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Old 11-25-2011, 04:01 PM
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Default Leptron Avengers can into the Fourth Amendment

From bldgblog's recent article on the mission creep/blurring of lines between uses of retired Iraqi war equipment, the Mexican border patrol, and community police surveillance.

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The Send Equipment for National Defense Act, sponsored by Texas Representative Ted Poe, would "require that 10 percent of certain equipment returned from Iraq—like Humvees, night-vision equipment and unmanned aerial surveillance craft—be made available to state and local agencies for border-security operations."

...This comes at the same time that Miller-McCune warns that "armed police drones"—or weaponized UAVs—might soon be flying through a sky near you. While Miller-McCune focuses specifically on the sheriff of Montgomery County, Texas, it's worth pointing out that so-called Leptron Avengers—"battery-operated helicopters designed to take high-resolution video and photos and that can be equipped with night-vision cameras or thermal-imaging equipment"—have also been requested by the Texas city of Arlington, perhaps making Texas—alongside such places as Syria, North Korea, and China—the go-to site today for witnessing civilian adaptations of military surveillance technology....
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The current version of this equipment, called the ShadowHawk, "won’t carry weapons," we're told, but "the drone’s manufacturer, Vanguard Defense Industries, boasts that it’s strong enough to carry a shotgun or even a grenade launcher." The firm itself adds that the "ShadowHawk can maintain aerial surveillance of an area (i.e. house, vehicle, person, etc.) at 700 feet without being heard or seen unlike full sized aircraft. Imagine the advantage provided to an entry team in the following scenarios: high risk warrant, hostage rescue, domestic violence, etc."


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Briefly, I'm reminded of the opening scene from Christopher Dickey's book Securing the City, in which a helicopter that falls somewhere between aerial war machine and advanced Hollywood film equipment is breathlessly unveiled: "The winter air is cold and the light hard-edged as the unmarked New York City Police Department helicopter meanders through the winds above the five boroughs," we read.
It is a state-of-the-art crime-fighting, terror-busting, order-keeping techno toy, with its enormous lens that can magnify any scene on the streets almost one thousand times, then double that digitally; that can watch a crime in progress from miles away, can look in windows, can sense the body heat of people on rooftops or running along sidewalks, can track beepers slipped under cars, can do so very many things that the man in the helmet watching the screens and moving the images with the joystick in his lap, NYPD Detective David Zschau, is often a little bit at a loss for words. "It really is an amazing tool," he keeps saying.
...To be honest, though, it seems only a matter of time before armed police drones are a reality in the United States, and it would thus be great to see a long discussion of the legality—or, at the very least, the societal implications—of such equipment, before we are faced with a scenario none of us adequately understand. For instance, is there a law course somewhere examining the rights and implications of autonomous urban police technologies? Combine this with a look at repurposed military hardware used in patrolling national borders, and the syllabus from such a course would be well worth exploring in detail.
As a law-abiding citizen, all this looks like an clear violation of my Fourth Amendment rights.

Are there law courses on this? Have there been any challenges to the constitutionality of police being able to hover out of my ability to detect them and look in my window and track me walking around in my own yard?
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  #2  
Old 11-25-2011, 04:42 PM
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Default Re: Leptron Avengers can into the Fourth Amendment

Here is the allusion I would make, except Null already explained it better.
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Old 11-25-2011, 05:59 PM
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Default Re: Leptron Avengers can into the Fourth Amendment


:thewave:
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Old 11-25-2011, 06:43 PM
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Default Re: Leptron Avengers can into the Fourth Amendment

Add to that the boss in your head...

Start-Up Handles Social Media Background Checks - NYTimes.com

Then it assembles a dossier with examples of professional honors and charitable work, along with negative information that meets specific criteria: online evidence of racist remarks; references to drugs; sexually explicit photos, text messages or videos; flagrant displays of weapons or bombs and clearly identifiable violent activity.

“We are not detectives,” said Max Drucker, chief executive of the company, which is based in Santa Barbara, Calif. “All we assemble is what is publicly available on the Internet today.”

The Federal Trade Commission, after initially raising concerns last fall about Social Intelligence’s business, determined the company is in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, but the service still alarms privacy advocates who say that it invites employers to look at information that may not be relevant to job performance.
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Old 11-26-2011, 12:26 PM
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Default Re: Leptron Avengers can into the Fourth Amendment

:thankee:
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:22 PM
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Default Re: Leptron Avengers can into the Fourth Amendment

There is a case currently before the US Supreme Court addressing whether the use of GPS information to track a person's movements (without a warrant) violates the Fourth Amendment.

Editorial (Christian Science Monitor)
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:37 PM
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Default Re: Leptron Avengers can into the Fourth Amendment

On a possibly related note:

Senators Demand the Military Lock Up American Citizens in a “Battlefield” They Define as Being Right Outside Your Window » Blog of Rights: Official Blog of the American Civil Liberties Union
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:58 PM
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Default Re: Leptron Avengers can into the Fourth Amendment

Don't we already have laws to arrest anyone found plotting against the government here in the "homeland?" But this has the doubleplusgood effect of eliminating habeas corpus, which theoretically would make it um, make it um, make it um...what's the word I'm thinking of?
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Old 11-26-2011, 11:25 PM
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Default Re: Leptron Avengers can into the Fourth Amendment

Totalitarian?
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Old 11-27-2011, 01:16 PM
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Default Re: Leptron Avengers can into the Fourth Amendment

War By Remote Control: Drones Make It Easy : NPR
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Old 12-09-2011, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: Leptron Avengers can into the Fourth Amendment

A fitting coda.

Pennywise - Society. Watch and learn.

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