On Valentine’s Day, while many Americans were obsessed with the decision between dark chocolate and milk chocolate, Barack Obama sat with his pen poised over H.R. 658, a bill with a stark impact lying beneath its bland title: “FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012.”
Are you familiar with the thousands of robot drones being deployed in foreign war zones to spy on locals and drop bombs on them? You need to be, because thanks to H.R. 658The stage was set for this transformation of American surveillance in American airspace nearly a year ago when the House of Representatives passed House Amendment 220(read the text here on page H2187) on March 31 2011. The amendment, a piece of legislative language written by Rep. Candice Miller of Michigan, “directs the FAA to work with various federal agencies to integrate Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) into the National Airspace System more expeditiously,” engaging in studies and regulatory action in order to allow self-piloting robots to fly over American airspace using “sense and avoid” technology while they engage in surveillance of the American people.
Recall that federal courts have already declared that Americans have no reasonable “expectation of privacy” to grant them 4th Amendment protections from warrantless surveillance when they can be seen from “publicly navigable airspace”. We’ll be visible to the robotic watchers, but the robotic watchers won’t be visible to us, flying so high in the airthat we won’t be able to perceive them.Who were the brave souls standing up for the privacy rights of Americans against the robotic drones flying over our heads? Who were the members of Congress objecting to Candice Miller’s amendment?
There weren’t any.
Read it at Irregular Times
by Jim Cook