Peoples Rights thing of the past
Posted in the Valdese Forum
#1 Feb 16, 2013
Thousands of tiny unmanned aircraft or drones flying into civilian airspace over the United States can pose a security threat as they may be difficult to monitor in the long run and some craft may fall into enemy hands, security analysts say.
Although debate over the use of surveillance drones, approved by Congress this week, centers on civil liberties and individuals' rights, a much greater risk of hostile drones entering U.S. airspace undetected isn't being considered, analysts said.
The Federation Aviation Administration said up to 30,000 drones could be in airspace shared with airliners carrying passengers.
Current lobbying for the drones insists there will be enough qualified experts to operate the drones safely and not endanger airborne human traffic but there are many questions unanswered about how the drone operators would be regulated.
More important, at a time when government defense cutbacks are the norm, little consideration is being given to potentially unfathomable costs of maintaining a vast fleet of drones, their monitors and operators and the whole regulatory framework required to run the system efficiently and safely.
There is risk, too, that terrorists will attempt to penetrate the drone network with unpredictable consequences for the safety of the set-up as well as citizens, analysts said.
Once the bill has been signed by U.S. President Barack Obama, the FAA Reauthorization Act will allow the FAA to give drone traffic the go-ahead and develop regulations for testing and licensing by 2015.
The expectations are that the law eventually will streamline processes for multilevel licensing of drone flights by federal, state and local police and other government agencies.
The legislation follows vigorous campaigning by defense and security industries that see drones as a multibillion-dollar growth area.
The defense and security industries have already made up for declining revenues in direct defense acquisitions by developing new business to counter cyberthreats, border body scanners and giant merchandise scanners and a range of software to counter Internet fraud, identity fraud called phishing and hacking of sensitive corporate and government data.
The American Civil Liberties Union said the legislation could severely undermine Americans' privacy. The Electronic Frontier Foundation echoed those privacy concerns.
U.S. defense and security forces deployed drones of varying sizes in Afghanistan and Iraq. The CIA's armed Predator drone program targeted al-Qaida leaders but officials said smaller drones were deployed outside U.S. diplomatic areas in Iraq to monitor the safety of U.S. officials during their movements within the country.
In addition to the drones, the race is on to develop unmanned aircraft that can safely share airspace reserved for civilian aviation.
There's both military and commercial interest in having unmanned aircraft that can fly unaided by human pilots, most of the time.
Initially, unmanned aircraft likely to be released for sharing airspace with civilian airliners will have the option to require a pilot. Eventually, however, they could go unmanned and fly into airspace used by manned airliners using devices on board and control centers on the ground, industry data indicated.
The idea of civilian aircraft flying virtually at the mercy of unmanned craft cruising in their midst has delayed commissioning of such craft, both for practical and psychological reasons. But support for unmanned craft joining civil aviation is catching on, reports indicated.
Several companies are deep into research and development of optionally piloted aircraft. Among these, Aurora Flight Sciences of Manassas, Va., is experimenting general aviation Diamond DA42 planes to be able to market it as intelligence, search and reconnaissance planes.
#3 Feb 16, 2013
Since: Aug 11
#4 Feb 17, 2013
Looks like they're going to need a base to operate that high tech stuff.Be more area 51 everywere.I thought we we broke.Looks like the Chinese funding this stuff.In the 60's they were scared to death of the communist.Now we're partners.
#5 Feb 17, 2013
The use of drones are undeniably in our near future. It is the potential for misuse that is alarming. Misuse in the form of invasion of privacy or the potential of the remote controls being hacked thus turning the drones against us. I think it is a dangerous step forward the technology. Drones are already in much more use on domestic soil than we realize, but it is a way of the future and we are stuck with it regardless.
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