Big Sis Loaning Out Military Style Drones To Sheriffs Departments: Privacy Group Sues
DHS secretly flying surveillance missions for other law enforcement agencies
Nov 1, 2012
A privacy rights watchdog is suing the Department of Homeland Security for information relating to the agency’s practice of loaning out Predator drones to law enforcement agencies in the US.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation wants to obtain and make public details regarding the DHS’ granting permission for domestic police departments to borrow and operate the same type of drones that are used by the military in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Information via news items, DHS press releases, and word of mouth has made it apparent that the DHS is overseeing predator drone flights for a range of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.
The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is flying DHS drones fitted with video cameras, infrared cameras, heat sensors, and radar. the Texas Rangers, as well as the Bureau of Land Management, and the Department of Defense have also used DHS drones. Even a county sheriff’s department in North Dakota is reported to have operated a predator drone belonging to the DHS.
“We’ve seen bits and pieces of information on CBP’s Predator drones, but Americans deserve the full story,” said EFF Staff Attorney Jennifer Lynch.