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Surveillance Drones in Seattle

Written by Gary North on October 26, 2012

The Seattle police department wants to show off its new system of public surveillance. It invited the public to see one of the drones. The drone will not fly. Neither will the conference.

Who is going to spend his day looking at an immobile drone and asking questions to a bored police officer?

But the cops have the right idea. Get the public on board. After all, it’s high tech. Everyone likes high tech toys. The fact that the public will lose its privacy is neither here nor there.

Here are police policies governing drones (subject to modification at any time).

Seattle is special. “According to the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation, SPD was among only a handful of law-enforcement agencies to win FAA approval to use drones, with the majority going to academic, military and government organizations.” The rest of us hope that Seattle remains special. (Don’t count on it.)

If you have skills at video games, there is a new career for you. “The department’s drones are operated with a handheld controller and joysticks and each carries cameras that can take still pictures, videos and infrared shots.” Your mother was wrong. “Stop playing that silly game and do your homework!” You paid no attention to her.

There is one slight technical problem. Batter life. It crashes in 10 minutes.

There is another. It can carry only 35 ounces.

Then there are FAA regulations. “According to FAA guidelines, police drones cannot be flown at night, around people or over crowds. FAA requirements also state that drones must be flown below 400 feet and must remain within eyesight of an operator as well as an observer at all times.”

But toys are toys. Taxpayers will fork over the money. Whoosh!

Continue Reading on seattletimes.com

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7 thoughts on “Surveillance Drones in Seattle

  1. Seminole Katz says:

    Would " batter life " really be " Battery Life " ? Seattle is getting paid back for countless Liberal / Democrat City Governments. That worked out well for California, didn't it ! Enjoy your loss of FREEDOM, Seattle.

  2. Sky Soldier says:

    I saw a small "drone" plane about 2-3' long flying straight down the middle of a street in Bend, OR a few weeks ago in a semi-residential/commercial area. It could not have been a model plane because there were too many overhead wires and trees.

  3. if anyone believes the present "rules" for drones will last long, I've got a chicken for sale, cheal, that can fly to the moon and back in a week. Get the drones in the air first…. then, once we've accepted them, begin adding new capabilities, lengthening the cord, extending the battery life, inncreasing the payload, expand the times they can be used, and, of course, the purposes then can persue. WILL we be smaart, and careful, enough NOW to put a stop to this nonsense early in the game, BEFORE they are so common no one will even notice them.. or care? No, george Orwell was NOT right.. he was FAR too shortsighted. This is part of the move toward total government control. Maybe riding a bike should become a lot more viable. No number plates on them… yet.

  4. The public is the the government. Do you work for the government? You tea party people need to get it together.

  5. Texas Chris says:

    If I see one here in Texas I'm getting the shotgun.

  6. Texas Chris says:

    "The public is the government." No it's not. Not even close. The public is the host, and the government is the parasite.

  7. Texas Chris says:

    I see a drone, I shoot it down.