        Stossel says it all:

        They will stop at nothing.
        Millions will be spent to get one small business that had been running for years.
        Lawyer says even he doesn’t understand the LAW!
        Tens of thousands of new ones every year.
        Ron Paul tried to get congress members to sign a note that they had read a bill, before they signed it: He repeatedly failed!

      • vicki

        “Ron Paul tried to get congress members to sign a note that they had read a bill, before they signed it: He repeatedly failed!”

        Add your voice to Ron. Especially since he is no longer there. Go here and send a letter to your representatives.

        The Read the Bills Act

  • Breeze

    If they can fly them, WE can defeat them. Smart people, work on a way to “jam” the signal, “blind” the camera, take over control of them. Make an app to download to your phone to crash them into the ground. They will be forced to stop using them.

    • vicki

      EMP rifle. Of course it will be a crime to shoot them down. Destroying public property don’cha know.

      • Breeze

        Great idea Vicki. I also know they work on GPS. Supposdly the Iranians used this technique. It didn’t realize it was losing alltitude and hit the ground. There is a camoflage too that confuses the drone camera into not seeing you.

  • http://midcontent ridge runner

    The drones and government have been using drones to tax your place for weeds, swimming pools and what personal property you have outside and by persons in sneak and peak. They check out farms and count anything that moves or grows in every state. Yet they can not find and arrest thugs, illegals, and every fkg gang banger Of course that would affect the illegal voting crooks of the dumbocrap party.. Why the drones don’t keep an eye on voting pollls that have 157% registered voter turn out. These illegal voters confess on TV they voted several times, of course another promient affernative action puke, Anus Powell, doesn’t want voter ID to vote, of course this puke, voted for the muslim marxist twice, and guess what this supposed color bind miitary person is just another welfare fraud.

    • Michael Shreve

      The government is FAR less worried about criminals that citizens that have NOT yet be brainwashed or cowed into submission.

  • Luvsguns and Anerica

    We need to shoot them down

  • ibcamn

    They have been watching us for decades,however and whenever.traffic cameras being the big culprit till now!i have no doubt the gov’t has been testing drone planes and some type of survalence the ones that are in DC,they just put in microphones(at ground level)that are helping direct cops to where gunfire is coming from!yeah right,more like,quik,zome in on the couple talking over there and record what they are talking about,is it against the gov’t?!?!they said a bad thing about Obama,send SWAT team 2 in and arrest them quik before they can say it to anyone!!yes kommrad,i wilst go an arrest thee dissatents rite avay sir!!!


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