Ilargi over at the The Automatic Earth has the best idea ever.
Drones equipped with jammers….brilliant.
OK, so I’ve been thinking about this as well — and I think the way to keep these things out of the hands of our local police agencies is to make a very LARGE hue and cry over the ultimate loss of personnel this will cause. After all, if there are drones patrolling the skies, what need is there for actual police on the ground? A smaller force can be detailed to respond directly to an area where a crime was committed after the fact; there’s no need for actual in-person patrols when the drones can be deployed in place of people to detect crime. Do we really want drones instead of personnel?
The same can be said of drones being used by other county/city agencies: why should they, ultimately, employ people to go and check for code violations, say, when they can simply fly a drone over properties and very poorly pay someone to look at the pictures to find them? Then they too can send out a small force targeted at violators. Wouldn’t you rather have people being paid than drones?
The upshot is that if our tax dollars are going toward anything, it should be toward PEOPLE, not drones. The use of drones will always and ultimately lead to job loss, or the replacement of better paid and trained people with lower paid and poorly trained drone masters. Which will always and ultimately lead to more unemployment/underemployment and a poorer economic outlook for one’s own community.
Damned if the local paper didn’t carry a piece about how people aren’t paying enough in property taxes because they’re making improvements to their property ‘without permission’ and thus not paying the permitting fees/higher property taxes. Now, anybody wanna take bets on what those drones are going to be doing? Nah, didn’t think so.
Prescott wants to be a drone test site
The city council in its ‘wisdom’ voted unanimously for endorsing this government approved spy program: City Council endorses unmanned drones in spite of citizen concerns
They think this will ‘bring jobs’ to the area. Are they really that stupid? These drones will be manned at some un-named site in somewhere like Utah, not here. What jobs will they bring? They will be manufactured somewhere else as they already are. Embry-Riddle will not suddenly gain a large number of students and instructors as a result of this program. So what jobs will they bring?
These will be our new eyes and ears for the government. As you might think, citizens are less than happy: Letters to the editor regarding the drone program
I particularly like the comment that states the county will use these to spy on citizens for un-permitted or non-zoned changes to properties. I think this in fact may be the only reason that it might ‘bring jobs’ because it’s too expensive to fly their plane around looking for code violations/un-permitted changes to private properties — if the drones are doing their work effectively, they can hire at least one, and maybe two new people to process the fines at the plans department. That’s about the only jobs it will create. At least initially.
I can’t wait for someone to use the drone for target practice. And knowing my neighbors/community members, that is not by any means out of the question. Or, barring that, widespread purchase/implementation of anti-drone technologies like a hoodie that hides your heat signature or Domestic Drone Countermeasures, a company that manufactures software that prevents drones from capturing images.
Stories like this make me wish for a zombie apocalypse. Because our current slow slide is going to be pretty crappy and dingy for a long time before it gets any better, if indeed it ever does.