Saturday, 23 January 2010

An Invasion of Privacy?




It's common knowledge the military use unmanned spy drones in Afghanistan as part of their reconnaissance procedure, but did you know that police in the UK are planning to use them for the 'routine' monitoring of antisocial motorists, protesters, agricultural thieves and fly-tippers to name just a few?

BAE systems, which produce a range of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for war zones, is adapting the military-style planes for a consortium of government agencies led by Kent police.

The South Coast Partnership, a Home Office-backed project in which Kent police and others are developing a national drone plan with BAE and they reveal the partnership intends to begin using the drones in time for the 2012 Olympics.

The Righteous will say this is a great idea. For me it's an invasion of my privacy and a government generated control system which will contribute greatly to labour's social engineering programme. Aren't CCTV cameras enough? Obviously not.


25 comments:

eric said...

Good point. I saw this article earlier and have been thinking about it too. Drones and airships are so different (one fast and un-noticable, the other ponderous and unmissable) that I wonder what the cops are up to? I agree that the idea of the Drone might well threaten civil liberties, yet it looks so unlikely that i suspect the cops are looking, much more prosaically, for a budget uplift to pay for a airship for the olympics which they might get to hang on to afterwards. An airship used for regular police duties (as opposed to looking for dangerous things during the olympics) would certainly be a matter for a major public debate on civil libs. I think so, anyway. In fact, I've just been moved by you to think a bit more and blog about it later at http://ericjoycemp.wordpress.com. So there.

Sandy said...

It really is turning into "Big Brother is watching you".

With the terror threat being upgraded to "Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia", this government is moving further and further into its own fantasies.

Sue said...

I did read about this last year in one of the "nerdy IT mags"..

These things could be useful in catching criminals or be involved in long term surveillance to catch drug traffickers and slavers etc..

Except.. you know they won´t be used like that. Their usage will be abused. They will be used to spy on innocent citizens dropping fags ends, litter or parking offences.

Until we can totally trust our politicians and police, we should not allow them to be used!

Demetrius said...

If they could be used to find where our local trains get to I might be more in favour. But films where the hero rushes out and into a taxi crying "Follow that drone!" simply doesn't have the right style. And Olympics? The costs of course "off budget"?

stewartcowan said...

From 2005: 'Eyes in the sky' for homeland security (MSNBC)...

"Airship advocates say they are cheaper than satellites and more feasible as long term surveillance platforms.

"Now, the Department of Defense plans to spend $1.7 billion in research and development on 79 projects through 2009 for UAV development, including developing a six-ounce “micro” flying vehicle called WASP. Some of those technologies will eventually transfer to the civil sector, particularly for use in homeland security.

“With an airship you can hover and vector people in... With an airship we can stay on station for 24 hours and not lose sight of something, which is extraordinarily important.”

There's big money to be made...

"And compared to satellites, which can cost $150 million or more, Spyrou said his company leases blimps for $350,000 to $400,000 per month."

"These super blimps would have better surveillance capabilities than satellites because of their proximity to the ground and because they would be unmanned they could remain in operation for up to a year, the Purdue researchers said.

subrosa said...

Aye their possibilities are endless really Sue but we know our leaders will use them, not for our protection but for their control.

subrosa said...

Now that's a good reason Demetrius or if they could be used to police the Scottish coastline I wouldn't mind.

subrosa said...

Thanks for that link Stewart. I had heard about them before and I think we all know they're used in front line warfare but how the government can substantiate spending more money on spying on the public I'll never know.

subrosa said...

Thank you for the compliment Eric. I look forward to reading your post as I'm sure it will have more information than the press has volunteered.

subrosa said...

Indeed it is Sandy and all rather dangerous fantasies they are too.

JRB said...

There is just one tiny little technical problem – the smallest of flies in the ointment to spoil the police’s latest plans for infringement of or liberties.

These unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are designed to fly at altitudes of up to 20,000feet and stay airborne for up to 15hours.
However they are not equipped with any form of ‘sense and avoidance’ equipment. It hasn’t been developed yet, and is still some years down the line.
Hence the reason why the CAA will, for now, not issue a licence to any UAV, because of the high risk of collision with other aircraft.
In addition UAV’s are not, and will not be, subject to the jurisdiction and instruction of Air Traffic Control.

In Afghanistan or Iraq where UAV’s are currently in use, that risk of collision is not a significant factor, but over London or Kent then that becomes a different mater.

But no doubt the police will use ‘national security’ as an excuse to override such practical concerns.

brownlie said...

subrosa,

You'll need to curtail your sitooterie sessions - Conan being so easily recognisable!

subrosa said...

Now that is interesting John. I've be trying to contact someone who knows about these matters but had no response as yet. Low and behold you give me the information I was requesting.

Another part of these devices of course is that their operational data is just as good as the end users' interpretations. We all know how human error and manipulation are reasons for misinformation.

muddypaws said...

there will be plenty of big balloons and drones looking for a job after the next election.......

subrosa said...

Brownlie, I think Conan would much prefer to walk his dogs - in fact I know so. ;)

subrosa said...

Well said muddypaws!

Ronnie. said...

Looks like I`ll have to start pissing indoors.

muddypaws said...

here's an american take on the use of drones in britain.....it's inevitable because of oil....and we won't notice because we're too busy watching X factor.......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0f3yZ7r1IKY&feature=player_embedded

subrosa said...

Advisable Ronnie, especially in this weather.

subrosa said...

Thanks muddypaws for the link. I don't watch X factor. ;)

Amusing Bunni said...

THey have you being watched 24/7, Subrosa. I've noticed a whole lot more CATV cams in Chicago too. The crooked mayor Daley was supposed to upgrade the police dept. to be all state of the art, and it was a big costly corrupt failure (surprise).

If I lived in GB, I would put on a different hair color wig and sunglasses every time I left the house. They are using this to control the people, not help, just like you said.

subrosa said...

Luckily I live in a rural area bunni so would notice any wires or wireless interference I think.

As for shopping in disguise. I find the best answer when I see cameras and I'm in the mood, I either do a dance, wave, pirouette or curtsey. Just to lighten up my day.

Oh, another thing they're handy for is to show you if the diet's working. There's one in a store in the city and it's position perfectly for me to take off my coat and see if I'm looking slimmer than last week. :)

Ronnie. said...

What if these damn terrorists start plotting inside?
It`s us who should be keeping our governors in check. I know, Subrosa, you reckon King Alex is worth 2 salaries (+Exes) but sadly not I.
Still, awfy decent of him to fit in a wee visit to the Maldives --I hear the weather is shocking.

subrosa said...

Now now Ronnie, you're over-egging the pudding as my English friends would say.

Do I have to repeat myself? Alex Salmond told his constituents he would give up Westminster this year. They elected him anyway. Their choice nothing to do with me (or you perhaps?)

One of his salaries goes directly into a trust fund.

The visit to the Maldives has not yet been verified, you're jumping the gun a bit there. Mind you, if he does go I understand 3 - 5 of his colleagues will accompany him. Any idea how many went with Gordo to Hopehagen? 207 at the last count. Lots of emissions there then.

Yes I know two wrongs don't make a right ...

Ronnie. said...

The wee man must be the only gatecrasher to end up with a holiday.
The Maldives is a Presidential Republic.
Wee man in speedos?

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