Dorner, Drones and the NDAA
February 14, 2013
Following the incineration of cop killer suspect Chris Dorner by the San Bernardino police, a lobbyist group dedicated to inserting drones in police work used the event to push the wares of their clients.
“Had a [drone] been able to be used in that environment, who knows what could have happened,” said Peter Bale, chairman of the board for the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.
Mr. Bale went on to point a finger at “privacy advocates, which [have] slowed widespread use of drones,” according to US News & World Report. “We believe the FAA should focus on their core mission, which is safety,” he said.
The unprecedented deployment of military and surveillance drones has been “delayed many months because the FAA is being pulled into the privacy debate,” in other words a debate over the Fourth Amendment, which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures and requires a warrant supported by probable cause.
Cops all around the country are chomping at the bit to use drones, as this interactive map shows. In addition to tracking down alleged cop killers, police want to use the technology for more mundane and practical purposes in service to the state – for instance, snooping on folks exercising the First Amendment. In January, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said he would be interested in using drones for monitoring crowds and large demonstrations, according to NBC in New York.