Conservative Videos today compiled and sent out the latest political videos and one video in particular, revealed a new generation of spy drones (UAV) that appeared on a PBS' Nova program in late January has caused considerable concerns of security and privacy.
The advanced technology of these surveillance drones allows them to observe an object as small as a bird from 17,000 feet or more.
These new drones are called, Autonomous Real-time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance-Imaging System (ARGUS-IS) is a real-time, high-resolution, wide-area video surveillance system that provides the Warfighter a minimum of 65 VGA video windows across the field of view. Each video window is electronically steerable independent of the others, and can either provide continuous imagery of a fixed area on the ground or be designated to automatically keep a specified target (dismount or vehicle) in the window.
According to the defense contractor in the PBS documentary of the ARGUS-IS drone, they are so advanced, the high resolution makes ARGUS capable of viewing 15 square miles at one time, powerful enough to observe a medium-sized city. The ARGUS-IS can stream up to a million terabytes of data and record 5,000 hours of HD footage per day. It can do this by the 1.8 giga- pixel camera and 368 different sensors all housed in the ARGUS-IS.
While the Air Force has touted this advancement as a technological edge on the battlefield, some are concerned that ARGUS-IS could be used within U.S. borders violating privacy and safety laws or that such drones that are armed could be used on American citizens.
The use of assassination drones against Pakistan and three other nations by the Obama administration has raised those concerns even higher.
Campaign for Liberty (C4L), an organization supported by former Congressman Ron Paul concerning drones in general against U.S. citizens today said,” Recently, Federal Aviation Administration official, Jim Williams, stated that no armed drones would presently be permitted in US airspace. However, what good are the promises of government officials when the Constitution, and especially the Fourth Amendment, has been gutted? More than 1,400 applications to use drones in US airspace have been approved, including for police, universities, and at least seven federal agencies. Do we want to live in a society where the government is constantly watching us from above? The East Germans and Soviets could only dream of such technology in the days of their dictatorship. We might ask ourselves how long before “extraordinary” circumstances will lead to a decision to arm those drones over US territory.”
David Heacock of C4L concerning the ARGUS-IS drone said, “While these technological advances are remarkable, they signal a great threat to our civil liberties and right to privacy. Using cameras for surveillance of private property can be an effective means to protect one’s freedoms; however, any mass surveillance of the population by the government should be treated with firm distrust.”
“These sorts of surveillance measures are so often slipped through bills in ways that the general public is not even aware of, such as through the so-called “Patriot” Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. We need to make sure as many people as possible are contacting their Congressmen to let them know of their disfavor toward such infringements on the privacy of millions of Americans.”
Fox News reported earlier this month that several states are stepping up the fight against the use of surveillance drones by law enforcement while the Campaign for Liberty (C4L) stated that they are working with members of Congress to introduce legislation that would restrict the use of domestic drones for surveillance.
The full PBS Nova program can be viewed here.