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30,000 Drones To Police U.S. Airspace as FAA Reveals List of Colleges and Police Departments That Can Fly Drones


Drones over US to get weaponized – so far, non-lethally

American police officers may soon be able to use unmanned aircraft not only for surveillance, but also for offensive action. The drones may be equipped to fire rubber rounds and tear gas.

“Those are things that law enforcement utilizes day in and day out, and in certain situations it might be advantageous to have this type of system on the UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle),” Chief Deputy Randy McDaniel of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in Texas told The Daily news app as he outlined the possible development.
The US military and CIA have used drones armed with lethal weapons to target militants overseas for years. The prospect of having “lite” versions of those remotely controlled killer-machines circling over America gave some second thoughts to rights groups.
“It’s simply not appropriate to use any force, lethal or non-lethal, on a drone,” Catherine Crump, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), told CBSDC.
She explained that an officer operating an armed drone from afar would simply not have the same understanding of a situation that an officer on location would have. So judgment on the use of force would be limited by this narrowness of observation.

“An officer at a remote location far away does not have the same level of access,”
 she explained.
ACLU is also worried about the general atmosphere of pervasive surveillance that may engulf America as the use of drone technology becomes wider.

thank you Dave
A bipartisan pair of Congressmen joined forces Thursday to put important questions to the Federal Aviation Administration regarding the agency’s plans to open up American skies to thousands of surveillance drones.
Reps. Joe Barton (R-Texas) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.) penned a letter to the FAA demanding answers on how the federal agency will protect the Fourth Amendment rights of American citizens if and when the use of unmanned ariel vehicles by government, law enforcement and private companies increases.

Back in February, we wrote about a new bill passed by Congress that gave private, military and commercial drones more access to U.S. airspace. Now, thanks to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the FAA has released a list of institutions that have asked for Certificates of Authorizations (COA) to fly drones in the United States.
That fact that the U.S. Air Force, DARPA and Department of Homeland Security are flying drones is no surprise. But what about the other institutions on the list?
It includes a number of universities from all over the country, including Cornell University, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State University and Eastern Gateway Community College. It makes sense for universities to have access to U.S. airspace to fly drones — after all, they are the ones doing a lot of the research on new drone technologies, so they might as well be able to test their own creations near campus.
While it’s easy to balk at the idea of students at a small community college in eastern Ohio flying drones over the heads of our youth, remember that most drones aren’t the Hellfire missile-carrying behemoths we hear about flying over Afghanistan. Small, inexpensive drones are routinely used by filmmakers and amateur hobbyists, meaning students could learn a lot from drones without putting anybody in danger.


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