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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Miami Gets Its Own Spy In The Sky Drone

Miami police could soon be the first in the United States to use cutting-edge, spy-in-the-sky technology to beef up their fight against crime.

A small pilotless drone manufactured by Honeywell International, capable of hovering and "viewing" using electro-optic or infrared sensors, is expected to be flying soon in the skies.

If use of the drone wins Federal Aviation Administration approval after tests, the Miami-Dade Police Department will start flying the 14-pound (6.3 kg) drone over urban areas with an eye toward full-fledged employment in crime fighting.

"We intend to use this to benefit us in carrying out our mission," he added, saying the wingless Honeywell aircraft, which fits into a backpack and is capable of vertical takeoff and landing, seems ideally suited for use by SWAT teams in hostage situations or dealing with "barricaded persons."

Miami-Dade police are not alone, however.

Taking their lead from the U.S. military, which has used drones in Iraq and Afghanistan for years, law enforcement agencies across the country have voiced a growing interest in using drones for domestic crime-fighting missions.

I for one am fed up with all this surveillance on common citizens. There has to be some type of control here. Hillery states she wants to put 100,000 more cops on the job, Are we in a police state? There needs to be an checks and balances system in place as well as laws - if this system can be like the eyes of 3000 police in the area. If you decide to launch this gadget lay-off 3,000 human police officers for every one you put up. We all know this little machine will be used to abuse the privacy rights of citizens much like the patriot act has in the past.