Should Police Use of Drones Be Permitted?

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  • #1
CAC1001
So police departments nationwide are seeking to acquire drones as they are cheaper and so effective. I was just watching Special Report, and Charles Krauthammer said they should be banned outright, which I found interesting, as usually neoconservatives (like him) are the ones who differ from the more libertarian conservatives and libertarians, and the left, when it comes to increasing police power and government powers to catch terrorists and criminals and so forth. For example, how the left and the libertarians all disdain the Patriot Act but the neoconservatives are generally okay with it. Or attitudes toward a strong standing military, where the libertarians are only for a very small military capable of defense, while neoconservatives reason that in the modern world, we have to have a big strong powerful standing military.

Krauthammer said that police having drones goes too far however, that drones are an instrument of war, and should not be flying over America as a method of law enforcement. He said even if they do not intend to abuse them, their use will end up being abused.

Was wondering people's opinions on this as I really didn't have an opinion on this. Normally, if it was just the Ron Paul types and maybe the ACLU railing over it, I'd reason that they were probably blowing something not so serious way out of proportion (for example Ron Paul is against the border fence on the idea that it could be used to keep Americans in), but now I am not so sure. They said this could allow a real-life version of "black helicopters" if you will. I also understand that in this modern era, police forces do have to be more "militarized" if you will, especially in the big cities where they sometimes are counter-terrorism capable and often more like a paramilitary force in certain ways, but there is a limit.
 

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  • #2
DaveC426913
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Technology will tend to get pushed into service where it is useful. With time and exposure, what was once scary becomes commonplace.

Once there was a time when we thought public security cameras were an invasion of our privacy.
 
  • #3
CAC1001
Technology will tend to get pushed into service where it is useful. With time and exposure, what was once scary becomes commonplace.

Once there was a time when we thought public security cameras were an invasion of our privacy.
We still do I think. America doesn't have the kind of surveillance cameras set up like they have in Britain for example and other nations.
 
  • #4
DaveC426913
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We still do I think. America doesn't have the kind of surveillance cameras set up like they have in Britain for example and other nations.
With time and exposure...
10 chars
 
  • #5
CAC1001
Just because time and exposure can lower sensitivity to something does not make it right though.
 
  • #6
russ_watters
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Police definitely should be using drones, more security cameras and microphones to triangulate shootings.
 
  • #7
DaveC426913
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Just because time and exposure can lower sensitivity to something does not make it right though.
True. What makes it right is if it helps stem the tide of growing crime and violence. And that people vote for it.
 
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  • #8
dlgoff
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How does one know if they are flying over now or not; Can't see them, can't hear them? So does it matter what the public thinks?
 
  • #9
CAC1001
True. What makes it right is if it helps stem the tide of growing crime and violence. And that people vote for it.
:confused: Just because something helps stem crime doesn't make it right. There are a lot of checks on police power that exist that, if removed, could help the police "stem the tide of growing crime and violence." But that doesn't mean they should be removed. That people may vote for something doesn't make it right, or Constitutional, either.

For example, you have a right to remain silent when dealing with law enforcement. Most people don't know that, but you have no legal requirement to talk to any law enforcement, local, state, or federal. The most you might have to do, depending on the state, is to show them your ID. You also have a right against unreasonable search and seizure. A lot of police consider these things pains that hamstring them from doing their job, but they exist for a reason.
 
  • #10
CAC1001
Police definitely should be using drones, more security cameras and microphones to triangulate shootings.
How does one balance this against privacy concerns though? I understand it can be taken too far in the other direction, hamstringing the police too much, but it can also be overdone in favor of the police too.
 
  • #11
Jasongreat
Why stop there, let's let them make door to door searches, heck let's just let one policeman stay for free in every household in the us, that would really put a damper on crime.

To cac, you need to look around a little more, there are cameras all over in the us.

To the op, no they should not have drones, they should not have roadside stops without probable cause, they should not have the right to force you to testify against yourself, they should not have the right to tell you what you can eat, etc;, but that hasn't stopped them yet, so I predict drones soon coming to a neighborhood near you! They say the constitution is a living document, judging by how they act, it is a dead document.
 
  • #12
CAC1001
How does one know if they are flying over now or not; Can't see them, can't hear them? So does it matter what the public thinks?
If you're the military hunting for terrorists in the Middle East or whatnot, no, but in a liberal democracy where we protect rights, yes.
 
  • #13
CAC1001
Why stop there, let's let them make door to door searches, heck let's just let one policeman stay for free in every household in the us, that would really put a damper on crime.

To cac, you need to look around a little more, there are cameras all over in the us.

To the op, no they should not have drones, they should not have roadside stops without probable cause, they should not have the right to force you to testify against yourself, they should not have the right to tell you what you can eat, etc;, but that hasn't stopped them yet, so I predict drones soon coming to a neighborhood near you! They say the constitution is a living document, judging by how they act, it is a dead document.
CAC and the OP are the same person :smile:

I know we have cameras, but I don't know if they are as extensive as in certain other countries. Technically everyone carries a tracking device on them now anyhow in the form of cellphones.
 
  • #14
russ_watters
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How does one balance this against privacy concerns though? I understand it can be taken too far in the other direction, hamstringing the police too much, but it can also be overdone in favor of the police too.
Unless they fly the drone through an open window, I don't see the concern. Could you explain it to me?
 
  • #15
Office_Shredder
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I generally don't think surveillance tools that just monitor public space is a big deal, and haven't heard anything about drones that would make them an exception
 
  • #16
phinds
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I generally don't think surveillance tools that just monitor public space is a big deal ...
One of the issues is that the military drones can take videos of what you do in your back yard and if the military doesn't like what it sees (you have too many bags of fertilizer so might be a bomb-maker) they can act on it. I do NOT think of my back yard as a public space.

The caveat, for now at least, is that they are only allowed to collect such videos "inadvertently" while on some other mission. I don't find that comforting.
 
  • #17
CAC1001
Unless they fly the drone through an open window, I don't see the concern. Could you explain it to me?
phinds provided one example, but it's also just a way for the government to directly watch people without their knowing about it. One cannot see or hear drones when they are high up, that is why they are so good at catching terrorists.
 
  • #18
russ_watters
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Unmarked cars are covert and police helicopters can see into your backyard from the air. Do you have similar concerns about these tools?
 
  • #19
DaveC426913
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One of the issues is that the military drones can take videos of what you do in your back yard and if the military doesn't like what it sees (you have too many bags of fertilizer so might be a bomb-maker) they can act on it. I do NOT think of my back yard as a public space.
But they do not need drones to obtain this kind of intel, so how are drones exceptional?
 
  • #20
472
0
So police departments nationwide are seeking to acquire drones as they are cheaper and so effective. I was just watching Special Report, and Charles Krauthammer said they should be banned outright, which I found interesting, as usually neoconservatives (like him) are the ones who differ from the more libertarian conservatives and libertarians, and the left, when it comes to increasing police power and government powers to catch terrorists and criminals and so forth. For example, how the left and the libertarians all disdain the Patriot Act but the neoconservatives are generally okay with it. Or attitudes toward a strong standing military, where the libertarians are only for a very small military capable of defense, while neoconservatives reason that in the modern world, we have to have a big strong powerful standing military.

Krauthammer said that police having drones goes too far however, that drones are an instrument of war, and should not be flying over America as a method of law enforcement. He said even if they do not intend to abuse them, their use will end up being abused.

Was wondering people's opinions on this as I really didn't have an opinion on this. Normally, if it was just the Ron Paul types and maybe the ACLU railing over it, I'd reason that they were probably blowing something not so serious way out of proportion (for example Ron Paul is against the border fence on the idea that it could be used to keep Americans in), but now I am not so sure. They said this could allow a real-life version of "black helicopters" if you will. I also understand that in this modern era, police forces do have to be more "militarized" if you will, especially in the big cities where they sometimes are counter-terrorism capable and often more like a paramilitary force in certain ways, but there is a limit.
I think that drones are ok. Unlike many police officers I know, drones aren't emotionally or intellectually challenged. I welcome increased surveillance, to a point, because I don't intend to commit any crimes, and I think it increases police ability to protect the law abiding public. When I go out in public, I'm not exercising my right to privacy any more. So, surveil me in public all you want. No problem. But, break into my house and you just might receive a load of buckshot.
 
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  • #21
Office_Shredder
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Unlike many police officers I know, drones aren't emotionally or intellectually challenged.
This is just about the worst logic I have heard in a while. Do you realize that there are people flying these machines?
 
  • #22
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This is just about the worst logic I have heard in a while. Do you realize that there are people flying these machines?
Yes, and the operators are removed from immediated danger. So, I suppose, less susceptible to panic, emotional distress, intellectual meltdown, etc.

When I say emotionally and intellectually challenged, it's wrt the potential emotional and intellectual demands of the job. My guess is that they're essentially well-meaning people -- but some people who are cops probably shouldn't be. Just my opinion. But put that same person who's ill-equipped to handle a situation in person behind the controls of a surveillance drone ... no problem. Just my current opinion.
 
  • #23
phinds
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But they do not need drones to obtain this kind of intel, so how are drones exceptional?
Good point, and I don't know that they are (although come to think of it, I'm sure drones can get better resolution to ground level than satellites) , I just object to the fact that, according to what I read/saw, the military has absolutely no civilian oversight in this regard.
 
  • #24
russ_watters
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I think you are getting mixed up here. This is not about the military spying on civilian (that's illegal), it is about the police using military derived/related technology.
 
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  • #25
phinds
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I think you are getting mixed up here. This is not about the military spying on civilian (that's illegal), it is about the police using military derived/related technology.
I agree that I took that thread on a side-trip. That was because of a news article I saw yesterday. The military DOES spy on civilians and as long as they do it "inadvertently" it not only is legal, it is not subject to civilian oversight, according to this article.
 

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