Tuesday, June 20, 2006

L.A. Sheriff's Test Unmanned Flying Spy Machine

Just recently, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department went out to test the future of law enforcement, & quite possibly the next tool to further the imposing police state.
The SkySeer, an unmanned aerial plane weighing about 5 pounds & operated by GPS, made it's public appearance in Los Angeles.
The drone is equipped with low-light & infrared capabilities & can fly at speeds up to 30 MPH for 70 minutes. The plane collapses & fits into a shoulder pack smaller than a golf bag. A small camera with tilt & pan operations is fixed to the underside of the drone which sends the video directly to a laptop command station. As technology improves, the drone will be outfitted with zoom capabilities.
Police say the drone will be able to accomplish tasks too dangerous for officers & will free up the 18, $ 3-5 million dollar helicopters now crusing the L.A. skies.
"This technology could be used to find missing children, search for lost hikers, or survey a fire zone.", Commander Sid Heal, head of Technology Exploration Project for the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept.
The SkySeer could also be used to nab burglary suspects on rooftops & to chase down suspects fleeing on foot.
Since the SkySeer is almost silent & invisible, the possibilities are endless. And that's a concern. The future of nearly invisible eyes in the sky is unsettling & reaks of Big Brother.
Beth Givens of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse says, " Do we really want to live in a society where our backyard barbeques will be open to police scrutiny?"
Heal contradicted his own statement by first saying, " You shouldn't be worried about being spied on by your goverment." Then added, " These days you cant go anywhere without a camera watching you whether you're in the grocery store or walking down the street."
Exactly why we should worry about our goverment spying on us. A police state would make cameras everywhere, recording our every move, the norm.
But before the police decide to mass produce these baby's, maybe they should learn how to actually fly them first. The SkySeer looked like Icarus, when during Friday's field test it took a nosedive & crashed into a vacant lot! It was later blamed on "some sort of communication interference."