Coming to a City Near You

A post not about left/right but about freedom and privacy.

Big Brother has a great new expensive toy and itching to use it. Predator Drones once used for combat operations in war torn areas of the world are now ready to be deployed in US cities to spy on its own citizens.


Welcome to 1984. These are not the big super expensive drones used in Afghanistan and they dont carry weapons (yet) but they are quite the spy in the sky tool.

The Miami-Dade Police Department could soon become the first police department in the country to employ unmanned drones, a technology that until now has been used for official purposes only in war zones and along the country’s border. The department acquired two T-Hawk Micro Air Vehicles, manufactured by Honeywell, in August 2009, and has been testing and training with them since. It is now in the third phase of a three-phase testing program, and plans to apply soon to the FAA for final approval to use the drones in operations.

[..]Unlike the famous Predator-B drones, which have been used to kill militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan, T-Hawks are much smaller, carry no weapons and are intended for short, targeted tasks. Cohen said each T-Hawk is approximately the size of a “small office garbage can.” On its website, Honeywell boasts that the T-Hawk is “a combat-proven unmanned micro air vehicle that can be quickly deployed. T-Hawk is easy to assemble and can be airborne within 10 minutes. It is simple to fly with minimal training. With unique hover and stare capability, T-Hawk supports advanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) with real time video documentation.” According to the company, T-Hawks can fly as high as 10,000 feet, at speeds up up to 50 miles per hour, with 46 minutes of endurance.

There comes a point when spying on your own citizens becomes overtly invasive. Have you flown lately? Get your “freedom grope” by TSA? This is no longer about fighting terrorism this is about taking away basic civil rights even in the privacy of your own home.

Two council CCTV camera operators have been jailed for spying on a naked woman in her own home.

Mark Summerton and Kevin Judge, from Sefton Council, Merseyside, trained a street camera into the woman’s flat

[..]The images from the camera, including the woman without her clothes on, were shown on a large plasma screen in the council’s CCTV control room in November 2004, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

Over several hours, she was filmed cuddling her boyfriend before undressing, using the toilet, having a bath and watching television dressed only in a towel.

The arguments that have been going on the last several days about was Loughner a lefty or a righty is simply reprehensible. What does it matter? The only thing that matters is the reactionary politicians and what they will do to take away more of your freedoms.

In the wake of 9/11 such benign excuses were also used during the passage of draconian bills such as FISA and the Patriot Act before it was revealed the much more insidious and rampant applications of those tools.

Spying on its own citizens is the new game in town. What is the latest advertisments? “If you see something, Say something” … Almost as if we are living in Germany circa 1930’s.

Recent revelations of the NSA spying on American citizens re-awakened debates about big brother and when state surveillance of its citizens goes too far.

A California student got a visit from the FBI this week after he found a secret GPS tracking device on his car, and a friend posted photos of it online. The post prompted wide speculation about whether the device was real, whether the young Arab-American was being targeted in a terrorism investigation and what the authorities would do.

It took just 48 hours to find out: The device was real, the student was being secretly tracked and the FBI wanted its expensive device back, the student told in an interview Wednesday.

The answer came when half-a-dozen FBI agents and police officers appeared at Yasir Afifi’s apartment complex in Santa Clara, California, on Tuesday demanding he return the device.

NSA, FBI, TSA, DHS … these people are out of control. A recent ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it’s legal for law enforcement to secretly place a tracking device on a suspect’s car without getting a warrant, even if the car is parked in a private driveway.

Taking a queue from across the pond where they are already being used by local law enforcement.

Using the device’s on-board camera and thermal-imaging technology, the operator was able to pick up the suspect through his body heat and direct foot patrols to his location.

It led officers to a 16-year-old youth, who was hiding in bushes alongside the Leeds-Liverpool canal, in Litherland, Merseyside.

The drone, which measures 3ft between the tips of its four carbon fibre rotor blades, uses unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology originally designed for military reconnaissance.

The battery-powered device can have a range of cameras attached to its main body, including CCTV surveillance or thermal imaging cameras.

It is designed to hover almost silently above crime scenes and send live footage to officers on the ground, but the unit can also ‘perch and stare’ from a solid platform, allowing the operator to capture hours of footage from a hidden vantage point.

Are we any safer? Or is it that really the end purpose?


  1. Just keep it on the down low

  2. Is the tech prototype.

    Neat stuff for you “bug out bag”

    Laser pointers

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