Drones over Pakistan are well known. Drones over your backyard are only now being understood. Law enforcement agencies love them; the ACLU hates them. Love em or hate em, the FAA projects approximately 30,000 domestic drones in the next 10 years. $12 billion of them — some as small as a bird — hovering some 400 feet above us.
While most of us are planning our summer vacations, police and federal agencies are planning to choose from 146 models. Perhaps the darling of the lot is the “hummingbird drone.” A tiny unit which uses only a few AA batteries, flies 11 miles an hour, can land on any windowsill in your house
Unlike military drones, these units are not equipped with missiles. But, like so many major innovations, they’ve come about because of military research. Now, however, anyone with an iPhone or an Android potentially has a drone autopilot in their pocket.
According to the latest Rasmussen poll, more than 50% of Americans oppose drones for domestic use. And in an 1989 Supreme Court ruling, a warrant is not required to observe private property from the air. Indeed, you can click on GoogleMaps and see air photos of most property sites in the land.
I wouldn’t take that 50% poll too seriously, though. Most people are perfectly willing to allow anyone to surveillance anyone anywhere anytime. The only exception is when that someone is them. Which, as you can understand, complicates our story. To be continued……
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