As to those of you poo-pooing this and saying “how is this any different than a helicopter,” in five to ten years when unmanned drones are flying all over your neighborhood surveilling and storing info at random, you can think back to mocking us privacy hysterics. I’m sure very similar arguments were made in years past about police needing armored vehicles and .50 cals and every locale needing a SWAT team armed to the teeth. But hey, it’s much more fashionable to be too cool for school and just say “no big deal, shut up hippie.”
And, as predicted, the domestic escalation continues:
The FBI uses drones for domestic surveillance purposes, the head of the agency told Congress early Wednesday.
Robert Mueller, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, confirmed to lawmakers that the FBI owns several unmanned aerial vehicles, but has not adopted any strict policies or guidelines yet to govern the use of the controversial aircraft.
“Does the FBI use drones for surveillance on US soil?” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) asked Mr Mueller during an oversight hearing on Capitol Hill Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Yes,” Mueller responded bluntly, adding that the FBI’s operation of drones is “very seldom.”
That’s the same FBI who have managed hundreds of justified shootings without so much as one mistake in judgment. Oh, and for bonus yucks, Mueller actually said this under oath:
When Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota) asked Mueller later in the morning if he’d consider being more open about the FBI’s surveillance methods, the director expressed reluctance to be more transparent. Mueller said the FBI has and will continue to weigh the possibility of publishing more information about its spy habits, but warned that doing so would be to the advantage of America’s enemies.
“There is a price to be paid for that transparency,” Mueller said. “I certainly think it would be educating our adversaries as to what our capabilities are.”
But hey, if you haven’t done anything wrong you don’t have anything to worry about, amirite?