Critics warn military industrial complex pushing US “willy-nilly toward an era of aerial surveillance”
February 8, 2012
A bill passed in by Congress this week paves the way for the use of surveillance drones in US skies. The FAA predicts that by 2020 there could be up to 30,000 drones in operation.
Once signed by president Obama, the FAA Reauthorization Act allows for the FAA to permit the use of drones and develop regulations for testing and licensing by 2015.
The bill will exponentially speed up and streamline the process by which the FAA authorizes the use of drones by federal, state and local police and other government agencies. Currently, the FAA issues a certificate on a case by case basis.
The legislation represents the result of a huge push by the military industrial complex to open up US skies to what will become a multi-million dollar business.
The American Civil Liberties Union warned Monday 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.”