Stanley Crump 2011 Jay Senior Policy Analyst ACLU Catherine Professor Berkeley

Stanley crump 2011 jay senior policy analyst aclu

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Stanley & Crump, 2011 (Jay – Senior Policy Analyst @ ACLU & Catherine – Professor @ Berkeley Law School, “Protecting Privacy From Aerial Surveillance: Recommendations for Government Use of Drone Aircraft,” ACLU , Online: ) With the federal government likely to permit more widespread use of drones, and the technology likely to become ever more powerful, the question becomes: what role will drones play in American life? Based on current trends—technology development, law enforcement interest, political and industry pressure, and the lack of legal safeguards—it is clear that drones pose a looming threat to Americans’ privacy. The reasons for concern reach across a number of different dimensions: Mission creep. Even where UAVs are being envisioned for search and rescue, fighting wildfires, and in dangerous tactical police operations, they are likely to be quickly embraced by law enforcement around the nation for other, more controversial purposes. The police in Ogden, Utah think that floating a surveillance blimp above their city “will be a deterrent to crime when it is out and about .”58 In Houston, police suggested that drones could possibly be used for writing traffic tickets .59 The potential result is that they become commonplace in American life.60 • Tracking. The Justice Department currently claims the authority to monitor Americans’ comings and goings using GPS tracking devices—without a warrant. Fleets of UAVs , interconnected and augmented with analytics software, could enable the mass tracking of vehicles and pedestrians around a wide area. • New uses. The use of drones could also be expanded from surveillance to actual intervention in law enforcement situations on the ground. Airborne technologies could be developed that could , for example, be used to control or dispel protesters (perhaps by deploying tear gas or other technologies), stop a fleeing vehicle, or even deploy weapons.61 In addition, drones raise many of the same issues that pervasive video surveillance brings in any context. For example: Chilling effects . What would be the effect on our public spaces, and our society as a whole, if everyone felt the keen eye of the government on their backs whenever they ventured outdoors? Psychologists have repeatedly found that people who are being observed tend to behave differently , and make different decisions, than when they are not being watched. This effect is so great that a recent study found that “ merely hanging up posters of staring human eyes is enough to significantly change people’s behavior.” 62 Voyeurism. Video surveillance is susceptible to individual abuse, including voyeurism. In 2004, a couple making love on a dark nighttime rooftop balcony, where they had every reason to expect they enjoyed privacy, were filmed for nearly four minutes by a New York police helicopter using night vision. This is the kind of abuse that could become commonplace if drone technology enters widespread use. (Rather than apologize, NYPD officials flatly denied that this filming constituted an
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