Many fear domestic drone's potential for lethal force
In addition to privacy concerns, some citizens fear the demilitarized aircraft could be rearmed
With military drones becoming used for domestic applications increasing,
there has been concern not only over privacy issues, but by the
potential use of lethal force by the unmanned aircraft. The drones had
been previously used overseas to target and kill high-level terror
leaders. The drones have also been used along the U.S.-Mexico border in
the battle against illegal immigration. The drones, now appearing in
everyday American life, has some citizens rattled.
The American Civil Liberties Union is very much aware and is highly concerned of the use of potential force from drones being used for domestic security purposes.
Chief Deputy Randy McDaniel of the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office in Texas told newspaper journalists that his agency is considering using rubber bullets and tear gas on its drone.
"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)," McDaniel says.
The American Civil Liberties Union is very much aware and is highly concerned of the use of potential force from drones.
"It's simply not appropriate to use any of force, lethal or non-lethal, on a drone," Catherine Crump, staff attorney for the ACLU says.
Crump maintains that one of the biggest problems with the use of drones is the remote location where they are operated from.
"When the officer is on the scene, they have full access to info about what has transpired there," Crump says. "An officer at a remote location far away does not have the same level of access."
The ACLU is also worried about the drones malfunctioning and falling from the sky. "We don't need a situation where Americans feel there is in an invisible eye in the sky," Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst at ACLU says.
Joshua Foust, fellow at the American Security Project, feels domestic drones should not be armed.
"I think from a legal perspective, there is nothing problematic about floating a drone over a city," Foust says. "In terms of getting armed drones, I would be very nervous about that happening right now."
McDaniel says the public at large should not be worried about the department using a drone.
"We've never gone into surveillance for sake of surveillance unless there is criminal activity afoot," McDaniel says. "Just to see what you're doing in your backyard pool - we don't care."
The ACLU reiterates that an American's constitutional rights will be trampled with the use of drones.
"The prospect of people out in public being Tased or targeted by force by flying drones where no officers is physically present on the scene," Crump says, "raises the prospect of unconstitutional force being used on individuals."
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Drones, lethal force, domestic applications, privacy, ACLU
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