Sheriff’s ‘Crowd Control’ Spy Drone Suspended After Privacy Uproar
Last minute protests prevent drone purchase
Dec 5, 2012
A county Sheriff’s department in California that planned to buy and operate a surveillance drone has been forced to suspend the idea, and possibly scrap it altogether after privacy advocates fought tooth and nail in opposition.
The Oakland Tribune reports that the American Civil Liberties Union stepped in earlier this week to prevent the Alameda County Sheriff’s office from acquiring the drone using grant money from the California Emergency Management Agency.
“…the Sheriff’s Office was asking the supervisors on Tuesday to approve a $31,646 grant to help pay for a drone, indicating that the department was far closer to acquisition than they had led the public to believe.” the newspaper reports.
As County supervisors prepared to vote on accepting the grant money Tuesday, ACLU attorney Linda Lye said that the proposal would pave the way for police “spying,” adding that the sheriff is “not taking privacy issues seriously.”