It was just a little over a year ago that Andrew Breitbart met an untimely end at the tender age of 43. I’m persuaded that he didn’t die of old age, but that’s a topic for another day. He left behind a thriving news aggregator called Breitbart.com which, I am glad to see, continues to bring good things to light, including this on drones, and their threats to liberty.
The Department of Homeland Security (the title is a little too close to The Fatherland to suit me) has drones capable of identifying civilians carrying guns and cell phones. Alan Gottlieb, the founder of the Second Amendment Foundation [in the interest of full disclosure here I just sent them a small check to help in their work], said:
Could? Here’s a good rule: a power allowed is a power that will be used.
A Freedom of Information demand from the Electronic Privacy Information Center to the DHS about drones received a reply, stating that its Predator B drones “shall be capable of identifying a standing human being at night as likely armed or not.” Further, such drones must be equipped with “interception” systems capable of reading cell phone signals.
To disabuse anyone thinking that this is all theoretical, Breitbart reminds us of what happened in North Dakota last year when drones were used to determine if “suspects” were armed or not. When it was determined that at a particular moment in time they were not, police swarmed in and arrested them without incident. And without a search warrant.
These drones aren’t just looking for guns and phones, either. Peter Singer with the Brookings Institute said:
That drone is not just picking up information on what’s happening at that specific scene, it’s picking up everything else that’s going on. Basically it’s recording footage from a lot of different people that it didn’t that their approval to record footage.
And just when some were thinking that Rand Paul’s filibuster yesterday was just so much rant and rave about nothing, too.