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Old March 8, 2013, 04:56 PM   #51
sigcurious
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But if the argument is that a pilot in any old plane or helicopter could see a thing, and therefore there is no expectation of privacy, that's a bit different (don't you think) from saying that since a spy satellite that can count troops in formation from fifty miles away can see the thing...
I think we all agree that use of technology to see what cannot normally be seen, and thus violating an expectation of privacy is bad. However, the argument being made is not that a pilot could or could not see something with an unaided eye, but that it makes no difference whether a pilot or observer sees something with surveillance technology whether that technology is mounted on a traditional aircraft or a UAV. Whether it's mounted on a traditional aircraft or UAV does not change the legality of the use of the technology, or the standards with which expectation of privacy are determined. There does seem to be some divergence in the opinions of what constitutes an expectation of privacy, however, that does not change the core issue that any surveillance system that can be mounted on a UAV can also be mounted on traditional aircraft, and that demonstrating the probability of misuse goes up or down based on type of aircraft is tenuous at best. As such, UAVs are not the issue, it's the potential misuse of a fancy camera/imaging device that is the issue.
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Old March 8, 2013, 05:07 PM   #52
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Privacy is one facet, and it's certainly a very great concern, but we're talking about giving drone strike legality to agencies that have trouble serving warrants to the right address,killing pets and sometimes innocent people. Imagine what damage a mistake with a drone armed with a Hellfire missile would cause!

Oops, wrong address!
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Old March 8, 2013, 05:19 PM   #53
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sigcurious, when I was active duty Navy, and we first started putting cameras on non-TARPS birds, there were a lot of restrictions as to how we could conduct training.

In a nutshell, we could not look outside dedicated training areas, where all vehicles and personnel would be part of the exercise. There were huge concerns about violations of privacy if we, for example, decided to practice a vehicle follow with our gear on what turned out to be a private citizen just out for a (perfectly lawful) drive on base.

Personally, I agreed with that philosophy, and have not been thrilled to see the government (under both GW Bush and Barack Obama) chip away at the concept of what privacy we should enjoy.

Cameras today are much better than they were ten years ago, so if anything our concerns about invasion of privacy should be that much greater. Unfortunately, we as a society have become so accustomed to Big Brother watching us that we tend to shrug it off as normal.

Ask Glenn E Meyer about the famous psychological experiment involving the dog, the cage, and electric shocks (learned helplessness); then, ask yourself how we differ from the poor dog.

As far as the privacy issue goes, you are correct - it is the sensor gear, and not the UAV. However, the UAV does create a completely different set of safety issues, as previously noted by me and others.

First, there is the safety of flight issue for aircraft operating in vicinity of UAVs. Trust me on this, but pilots who have experience operating around UAVs really do not like operating around UAVs. (I am one of those pilots.)

Second, there is the issue of the risks and decisions people are willing to make, from the command and control end, when they are at a safe, video-game like remove from the action.

This is a big deal. It disturbs me how members here are blowing it off.
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Old March 8, 2013, 05:22 PM   #54
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I can't understand the continual comparison between a Predator and the ubiquotous Bell JetRanger police copter.

Issues of loiter time, avialability, command and control, visibility, and deployment abound on that one.

Was there ever any validity to the rumor that the BATFE wanted to buy OV-10 Broncos in 1995?

To me, this is very reminiscent of that.

I feel like you can make the cause for Predators to be used by CBP along the Mexican border or by ICE in the Caribbean, but that's about it.
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Old March 8, 2013, 05:33 PM   #55
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SPEMack618, I agree with you in all particulars, and I'd add that patrolling some of the Canadian border might also be reasonable use for Predators.

Inland United States? Not so much.

As far as the OV-10s go, you'd be surprised... I know one guy I used to work with who left our company to go fly mosquito control at home (he's in coastal GA). The state uses an OV-10 they acquired from military surplus as the mosquito sprayer...

Funnier than that (to me, at least) was the AH-1 Cobra in Fire Department livery that used to sit outside base ops at Tallahassee Regional. What a Fire Department will do with a disarmed Cobra is beyond me, but it was still there in 2008, last time I flew out of Tallahassee.
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Old March 8, 2013, 05:48 PM   #56
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Was there ever any validity to the rumor that the BATFE wanted to buy OV-10 Broncos in 1995?
SPEMack, you may be interested in this link regarding the OV-10 and BATFE.

**Might help if I actually post the link!
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...ad.main/13501/
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Old March 8, 2013, 05:53 PM   #57
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I accept there are technical safety issues with UAVs, however like any other machine these issues are entirely separate from issues surrounding their intended or possible use, in this case surveillance legal or otherwise.

Perhaps one reason I do not find them objectionable is because I limited my response to the known factors and not the possible. The agency that has the predators is CBP, which as both MLeake and SPEMack noted, border use could be deemed reasonable.
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Old March 8, 2013, 05:54 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by MLeake
As far as the OV-10s go, you'd be surprised... I know one guy I used to work with who left our company to go fly mosquito control at home (he's in coastal GA). The state uses an OV-10 they acquired from military surplus as the mosquito sprayer...
That's cool. Dating a girl who resides on SSI, I would support the activation of a sprayer equipped C-123 to fight the bugs down there. Militarization of civil aviation be darned!

And the FD Cobra, pretty neat. I saw a California FD with an H-60 of some variant, referred to as a "Firehawk" in the Rose Parada once.

Good point in regards to the Canadian Border too, I forget how pourous it is too.

But from what I recall, the Broncos were being purchased with assorted sensors, including FLIR, which in and of itself is relatively harmless I suppose, but also other sensor packages too.
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Old March 8, 2013, 05:59 PM   #59
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How do celebrities sue tabloids for topless photos taken in their backyard? If Google Earth is capable of posting up that photo of their backyard?

Why would our government want to be held to a lesser standard than the National Enquirer?
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Old March 8, 2013, 06:17 PM   #60
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I that it's pretty well established in law that celebrities don't have the same expectation of privacy as regular, non-famous people. They have a very hard time suing tabloids for anything.

But we digress...
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Old March 8, 2013, 06:20 PM   #61
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Again, not a lawyer, but the ruling required that someone would not have reason to believe their activities were private. It said

"Any member of the public could legally have been flying over Riley's property in a helicopter at the altitude of 400 feet and could have observed Riley's greenhouse. The police officer did no more."

I assume it has something to do with a "reasonable expectations of privacy". In my opinion looking inside a house would fall outside of what is allowed. Whether it be a camera looking through a window or more advanced means. At least I hope they would not be allowed.

http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/488/445/
I find it quizzical, and frankly a little comical, that the courts both read unenumerated rights into the constitution (privacy) at their convenience then back out again. Or at least it would be comical it it weren't so terrifying.
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Old March 8, 2013, 07:14 PM   #62
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I would like to refer you to my Facebook page bob gray Vernon AZ. and also senator Rand Paul's page.

You will find that a number of different issues are coming to a head which should cause great concern for all 2 A advocates.

A number of these issues are purely political and outside the rules of this forum but will have major impact on our sport.

Last edited by ltc444; March 8, 2013 at 07:20 PM. Reason: add and amend
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Old March 9, 2013, 12:00 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pnac
**Might help if I actually post the link!
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...ad.main/13501/
I wasn't going to say anything....

But that makes for an interesting read, especially when you consider the killing point for the OV-10, well aside from the extra-legal means of procurement, was, according to that article the hardpoints would be maintained.

Now granted as MLeake has pointed out, it would cost a whole heap ton to procue Predators without hardpoints. But the fact still remains, do we want Predators, with or without weapon stations, or OV-10s for that matter, operating inside CONUS, in missions directed towards U.S. citizens?
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Old March 9, 2013, 07:43 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbatchelor
I find it quizzical, and frankly a little comical, that the courts both read unenumerated rights into the constitution (privacy) at their convenience then back out again. Or at least it would be comical it it weren't so terrifying.
I do not take it they are enumerating new rights, it appears to me they are more finding a standard to apply to our constitutional protections. In this case, the 4th amendment. Really, I don't see any other options. The 4th amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures without a warrant. We really need a simple standard in order to define this. Is an open letter I leave blowing down the street a protected item? If the police drive by my house and see a giant pot plant growing in my front yard is that an unreasonable search? Do we want every single case that is in doubt to face a constitutional challenge? If not, I would suggest, we need easy to understand standards to apply. The standard the SCOTUS went with was a "reasonable expectation of privacy", if a reasonable person would not expect an item, or an action to be private then the police may observe it just like anyone else. Forgive me for the explanation as I am sure you are already aware of this.

Don't get me wrong, many of the creative interpretations of the constitution we have seen over the years by courts and politicians worry me.
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Old March 9, 2013, 09:16 AM   #65
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. . . . The 4th amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures without a warrant. . . .
Nitpicky correction. The A4 doesn't protect against "unreasonable searches and seizures without a warrant." It protects against all unreasonable searches and seizures. No warrant shall issue, but upon probable cause.
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Old March 9, 2013, 01:26 PM   #66
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I find it quizzical, and frankly a little comical, that the courts both read unenumerated rights into the constitution (privacy) at their convenience then back out again. Or at least it would be comical it it weren't so terrifying.
This must be what they mean when some people say "the Constitution is a living document." What does it mean THIS week?

I don't mean to make light of the situation, it's a sad state of affairs.
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Old March 9, 2013, 02:07 PM   #67
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Nitpicky correction. The A4 doesn't protect against "unreasonable searches and seizures without a warrant." It protects against all unreasonable searches and seizures. No warrant shall issue, but upon probable cause
Not so nitpicky since the 4A is arguably the one on point for just this situation. Tennesee v Garner 471 US 1 (1985) says apprehension by deadly force of a fleeing (and though it doesn't say so one could extrapolate ANY) suspect is a seizure that is subject to the fourth amendment's reasonableness requirement.
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Old March 9, 2013, 06:43 PM   #68
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The 9th circuit court has issued a ruling which may curb some of the unreasonable searches which are happening. The ruling stops the search of laptops, cell phones and other electronic devices at the border.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...utm_medium=RSS

This may be applicable to the restricting the DHS Survelliance drones on american soil. It would be interesting for some of our attorneys to evaluate this ruling and its applicability to remotely searching homes with these drones.
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Old March 9, 2013, 08:52 PM   #69
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A few years ago camera's were installed along the lower Niagara River in Lewiston, there was much objection to them but them were installed anyhow. It was said they were to watch the river for illegal activity such as people coming across and into the USA illegally. The camera's are remote controlled and now spend more time turned around and watching peoples back yards more than the river. These camera's can zoom in and look right in the windows of the houses and have caused people to keep their blinds closed for privacy. Imagine what they can see and do with drones, more and more it is the American citizens that the government is watching.
Internet chatter about asking Eric Holder if drones can be used to kill Americans on American soil, is this fact or fiction ?
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Old March 9, 2013, 09:01 PM   #70
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Internet chatter about asking Eric Holder if drones can be used to kill Americans on American soil, is this fact or fiction ?
In short, Holder said that he could imagine a possible scenario where UAVs could be used domestically to attack U.S. citizens, but it would have to be something extraordinary (picture a "24"-style plot where the bad guy is driving a truck bomb into the middle of the Superbowl game or something.)

When Holder was asked if drones could be used to attack an American terrorist who was not currently "in combat" (like sitting outside in a café), Holder answered "no".

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Old March 10, 2013, 08:34 AM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ltc444
The 9th circuit court has issued a ruling which may curb some of the unreasonable searches which are happening. The ruling stops the search of laptops, cell phones and other electronic devices at the border.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...utm_medium=RSS

This may be applicable to the restricting the DHS Survelliance drones on american soil. It would be interesting for some of our attorneys to evaluate this ruling and its applicability to remotely searching homes with these drones.
The 9th drew a distinction between basic inspection of the device -- turning it on, browsing files -- with forensic analysis of the device, which is what happened in the case. I haven't read the actual decision, but from my reading of tech reporting on the case, border agents in the 9th circuit can no longer take intrusive steps like mirroring the storage of such devices to look for evidence later at their leisure, nor can they demand a password to access the device without reasonable suspicion.

A problem remains, however, in that the 9th circuit attached reasonable suspicion rather than probable cause as the criterion for determining whether an invasive forensic exploration of a computer or storage device is constitutional under the 4th amendment. Reasonable suspicion is a horribly vague and easily met standard, as I complained earlier in this thread.

Sadly, even this weak but positive 9th Circuit decision will probably be reversed by the Supreme Court. I don't trust a single member of SCOTUS to fully understand the privacy implications of allowing forensic searches, without justification, of any smartphone, tablet, or laptop that crosses the border. It will be all too easy for them to fall back on the principle that border crossings are subject to arbitrary levels of scrutiny, and ignore the 4th amendment completely. After all, the court has no problem with suspicion-less detention of cars for drug searches within 100-200 miles of the border.
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Old March 11, 2013, 05:10 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spats McGee
Nitpicky correction. The A4 doesn't protect against "unreasonable searches and seizures without a warrant." It protects against all unreasonable searches and seizures. No warrant shall issue, but upon probable cause.
I don't think that was nitpicky at all, I worded that horribly...so horribly that it in fact ended up being wrong. Thanks for the correction.
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Old March 12, 2013, 11:46 PM   #73
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DHS Drones to determine if person is armed and to intercept cell phone signals

Quote:
Originally Posted by MLeake View Post
Second, there is the issue of the risks and decisions people are willing to make, from the command and control end, when they are at a safe, video-game like remove from the action.

This is a big deal. It disturbs me how members here are blowing it off.
I concur this is a really big deal in a number of ways. That's why I was ranting about it, somewhat incoherently upon rereading, some postings back.

Read this; http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/09/living...html?hpt=hp_c1

And then Google "did we just kill a kid" and read some of those.

We are dehumanizing war and turning it into slaughter. Certainly not everyone involved. But it's happening. And I fear for our claim as the shining city on the hill.

And to justify it we'll make it antiseptic like Star Trek's episode "A Taste of Armageddon" seemed so civilized.

But it isn't so civilized from the other side. "Though boys throw stones at frogs in sport, the frogs do not die in sport, but in earnest." -- Bion, Greek bucolic poet (~100 BC)

(Apologies to whoever's signature I stole.)
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Old March 13, 2013, 10:13 AM   #74
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Not to disparage the boys and girl in blue, well sage green, who fly the various drones, but in my interactions with them, they all seemed to view war, and thier part in it, as nothing more than a really realistic flight simulator.

Now, I understand that you have to dehumanize the enemy, and I engaged in a fair bit of it myself, but still, at the end of the day, when you have to police up the fellow you put a burst of M855 into, it puts the war, and killing into perspective. Something the drone operators don't see/do.

And the fact that my government wants to use those same drones over our home soil scares the bejeesus out of me.
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Old March 13, 2013, 10:15 AM   #75
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Would you express the same concerns over helicopter pilots and bomber pilots? Their bombs and rockets can kill large numbers of people and they rarely, if ever, see the end result. Our bomber crews during WWII certainly were not directly exposed to the results of fire bombing crowded cities.
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