Report reveals Federal drones are already engaged in domestic surveillance
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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has logged nearly 2,000 hours of drone flights over the continental U.S. on operations unrelated to immigration enforcement since 2011. This means the DHS is spying on Americans with drones, although they are not reporting precisely what they are doing or why.
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LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the DHS, in a report by the Government Accountability Office, the Department has logged nearly 2,000 hours of drone flights over the U.S. in operations unrelated to border enforcement. Between 2011 and April 2014, 1,726 hours of drone operations were logged.
Nobody seems able to provide a reason for these hours, or to explain where or why they were logged. No details appear in the report which merely says these hours were logged in "other airspace" meaning they were not related to immigration enforcement.
The DHS does operate drones to monitor the border. However, the Department is not limited to drone flights over the border, and thanks to loopholes in the law, they may operate the craft anywhere.
Since 2013, it has become apparent that the U.S. government is spying on its own people, arguably to detect and stop terrorist attacks. However, it is unclear that any such attacks have actually been detected or thwarted as a result of domestic surveillance.
More importantly, a large number, if not all Americans, have had their data hovered up by the National Security Administration (NSA) and other government agencies for reasons that remain unknown to the public.
Drones can provide targeted surveillance services to the user, meaning the DHS could be using the drones to remotely spy on particular individuals. However, no connection has yet been made between these flights and any enforcement activity.
Nor has this activity ever been publicly mentioned in any warranted searches conducted by the government in relation to a law enforcement activity.
The fact is that Congress has authorized these missions as part of the law. Specifically, the government passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, which funded the government through the end of the year. Like any good Congressional action, this law also increased government's power to do things that Americans wouldn't appreciate. Specifically buried deep within the text of the law is a carte blanche provision that allows the DHS to operate drones anywhere within U.S. airspace that it wishes.
It is unclear if our elected officials were aware of this when they passed the 2014 budget, or if they simply didn't bother reading the law before they voted on it. It either case, they have broken (again) their trust with the public by authorizing domestic surveillance without any public oversight. This makes a good case for term limits. Both Republicans and Democrats passed the bill, and both parties are so infused with corruption that neither represents the will of the people or the Constitution.
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