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Old March 6, 2013, 11:17 AM   #1
KyJim
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DHS Drones to determine if person is armed and to intercept cell phone signals

According to documents from the Department of Homeland Security, their Predator B drones were customized so that they could determine at night if someone was armed and to intercept cell phone signals.
Quote:
"I am very concerned that this technology will be used against law-abiding American firearms owners," said founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation Alan Gottlieb. “This could violate Fourth Amendment rights as well as Second Amendment rights."
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Governm...-Carrying-Guns.

I can understand why a law enforcement agency would want to be able to tell if someone is armed or not, but it should only be used in limited circumstances, IMO. For example, based on reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing and that an individual is armed; much like a Terry search. I know we have had discussion like this before.

As to interception of cell phone signals, I would assume this would allow tracking and, most probably, would allow listening to any intercepted phone conversation. I think the latter would require a "wire tap" order. I would think tracking would also require a warrant or be based upon exigent circumstances (like tracking a kidnapper calling from a cell phone).

The obvious danger is that such technology makes it very easy to abuse constitutional rights.
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Old March 6, 2013, 11:47 AM   #2
vranasaurus
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I have no problem with law enforcement using technology to determine if someone is armed in appropriate circumstances such as:

1. Apprehending someone subject to a valid warrant or when it is being done in circumstances that don't require a warrant.

2. In circumstances that would justify a valid Terry stop.

3. Determining how many people are in a building and if they are armed before a valid warrant is executed on that location.


Other than that it has a high potential for abuse.
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Old March 6, 2013, 11:52 AM   #3
ScottRiqui
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From the specifications, emphasis added:

"Shall (T) be capable of identifying a standing human being
at night as likely armed or not (based on position of arms) at a slant range of one and a half times the specified Operating Altitude."


This isn't special gun-detecting technology, they're just saying that the night-vision system on the drone must be clear enough to at least tell the position of a man's arms at a particular distance.
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Old March 6, 2013, 12:13 PM   #4
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This type of thing is why I often get frustrated with gun rights groups. While it is a good idea to be concerned about any attempt at further government surveillance, exaggerating or intentionally misleading people with email subject lines and story headlines is really not needed. It does not sound like these drones will have anything more then what is included on most police helicopters today.
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Old March 6, 2013, 12:18 PM   #5
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Drones are going to usher in Big Brother like nothing before,
we ought to be impeaching ANY representative of the people trying to introduce drones
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Old March 6, 2013, 12:21 PM   #6
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I guess it all comes down to the question: How much faith will you have in the Government?
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Old March 6, 2013, 12:32 PM   #7
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and then there's this: The Attorney General states that he could envision drones being used to target and kill citizens within the US!http://www.politico.com/politico44/2...us-158548.html
As Rand Paul says in response,"The U.S. Attorney General’s refusal to rule out the possibility of drone strikes on American citizens and on American soil is more than frightening – it is an affront the Constitutional due process rights of all Americans,”
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Old March 6, 2013, 12:57 PM   #8
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This is a scary thing when you have a president and AG saying they can target individual US citizens for assasination without legal process. When you combine this with purchase of thousands of armored vehicles by DHS, you don't have to be tin foil hat conspiricist to begin to wonder just what else is this regime planning.

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Old March 6, 2013, 01:02 PM   #9
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There was another story a couple of days ago.....something about Homeland Security buying or rebuilding over 2000 MRAPs for deployment in CONUS......that gave me pause.....and I'm a Fed myself!
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Old March 6, 2013, 01:46 PM   #10
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I don't have a problem if they are using a drone for an REAL search and rescue. for all other excuses to use a drone bother me a lot
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Old March 6, 2013, 02:19 PM   #11
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IMO, drones are over hyped. Aircraft with surveillance technology are nothing new, nor are remote control aircraft. Now that they've been combined, the sky is falling?
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Old March 6, 2013, 02:44 PM   #12
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Here is a clip of Rand Paul voting against Brenner's confirmation because of his position on drones in civilian life

http://www.c-span.org/Live-Video/C-SPAN2/

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Old March 6, 2013, 02:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vranasaurus
I have no problem with law enforcement using technology to determine if someone is armed in appropriate circumstances such as:
2. In circumstances that would justify a valid Terry stop.
It is too easy to manufacture reasonable suspicion post-hoc. Reasonable suspicion is too low a standard, and should have no place in search and seizure jurisprudence. I think Terry was a huge mistake.

Automated license plate tracking, drone surveillance, data mining of public databases, backscatter x-ray vans... mass surveillance is going to continue in one form or another because the general public isn't interested enough to voice protest, or they genuinely think it's no problem because they aren't familiar with what happens when databases start to be interconnected.

Mass data collection is a problem because those data could be released by disgruntled workers, because criminals could steal or bribe their way into possession of the data and use them to select targets, and because there are so many vague laws that with enough information collection, anyone can be prosecuted for violating one law or another.
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Old March 6, 2013, 03:24 PM   #14
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KyJim
Identifying if a person is armed or not from a UAV / drone is trivial if the cameras (visible and thermal) have appropriate resolution. If not then the solution is a millimeter radar set which is very big bucks, not going to happen en masse. So I believe any cost conscious vendor will use both cameras.
As far as the cell phone tracking, they are looking for a higher level capability aka Signals Intelligence or Sigint. It's not only an intercept, put also provides total control of a particular phone(s).
Most of the info has been purged from the Internet under threat from the company. There are still references to a product from Harris Corp, look up their fish series aka "Triggerfish" products such as the Stingray. With these capabilities, you literally own any phone in the area.

There are trivial countermeasures for both if a subject expects to be under UAV surveillance.
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Old March 6, 2013, 03:34 PM   #15
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"IMO, drones are over hyped. Aircraft with surveillance technology are nothing new, nor are remote control aircraft. Now that they've been combined, the sky is falling?"

Constant surveillance is bad enough. Surveillance with the threat of eliminating due process on that same token is a HUGE issue. I think those two facts coupled together should distress the vast majority of the population. This isn't a simple helicopter with IR and a bright spotlight. This is a potentially armed remote controlled war weapon. The problem is that they are taking away rights, slowly but surely. Sure, they can detect if someone is under arms. In most states that, in and of itself, is not illegal. This just sounds too nefarious to be true! We are becoming slowly cooked frogs! Hell, maybe the sky is falling...
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Old March 6, 2013, 03:43 PM   #16
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Quote:
"IMO, drones are over hyped. Aircraft with surveillance technology are nothing new, nor are remote control aircraft. Now that they've been combined, the sky is falling?"
^^^that^^^
We need to go after the behavior. Blaming drones for invasion of privacy is the same as blaming guns for murder.
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Old March 6, 2013, 03:57 PM   #17
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Quote:
Constant surveillance is bad enough.
Demonstrate that there is constant intentional surveillance being conducted with the drones.

Quote:
Surveillance with the threat of eliminating due process on that same token is a HUGE issue. I think those two facts coupled together should distress the vast majority of the population.
Demonstrate that this could not be accomplished with any other means...what makes drones unique? Which facts? Like the fact that the drones are not armed? Like the fact that it's one agency with a small number of drones? Or is it the taking of disparate statements only linked by drones and putting them together in a way that makes it seem more nefarious than it is? People are projecting their fears of what is possible into "facts". The fact is that if government agencies choose to behave badly the tool is not to blame, nor is it the tool that makes them do it. Simply possessing drones or using drones does not make an action any more or less nefarious. This train of thought of an object which is not significantly different from other objects which can accomplish the same task being vilified is the same train of thought anti's use with guns.

Quote:
This is a potentially armed remote controlled war weapon.
Lets see...they(Customs and Border Protection) have 10 drones...out of hundreds of aircraft which could also be armed and some of which are also "war weapons" in that they are aircraft also used by the military. Not to mention hundreds of boats, land vehicles etc... so, how exactly are drones unique in end result?
Furthermore that's a slippery slope argument, how do you define "war weapon"? Humvees were designed for and used in war, they can have weapons mounted on them, I guess we should recall all of those too. Recently many firearms were called "weapons of war" maybe those should automatically be banned too, because of how they MIGHT be used...
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Old March 6, 2013, 03:57 PM   #18
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Quote:
This is a scary thing when you have a president and AG saying they can target individual US citizens for assasination without legal process. When you combine this with purchase of thousands of armored vehicles by DHS, you don't have to be tin foil hat conspiricist to begin to wonder just what else is this regime planning.
What do you think they are planing.? I see these type of conspiracy theories on other forums but am surprised to see them on this forum. As for the drones whats the difference in spying etc with a drone rather than a helicopter or aeroplane for example.
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Old March 6, 2013, 04:22 PM   #19
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There is no reason or need for drones to be used upon average citizens... I can see border areas as a method of patrolling but that's it... No strikes on citizens, we have courts to met out punishments.

Quote:
Blaming drones for invasion of privacy is the same as blaming guns for murder
Really? So we should just accept it? No... this is still a nation of freedoms not a nation of spies...
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Old March 6, 2013, 04:30 PM   #20
I'vebeenduped
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"Demonstrate that there is constant intentional surveillance being conducted with the drones."
I never said with the drones. I said constant surveillance is bad enough. It was my general statement displaying my disregard for a lack of privacy.

Demonstrate that this could not be accomplished with any other means...what makes drones unique? This is just another tool being used against citizens.Which facts? Like the fact that the drones are not armed?Yet. Do you know that they won't or will be impossible to arm? Like the fact that it's one agency with a small number of drones? For now.Or is it the taking of disparate statements only linked by drones and putting them together in a way that makes it seem more nefarious than it is?I am sorry, hasn't our current gov't already stated that they could eliminate citizens without due process? People are projecting their fears of what is possible into "facts". Fears relating to my last statementThe fact is that if government agencies choose to behave badly the tool is not to blame, nor is it the tool that makes them do it. Sure, I stated drones. Okay. Does that somehow infer that I believe the gov't ISN'T ultimately responsible? I don't think I wrote anything to that effect. Simply possessing drones or using drones does not make an action any more or less nefarious. If you think that, I will respect your opinion. My opinion is that our gov't is increasingly arming itself against the direction of it's citizenry. Police need vehicles that would withstand a roadside bomb?!?!?! Citizens need to be disarmed?!?!?! Drones with the capacity to kill US citizens?!?!? A government that states it can kill US Citizens without due process?!?!?This train of thought of an object which is not significantly different from other objects which can accomplish the same task being vilified is the same train of thought anti's use with guns. What you may be failing to understand is that my discourse is not with an inanimate object, but with a leadership that seems bent on our subjugation.

Lastly, if we want to keep this thread alive, it has to be about FIREARMS. One of the points that the OP made was that the drone is being specified as having the ability to tell if an individual is under arms. Whether you agree with my point about the drones or not is up to you. If we do not discuss firearms within this conversation, it will most likely be locked.
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Old March 6, 2013, 04:50 PM   #21
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The FAA has been resistant to UAV/UAS platforms (not "drones," as drones are fire and forget robots and these are actively guided by people) for quite some time now.

One of their valid concerns is that these things, when they lose electronic contact with their controller, can behave in strange manners, such as climbing to regain signal - that can pose a serious hazard to other aircraft.

In war zones, those of us who fly manned aircraft are very watchful of UAV transponder signals, and do our best to keep good lateral and vertical separation from them.

I would not like to have to fly around them in CONUS, especially not if my aircraft did not have a TCAS (Traffic Collision Avoidance System) installed. I would definitely not want them to operate near any airspace with a high density of airline traffic.

Aside from the midair flight risk they pose, these UAV platforms can be equipped with whatever off the shelf technology DHS could imagine. While there are steps that have to be followed, in order to mount equipment on any aircraft - the FAA has certification protocols, after all - many of those steps can be circumvented or shortened when the aircraft falls under "public use." IE, if the government really wants to use it, they can find a way to get it certified.

Without even going into the really high-tech stuff, just think about the things one of these could record on a plain old MX or MTS series camera: your significant other, sunbathing nude on the patio behind the privacy fence; you and your significant other, enjoying a romantic interlude in your hot tub, behind your privacy fence; for the EBR crowd, they could watch and see how many "assault weapons" you take with you to your private range.

These things are a big, hairy deal, people.

Last edited by MLeake; March 6, 2013 at 05:02 PM. Reason: interlude, not interlube, though I suppose.... nevermind
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Old March 6, 2013, 04:57 PM   #22
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Quote:
Lastly, if we want to keep this thread alive, it has to be about FIREARMS
It doesn't have to be directly related to firearms, though it does have to be related to matters of law and/or civil rights. There are certainly some implications here, but any surveillance or action past what law enforcement already does will be a matter for the courts to review.

The technology is not the issue, so much as how it's used.
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Old March 6, 2013, 05:19 PM   #23
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They have had small mini blimp types of them for quite a few years. I saw one in Kansas back in 05 when I was out with my cousin on the family farm. We saw the thing for a moment. A few minutes later there were about 5 Yukons loaded with DEA gong down the road past us at a very high speed. They were raiding a mobile meth lab that was made to look like a travel trailer. (Note they found it abandoned in a thicket of cotton wood trees by the Arkansas river. They found the guy driving the truck that was towing it about 2 miles away at a biker bar.)

I am not going to worry too much about it. I obey the law, and have had zero problems with the government. I do not fear they are going to track my every move, and listen to every word I say. If they did they would die of boredom.
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Old March 6, 2013, 05:52 PM   #24
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I think there's nothing to be alarmed about. After all governments have never lied to the people or abused their authority!
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Old March 6, 2013, 06:07 PM   #25
MLeake
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manta49 asks
Quote:
As for the drones whats the difference in spying etc with a drone rather than a helicopter or aeroplane for example.
manta, for one thing, I addressed safety issues in an earlier post. Unmanned vehicles can do odd things; plus, pilots have more skin in the game when their butt is actually in the aircraft.

I've heard stories of one contract UAV operator in Iraq taking a quick lunch and flirt with female co-worker break, while he was supposed to be actively monitoring his platform.

But, for another thing, airplanes and helicopters typically fly for 2-5 hours. UAV's typically fly for 12-18 hours.

We could go on, but potential for hazards and for unauthorized surveillance go way up when these things enter the game.
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