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Privacy

Domestic Use of Aerial Drones By Law Enforcement 299

PatPending writes "Aerial drones are now used by the Texas Department of Public Safety; the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, Colorado; the Miami-Dade County, Florida, Police Department; and the Department of Homeland Security. But what about privacy concerns? 'Drones raise the prospect of much more pervasive surveillance,' said Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. 'We are not against them, absolutely. They can be a valuable tool in certain kinds of operations. But what we don't want to see is their pervasive use to watch over the American people.'"
Government

Aerial Drones To Help Cops In Miami 274

Catoonsis writes "Reuters is reporting that 'Miami police could soon be the first in the United States to use cutting-edge, spy-in-the-sky technology to beef up their fight against crime.' The police force is planning to make use of a small aerial drone, capable of hovering and quick maneuvers, to monitor the Miami-Dade area and alert officers of potential problems. The device, manufactured by Honeywell, is awaiting FAA approval before it can be put into use. This decision is just the latest chapter in the developing relationship between law enforcement and robotic assistants. 'U.S. Customs and Border Protection has been flying drones over the Arizona desert and southwest border with Mexico since 2006 and will soon deploy one in North Dakota to patrol the Canadian border as well. This month, Customs and Border Protection spokesman Juan Munoz Torres said the agency would also begin test flights of a modified version of its large Predator B drones, built by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, over the Gulf of Mexico.'"
The Military

Tiny, Morphing, Electricity-Stealing Spy Planes Developed 163

tkohler writes "The Air Force Research Lab is developing an Electric Motor-powered Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) that can 'harvest' energy when needed by attaching itself to a power line. It can also temporarily change its shape to look more like innocuous piece of trash hanging from the cable. For domestic spying, maybe it will morph into a pair of sneakers?"

Police Launch Drones Over LA 496

An anonymous reader writes "Yahoo! News is reporting that law enforcement officials have launched a new form of drone aircraft to patrol the skies above Los Angeles. From the article: 'Police say the drone, called the SkySeer, will be able to accomplish tasks too dangerous for officers and free up helicopters for other missions. "This technology could be used to find missing children, search for lost hikers, or survey a fire zone," said Commander Sid Heal, head of the Technology Exploration Project of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. "The ideal outcome for us is when this technology becomes instrumental in saving lives."'"

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