Massive aerial surveillance program in Ohio moves forward, doesn’t have to wait for FAA drone rules
Thursday, April 4, 2013
The city of Dayton, Ohio is considering deploying a system similar to the Autonomous Real-time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance Imaging System (ARGUS) – the technology that allows up to 36 square miles to be monitored at once – without having to wait for the FAA’s drone rules to be issued.
The program does not have to be concerned about those rules because the surveillance would actually be conducted by manned aircraft rather than the unmanned drones so regularly flying over the United States now.
The fact that the program is not actually using a drone also has apparently allowed it to avoid the increased scrutiny afforded to various aspects of the domestic drone program including police use, use by Customs and Border Protection, use by U.S. Marshals, use by the Department of Homeland Security, domestic use by the military and many more entities both public and private.
The program was brought to light thanks to a Dayton Police Department presentation entitled “2013 Aerial Surveillance Project” given to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) by Ohio activists.
The program is referred to as “Trusted Situational Awareness,” a name which the ACLU rightly points out is “such a mouthful of euphemisms for surveillance that it almost sounds like a parody.”