Friday, November 23, 2012

DHS to Double US Drone Fleet

 

DHS to Double US Drone Fleet By Trevor Timm, Electronic Frontier Foundation 22 November 12 http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/335-156/14672-dhs-to-double-us-drone-fleet

espite renewed criticism from both parties in Congress that domestic drones pose a privacy danger to US citizens - and a report from its own Inspector General recommending to stop buying them - the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has indicated it wants to more than double its fleet of Predator drones used to fly surveillance missions inside the United States.

Yesterday, California Watch reported that DHS signed a contract that could be worth as much as $443 million with General Atomics for the purchase up to fourteen additional Predator drones to fly near the border of Mexico and Canada. Congress would still need to appropriate the funds, but if they did, DHS' drone fleet woud increase to twenty-four.

While many people may think the US only flies Predator drones overseas, DHS has already spent $250 million over the last six years on ten surveillance Predators of its own. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) - a division of DHS - uses the unmanned drones inside the U.S. to patrol the borders with surveillance equipment like video cameras, infrared cameras, heat sensors, and radar....


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