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What are the implications of Domestic Drones?

There is much controversy in America about the use of domestic drones. Is an Orwellian society coming to fruition, or is this a necessary step towards a safer society for all?

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  • Jun 21 2012: (This is copied from another topic: Use of drones to patrol US skies)

    Have you seen the Photosynth talk

    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/blaise_aguera_y_arcas_demos_photosynth.html

    Drones will be only one part of the big picture. Technology will soon enable the recording of a three dimensional model of the real world and everyone in it. The government will know where everyone is at all times. This will be the end of geographical privacy. I should say that I hate this idea; that it violates my human rights and that we should all fight it. But personally, I would be willing to give up this type of privacy because it would mean the end of most forms of crime, particularly violent crime. A girl born in the USA today has a one in four chance of being raped during her life time. That is not acceptable.

    Does it scare me that the government will have this information? Very much.
    Should we stop it? Probably.
    Will we stop it? Even if we give it our best efforts, I don't think so. The government will do this; so it would be better to do it publicly and be able to use the evidence in court rather than have the information classified and accessible only to homeland security.

    Just my opinion. Wish it could be more upbeat.
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    Jun 13 2012: I say if we didn't rise up over the Patriot Act then we probably won't say a peep about the drones. The way to sell drones to the American public would be to tell them that drones will keep them from being blown up by those crazy suicidal "Al-kayeeda terrorists"

    Essentially, IF they were to be used for purposes such as gauging weather changes, searching for survivors in flooded areas, or in wildfires, then that would of course be an acceptable use of efficient technology. Howeverr, the potential for further violation of our privacy and our persons is great, but to stop that would mean that the American public would need to make their voices heard on the issue, and frankly, we've been resoundingly silent and passive, just as, like sheep, we allowed ourselves to have our phones tapped, our movements tracked, our people disappeared and even our citizens to be assassinated in foreign lands. All this happened and we said nothing. You say there is controversy, but I am sorry, I have not seen the controversy, because it's been drowned out by "more important" issues such as super-pac money and gay marriage. (and I don't mean to offend those to whom these issues are of dire importance, what I'm stating is that the national debate focuses on these issues while the encroachment of drones on our liberties gets drowned out)

    The implication for domestic drones? Basically, just more of how we already started this century.
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    Jun 26 2012: More time for women and look how that changed the world! Just ask Hans Rosling.
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  • Jun 17 2012: I can think of two potential usages of domestic or semi-domestic applications
    1. The advantage of drones is that the drones can interact with the target while other machine can not. So one very important usage could be a drone equipped with a potent explosive to rise and seek out and destroy an enemy missile with a nuclear war head, like in the "star war" system. With a drone system to seek out an invading nuclear missile launched immediately after it is detected will avoid inaccuracy by the early anti-ballistic missiles in "star war" tests during President Reagan era.
    2. The interactive functionality with or without human supervision can be beneficially applied to automation and robotics in manufacturing. Since the manufacturing processes are usually repetitive in nature, so that the requirement for human supervision can be programmed into the "brain' or the memory storage in the robots only in initial orientation. Afterward, the robot/drone will have a blueprint in its "brain" and interact with the manufacturing processes with human supervision. There only needs an automatic alarm system if it "sees" something goes wrong, then it would stop the production line and sound the alarm for manual attention.
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    Jun 13 2012: I see nothing good coming out of this. Any American who's ever spent at least a month driving knows that police take on a predatorial role with respect to enforcing speed limit laws. But when you really think about it, the deeper problem is that local governments use fines and penalties as an entrepreneurial approach to making up for budget shortfalls. Put another way, executive branches interpret the law so as to raise revenues without levying formal taxes.

    The problem is that under such a system, governments are bypassing legislative appropriations to fund their activities. To understand the magnitude of this problem, just realize that this power of the people is the foundation of the Magna Carta, the raison d'etre of the English Civil War, and the American Revolution.

    Before I talk about how this is relevant to drones, do a quick image search on "gigapixel pictures". So what does this history lesson have to do with drones? Imagine local city governments using drones equipped with gigapixel cameras that have the capability of instantly identifying every single violation of their ordinances. Odds are 99% of the people don't know their own city's laws. Maybe there are ordinances that limit the distance your car must be from the curb, the height of your grass, parking curfews, forgotten license plate renewals, etc. With permanent aerial surveillance, speed limit laws will be strictly enforced 24-7 on every inch of pavement. Dare I mention these type of cameras that can see in the thermal or UV spectra? This is a recipe for "nickel and dime hell" and for local governments to bypass legislatively approved tax appropriations and levies. This will be a police state nightmare.

    I would support the use of drones for national security purposes, not law enforcement purposes. It pulls us too far in an authoritarian direction.