Senate Votes in Favor of Surveillance Drones — 30,000 of them!

Photo: Mixer / Flickr – CC

by Michelle Golonka

There is no doubt that this country is becoming a police state. And once again, another story that threatens the personal privacy of U.S. citizens has been kept from us by the mainstream media.

Senate Bill H.R. 658 (also referred to as  FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act), which was signed into law in February, paves the way for use of surveillance drones in U.S. skies. The FAA predicts that there could be up to 30,000 drones in the sky by 2020.

The American Civil Liberties Union warned that the legislation could severely undermine Americans’ privacy:

“Unfortunately, nothing in the bill would address the very serious privacy issues raised by drone aircraft,” Jay Stanley of the ACLU said. “This bill would push the nation willy-nilly toward an era of aerial surveillance without any steps to protect the traditional privacy that Americans have always enjoyed and expected.”

“We don’t want to wonder, every time we step out our front door, whether some eye in the sky is watching our every move.” the ACLU statement reads.“The bottom line is: domestic drones are potentially extremely powerful surveillance tools, and that power — like all government power — needs to be subject to checks and balances,” Stanley concluded.

“We hope that Congress will carefully consider the privacy implications that this technology can lead to.”

This is an outrage. There is no logical reason as to why we should be under surveillance. Of course the advocates for creating this intensified police state will proffer that this is needed “to fight terrorism,” but let’s examine that issue for just a moment.

We’ve only had two successful acts of terrorism in the US, both happening well over ten years ago. It’s not like we’re under a constant monthly or weekly barrage of terrorism, at least not from foreign threats. We’ve been terrorized by our politicians and our media plenty, far more than we have from foreign entities. That’s an undeniable fact.

It’s just too bad American media has kept us in the dark.

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