Documents Expose Predator Drones Spying Extensively in U.S.
Predator drones used by multiple agencies in domestic airspace could be armed.
July 4, 2013
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is now lending Predator drones to a wide range of federal, state, and local agencies for domestic surveillance and possible “non-lethal” strikes, according to federal documents released by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
The FBI, the U.S. Marshals and even the Texas Department of Public Safety have used CBP Predator drones in U.S. airspace. In 2010, CBP reported that future drone payloads could include “non-lethal weapons designed to immobilize targets of interest.”
Last month, FBI Director Robert Mueller admitted that the FBI has used drones domestically.
The new documents expose the wide extent of domestic drone use. The EFF released the documents after a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.
CBP drone use by other agencies has increased over eight times from 2010 to 2012.
By 2016, CBP wants airborne drones in domestic airspace 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure a “layered security strategy.”