Guest Post by Mara Zebest
A leaked government report proves the government will hit our privacy with a double whammy. Not only is it troubling that drones will be spying on citizens in the general sense, but apparently these camera sensors can determine if citizens are carrying guns. Pravda also reports that the sensors are capable of identifying fingerprints to obtain citizen identities. Homeland Security is packaging this idea as a way to help ‘First Responders’ in the community, but when has the Federal Government ever been helpful to local communities?
OpposingViews reports the following:
The U.S. government is testing drones that are a civil rights double whammy – not only can they spy on you from above, but they can also determine whether you’re carrying a gun.
The drone will be able to “distinguish between unarmed and armed (exposed) personnel.” Citizens carrying around an assault rifle or a holster might send up a red flag, but people with concealed weapons will evade the drone’s gun-seeking camera.
The Oklahoma Training Center for Unmanned Systems, a unit of the University Multispectral Laboratories under Oklahoma State University and Anchor Dynamics, has been performing research with the new drone. They hope to eventually employ the drone to aid first responders and frontline homeland security professionals in search-and-rescue missions, radiological and chemical emergencies, wildfires and “to catch the bad guys.”
The Department of Homeland Security’s chief privacy official assured the public that the testing would not violate any privacy issues, but that may not do much to ease the concerns of gun rights and privacy advocates. Testing may be harmless, but what about the eventual application?
Attorney David Slane said: “The general application of helping people in a rescue situation or a lost child – great. But that doesn’t mean that we should be giving up our privacy rights.” Military consultant Toney Stricklin added, “We don’t want to do anything that infringes on an Oklahoman’s privacy because that would be infringing on our own privacy.” The DHS added that the program “is not linked to any intended procurement action, nor does it imply intent to initiate such action.”
It will likely be hard for gun rights advocates to accept these assurances. Gun rights, privacy and distrust of the government often fit together like three pees in a pod, so a drone that infringes on both of those rights while giving more power to the government is sure to ruffle some feathers.
Gun rights advocates may have to put their hopes in the Oklahoma courts because they are in the unique position of being able to address the privacy concerns of citizens. Their rulings – if they make any – could potentially shape domestic drone laws on a federal level.
More here. Additionally Pravda helps to examine a deeper understanding into the capabilities of the drone technology being tested on U.S. Citizens.
The U.S. today is developing a system that allows using special cameras to identify people who are agitated and mentally unstable, as well as potential criminals. Most likely, these cameras use a slight shake of the head, limbs and body, though their work principle may be slightly different.
U.S. agency DARPA has long been studying the reasons that make the average person violent. When the mechanism of the appearance of cruelty is understood, the U.S. intelligence services will develop methods for its suppression. How exactly this will happen is not yet clear. Violence will be fought either by chemistry, or remotely by radiation.
The U.S. is also implementing a system that allows fingerprints scanning at a distance of 20 meters. This is a very convenient system that can identify a person quietly in a public place. A person walks by a camera that reads her fingerprints and runs them through the database.
In order to spy on its own citizens, the U.S. government is also using microarrays RFID that can independently identify the owner. These chips are integrated into bank cards, so every American who uses a bank card can always be identified.
More at Pravda.