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Thread: Domestic Surveillance

  1. #1
    Gunco Veteran Frogman's Avatar
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    Default Domestic Surveillance

    • DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones
    DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones

    Homeland Security's specifications say drones must be able to detect whether a civilian is armed. Also specified: "signals interception" and "direction finding" for electronic surveillance.


    DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones | Politics and Law - CNET News


    I think there is some real Constitutional issues with this.

    by Declan McCullagh
    March 2, 2013 11:30 AM PST
    "The two enemies of the people are criminals and goverment, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so that the second will not become the legal version of the first" ~ Thomas Jefferson

  2. #2
    Gunco Good ole boy tanvil's Avatar
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    tanvil; This is far beyond Constitutional issues. The take over is almost complete.

    The article;

    Homeland Security's specifications say drones must be able to detect whether a civilian is armed. Also specified: "signals interception" and "direction finding" for electronic surveillance.
    Declan McCullagh
    by Declan McCullagh
    March 2, 2013 11:30 AM PST Follow @declanm
    Homeland Security required that this Predator drone, built by General Atomics, be capable of detecting whether a standing human at night is "armed or not."

    Homeland Security required that this Predator drone, built by General Atomics, be capable of detecting whether a standing human at night is "armed or not."
    (Credit: U.S. Department of Homeland Security)

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has customized its Predator drones, originally built for overseas military operations, to carry out at-home surveillance tasks that have civil libertarians worried: identifying civilians carrying guns and tracking their cell phones, government documents show.

    The documents provide more details about the surveillance capabilities of the department's unmanned Predator B drones, which are primarily used to patrol the United States' northern and southern borders but have been pressed into service on behalf of a growing number of law enforcement agencies including the FBI, the Secret Service, the Texas Rangers, and local police.

    Homeland Security's specifications for its drones, built by San Diego-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, say they "shall be capable of identifying a standing human being at night as likely armed or not," meaning carrying a shotgun or rifle. They also specify "signals interception" technology that can capture communications in the frequency ranges used by mobile phones, and "direction finding" technology that can identify the locations of mobile devices or two-way radios.

    The Electronic Privacy Information Center obtained a partially redacted copy of Homeland Security's requirements for its drone fleet through the Freedom of Information Act and published it this week. CNET unearthed an unredacted copy of the requirements that provides additional information about the aircraft's surveillance capabilities.
    Homeland Security's Predator B drone can stay aloft conducting surveillance for 20 hours.

    Homeland Security's Predator B drone can stay aloft conducting surveillance for 20 hours.
    (Credit: U.S. Department of Homeland Security)

    Concern about domestic use of drones is growing, with federal legislation introduced last month that would establish legal safeguards, in addition to parallel efforts underway from state and local lawmakers. The Federal Aviation Administration recently said that it will "address privacy-related data collection" by drones.

    The prospect of identifying armed Americans concerns Second Amendment advocates, who say that technology billed as securing the United States' land and maritime borders should not be used domestically. Michael Kostelnik, the Homeland Security official who created the program, told Congress that the drone fleet would be available to "respond to emergency missions across the country," and a Predator drone was dispatched to the tiny town of Lakota, N.D., to aid local police in a dispute that began with reimbursement for feeding six cows. The defendant, arrested with the help of Predator surveillance, lost a preliminary bid to dismiss the charges.

    "I am very concerned that this technology will be used against law-abiding American firearms owners," says Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation. "This could violate Fourth Amendment rights as well as Second Amendment rights."

    Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection agency declined to answer questions about whether direction-finding technology is currently in use on its drone fleet. A representative provided CNET with a statement about the agency's unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) that said signals interception capability is not currently used:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection is not deploying signals interception capabilities on its UAS fleet. Any potential deployment of such technology in the future would be implemented in full consideration of civil rights, civil liberties, and privacy interests and in a manner consistent with the law and long-standing law enforcement practices.

    CBP's UAS program is a vital border security asset. Equipped with state-of-the-art sensors and day-and-night cameras, the UAS provides real-time images to frontline agents to more effectively and efficiently secure the nation's borders. As a force multiplier, the UAS operates for extended periods of time and allows CBP to safely conduct missions over tough-to-reach terrain. The UAS also provides agents on the ground with added situational awareness to more safely resolve dangerous situations.

    During his appearance before the House Homeland Security committee, Kostelnik, a retired Air Force major general who recently left the agency, testified that the drones' direction-finding ability is part of a set of "DOD capabilities that are being tested or adopted by CBP to enhance UAS performance for homeland security." CBP currently has 10 Predator drones and is considering buying up to 14 more.

    If the Predator drones were used only to identify smugglers or illegal immigrants crossing the Mexican and Canadian borders, or for disaster relief, they might not be especially controversial. But their use domestically by other government agencies has become routine enough -- and expensive enough -- that Homeland Security's inspector general said (PDF) last year that CBP needs to sign agreements "for reimbursement of expenses incurred fulfilling mission requests."

    "The documents clearly evidence that the Department of Homeland Security is developing drones with signals interception technology and the capability to identify people on the ground," says Ginger McCall, director of the Open Government Project at the Electronic Privacy Information Center. "This allows for invasive surveillance, including potential communications surveillance, that could run afoul of federal privacy laws."

    A Homeland Security official, who did not want to be identified by name, said the drones are able to identify whether movement on the ground comes from a human or an animal, but that they do not perform facial recognition. The official also said that because the unarmed drones have a long anticipated life span, the department tries to plan ahead for future uses to support its border security mission, and that aerial surveillance would comply with the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and other applicable federal laws.

    The documents show that CBP specified that the "tracking accuracy should be sufficient to allow target designation," and the agency notes on its Web site that its Predator B series is capable of "targeting and weapons delivery" (the military version carries multiple 100-pound Hellfire missiles). CBP says, however, that its Predator aircraft are unarmed.

    Gene Hoffman, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who's the chairman of the Calguns Foundation, said CBP "needs to be very careful with attempts to identify armed individuals in the border area" when aerial surveillance touches on a constitutional right.

    "In the border area of California and Arizona, it may be actively dangerous for the law-abiding to not carry firearms precisely due to the illegal flow of drugs and immigrants across the border in those areas," Hoffman says.

    CBP's specifications say that signals interception and direction-finding technology must work from 30MHz to 3GHz in the radio spectrum. That sweeps in the GSM and CDMA frequencies used by mobile phones, which are in the 300MHz to 2.7GHz range, as well as many two-way radios.

    The specifications say: "The system shall provide automatic and manual DF of multiple signals simultaneously. Automatic DF should be able to separate out individual communication links." Automated direction-finding for cell phones has become an off-the-shelf technology: one company sells a unit that its literature says is "capable of taking the bearing of every mobile phone active in a channel."

    Although CBP's unmanned Predator aircraft are commonly called drones, they're remotely piloted by FAA-licensed operators on the ground. They can fly for up to 20 hours and carry a payload of about 500 lbs.

  3. #3
    GuncoHolic twa2471's Avatar
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    Hell ,,, we're under surveillance 24/7 anyhow,, one way or the other, bet a dollar to doughnuts we all are here too.

    Man,,, will they be disappointed when they find out there's nothing here other than a bunch of old beat up Patriotic, country loving vets for the most part,, wasting there time here if there looking for threats,,, me thinks

  4. #4
    Gunco Veteran Viper Dude's Avatar
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    Those things sound like a target of opportunity to me !!!! RC aerial dogfight anyone ???

    VD in AZ

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    No Hope For Me 1biggun's Avatar
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    !!!! RC aerial dogfight anyone ???
    ITS A REAL POSIBILATY AS WELL AS RC MISSLES .

    YEARS AN YEARS AGO SOME KIDS SHOT A ESTES TOY ROCKET AT A HOT AIR BALLON MAN WAS THAT A BAD IDEA .

    DRONES ARE ONLY GOING TO GET MORE AN MORE CAPIABLE . AN THERE NOT GOING TO GO AWAY AN LIKELY CHINE , JAPAN AN OTHER COUNTRIES WILL LEAD THE WAY.

    HOW LONG BEFORE THERE IS A SUIT CASE NUKE DRONE THAT IS TO SMALL STEALTY TO BE SEEN BY RADAR????????



    THE RC GUYS ARE FEARING RESTRICTIONS AS MUCH AS WERE FEARIGN GUN LAWS.

    I READ A ARTICLE IN A RC MAGAZINE AN IT WAS DESCRIBING ALL THE STUFF THATS BEING PROPSED OR CONSIDERED. KEEP IN MIND A DRONE IS NOTHING BUT A BIG RC PLANE.

    IMO WITH TECHNOLIGY EXPLODING TODAYS DRONES WILL BE ABLE TO BE HOME BUILT IN 10 YEARS . JUST LOOK AT WHAT YOUR SMART PHONES AN LAPTOPS DO.



    THATS WY IM WORING WITH RENALDS ALUMINUM TO MARKET THE FIRST COMMERCIALY AVALIABE TIN FOIL FULL BODY SUIT TO PROTECT YOU FORM BEING DETECTED . .

    I PREVIOULSY DESIGNING A SUIT THAT GIVES OFF A RADIO SIGNAL TO MAKE YOU LOOK LIKE A DONKEY OR JACK ASS SO YOU WILL NOT GET SHOT AS A TERRORIST THREAT . MR OBAMA HAS BEEN WEARING ONE FOR 7 YEARS NOW . LOL

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    Always sore, always tired Bradrock's Avatar
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    I bet techies could come up with a transmitter to jam their control signals.
    I remember Judge Napolitano saying the first person to shoot one down will be a national hero.. I agree.

    As I've said before.....I think this will put 50BMG to the top of the ban list.
    " Save a tree...........Eat A Beaver!"

  7. #7
    TRX
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    Back in the 1990s, LAPD threw a fit when they found a concealed webcam in one of their "secure" conference rooms. Last I heard, they never found out who had installed it or how long it had been there.

    Surveillance equipment is at Harbor Freight now; cheap enough that individual citizens can turn the tables... there are some very inexpensive networked monitors that look like ordinary "wall wart" power supplies. They are usually only good for audio due to where they have to be plugged in, but even audio-only is better than nothing.

    The advocates of the Surveillance State need to remember that when you look into the abyss, the abyss watches you back...

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    GuncoHolic 2ndAmendican's Avatar
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    I'd love to see an RC guy ram and take out a drone with a good sized RC plane. Thing is you never know when one is around. They can stand off far enough where you can't see or hear them, and have no clue that you're being watched. We need a cheap easy to manufacture at home early warning device to let you know when drones are flying in your AO.
    Enforcement, NOT Amnesty!!!!!!

    "If they’re going to come here illegally, apply for & receive assistance through a corrupted Government agency encouraging this lawless behavior, work under the table & send billions of dollars each year back to their families in Mexico, while bleeding local economies dry, protest in our streets waving their Mexican flags DEMANDING rights, while I have to press ’1′ for English, then they need to be shipped back to where they came from!" -Chad Miller

  9. #9
    No Hope For Me 1biggun's Avatar
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    Mylar balloons and fishing line lots of them.

    Some of those RC planes that look like Jets are extremely fast. they would have no trouble taking out a drone if equipped properly.

    Iraq Has already claimed to have jammed are drone signals.

    I think these drones have a great potential to help American citizens however I feel they will be misused

  10. #10
    Gunco Member wpage's Avatar
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    Drones unfortunatly appear to be the future of aggression.
    God so loved the world He gave his only Son...
    ...Believe in Him and have everlasting life.
    John 3:16

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