Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/16/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Despite privacy concerns, use of surveillance drones is rapidly expanding within the U.S.

Drones are operating, or are licensed to operate, from almost 800 sites in the U.S. according to aggregated statistics. Authorized operators include the United States military, as well as law enforcement agencies, and even colleges and universities. The pervasive use of drones raises powerful privacy concerns that are yet to be addressed.

Use of drones by federal and local law enforcement agencies is expanding rapidly.

Use of drones by federal and local law enforcement agencies is expanding rapidly.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/16/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Drones, surveillance, US, map, where, colleges, universities, law enforcement, military, spying, American, citizens, privacy, rights


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Americans pride themselves on their freedom and privacy, two values which move in lock step with one another. However, the U.S. may be one of the least private nations on Earth, with virtually every movement we make somehow recorded on security cameras, by our cell phone GPS systems, and yes, by our social networks.

See the map of military drones here.

See the map of non-military drones here.

At any time, law enforcement can aggregate that data and build a case that puts a suspected criminal at the scene of a crime.

Nobody has a problem with putting criminals behind bars, but what happens when previously lawful activity becomes unpopular or even illegal? What happens when illegal activity what was largely ignored, such as minor traffic infractions and jaywalking, becomes an easily enforced stream of revenue? Case and point would be red light cameras, which although they cause more accidents than they prevent, are popular for their earning potential with law enforcement.

What happens when the surveillance cameras enjoy a God's eye view of you and your home, in an age when newly-developed sensors can literally see through walls?

Modern technology is making all this possible and nobody seems too concerned because it is happening in quiet, seemingly innocuous increments. Unfortunately, drone surveillance technology is becoming mainstream and data can be recorded and saved for later review and use. Even data which is unintentionally collected.

And this is the status quo.

Drones, unlike a patrol officer on the street, can fly above homes and peek into backyards where most people enjoy a reasonable expectation of privacy. This goes well beyond the occasional passage of a police or news helicopter, which are expensive operators that fly when there's a specific mission to be accomplished. These assets aren't interested in filming you while you swim in your backyard pool.

However, drones are unmanned vehicles which in some cases can fly for hours, high aloft, recording everything they see for later. They are low cost assets, enabling continual operation. They are also quiet, having been developed intentionally for surveillance, so they can operate with you none the wiser.

It seems to be too late to stop the tide of drones, which as stated previously, are already becoming mainstream. There is not a single day or hour when a drone isn't operating above American skies. It is simply now a matter of expanding their use.

In defense of the drones, if one can be made, many of the operators listed here are only authorized to operate small, low-endurance, technologically limited craft. Some are for research purposes, and some are very small and can only fly for minutes at a time.

However, all great things have small beginnings. Eventually, drones will be commonplace; unsurprising eyes in the skies, much like helicopters and general aviation aircraft are today.

For now, we are protected (hopefully) by ethical actors, our inherent freedoms, and the law, which should keep drones from snooping into our backyards, and should prevent any such data from being used against us without a warrant. However, we are but one or two court decisions, or a zealous legislature away from seeing that change.

When that happens, the U.S. will be better ranked with China and Iran in terms of privacy, rather than the free democracies of the West - assuming we're not there already.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More U.S.

Who Are the Mother and Brothers of Jesus? We Are Watch

Image of The Father of Jesus becomes our Father also, as we enter, through Him, into the inner life of the Trinity. He underscores this truth right before He ascended when He instructed Mary of Magdala to tell the disciples

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In this exchange, Jesus opens up for those with eyes to see and ears to hear the deeper interior importance and meaning of the motherhood of Mary  and the interior meaning of all family relationships renewed by the Holy Spirit. He gives to those with ears to ... continue reading


Pope Francis names Bishop Blasť Cupich to replace ailing Chicago Archbishop Watch

Image of Ill from liver cancer, Cardinal George said at a news conference in Chicago that

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has chosen Spokane Bishop Blase Cupich as Chicago's new archbishop. The ailing Cardinal Francis George welcomed his pending retirement after his 17 years of service, with only the highest praise for his successor. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


World population could hit 11 billion by 2100 new study reveals Watch

Image of Africa will see the largest population boom, going from 1 billion to 4 billion by the century's end. Asia will also likely rise a bit, but will peak at 5 billion by 2050 and decline.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A United Nations-led analysis published on September 18 has revealed that the world's population may reach 11 billion by 2100, which would mean two billion more people than previously expected, largely due to high birth rates in Africa. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


As death toll passes 2,600 U.S. lawmakers worry about spread of Ebola Watch

Image of Red Cross workers in Guinea in protective gear. Currently, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia are the worst nations worst hit by the West African Ebola outbreak.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Legislators in Washington are becoming increasingly concerned about the spread of Ebola and worry that it could become more contagious and potentially spread into the United States. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - President Obama's new plan to put 3,000 U.S. ... continue reading


Obama gains support from House to further fight against ISIS Watch

Image of President Obama, with the support of the House of Representatives, may now start arming and training Syrian groups to fight the Islamic State, and will continue to strike targets in Iraq.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While President Barack Obama told Americans-in somewhat ambiguous terms-last week that he intended to destroy the Islamic State, as of September 17, he promised that the United States will not fight another ground war in Iraq. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Values Voters: What We Can Learn from Ted Cruz Being Booed at the In Defense of Christians Conference Watch

Image of Senator Ted Cruz from Texas was the keynote speaker at what was billed as a Gala Solidarity Dinner. Sadly, it certainly did not demonstrate solidarity between Christians. A small group in the assembly, rudely and loudly, reacted negatively to some of the words Senator Cruz spoke as he expressed his convictions concerning the persecution taking place in this land which is properly holy, precisely because of its role in God's loving plan of salvation for the whole human race.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The events of Wednesday, September 10, 2014, at the Inaugural In Defense of Christians Gala make abundantly clear that there is a serious and urgent need for values voters to meet and discuss the crisis in the Mideast and ways in which we can work together to ... continue reading


Our Age Need Rebels of Love: The Christian Church is the Real Counterculture Watch

Image of As a young man I rejected secularist, atheistic humanism - but not humanism itself. As I studied the early Church fathers I came to understand that the true humanism is authentic Christianity, the kind professed, in word and deed, by the early Christians. As I read early Church history I was brought back to the mother church of the entire Christian movement, the Catholic Church. I came to believe that she offers the theological anthropology, ecclesiology and world view of the early fathers of the Church. I also came to believe that she was the real counterculture.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

We can - we will - change the culture of the contemporary West, if we are willing to suffer, struggle and offer ourselves to the Lord for the task. His power, the power of the Holy Spirit, working through us, will accomplish what we can never accomplish on our ... continue reading


What is a Catholic Deacon? Bishop Kevin Rhoades Gives the Answer Watch

Image of The Most Reverend Kevin Rhoades, the Bishop of the Diocese of Ft. Wayne-South Bend, presiding over the Mass of Ordination to the Diaconate of six new Holy Cross Deacons

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

It is a privilege to ordain you permanent deacons.  No, I didn't make a mistake.  Don't worry: you are scheduled to be ordained priests next year by Bishop Jenky!  But what happens today in the sacrament of Orders is not something transitional; it ... continue reading


ISIS among us! New York man sought to kill Iraq war veterans Watch

Image of Mufid Elfgeeh, a 30-year-old, Yemeni born man who lived in New York, attempted to send three people to Iraq to fight for the Islamic State, and purchase firearms to kill veterans from the Iraq War.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Yemeni born food store owner in upstate New York sent funding to the Islamic State and attempted to sent three jihadists to Syria to fight alongside the terrorist cell while plotting to perpetrate attacks against American troops who had served in Iraq. LOS ... continue reading


Father Frank Pavone: 16433 Children Buried in One Grave Watch

Image of Fr. Pavone prays at the graveside of the children

By Fr. Frank Pavone

For many years, this mass grave had no marker or headstone, just as the children have no names. But now there is a stone, and we are going to name the babies. Supporters of abortion do not want people to see mass graves in our midst. It's too disturbing a ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Proverbs 21:1-6, 10-13
1 Like flowing water is a king's heart in Yahweh's ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 119:1, 27, 30, 34, 35, 44
1 How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 8:19-21
19 His mother and his brothers came looking for him, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 23rd, 2014 Image

St. Padre Pio
September 23: Francesco, named in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, was born to ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter