Domestic Drones Cometh: Report Exposes Rapid Expansion of Surveillance Flights

Friday, November 14, 2014
By Paul Martin

More than 10,000 flights have quietly taken place along the US/Mexico border since last year, according to the AP

Jon Queally
CommonDreams.org
Thursday, November 13, 2014

The U.S. government has quietly expanded its use of unmanned surveillance drones inside the country to the extent that now half of the nearly 2,000 mile border with Mexico is monitored by military drones that were once reserved for foreign battlefields, according to new reporting by the Associated Press.

The proliferation of domestic drones has long been a concern for those dismayed about how such weapons have been used in the warzones of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere. Defenders of civil liberty have said that the expanded use of surveillance drones for domestice purposes—including border patrol or local law enforcement—puts the nation on a slippery slope in which the normalization of such machines charts a worrying path towards a society constantly under watchful eyes from above.

The news agency cites government officials with direct knowledge of the program and reports that the secretive border patrol program—internall- referred to as operation “change detection”—has operated 10,000 or more drone missions over large, mostly remote sections of the U.S-Mexico border since it began with little or no public fanfare in March of 2013.

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