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DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones

Posted By admin On March 3, 2013 @ 7:34 am In Featured Stories,Tile | Comments Disabled

Declan McCullagh
CNet [1]
March 3, 2013

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has customized its Predator drones, originally built for overseas military operations, to carry out at-home surveillance tasks that have civil libertarians worried: identifying civilians carrying guns and tracking their cell phones, government documents show.

The documents provide more details about the surveillance capabilities of the department’s unmanned Predator B drones [2], which are primarily used to patrol the United States’ northern and southern borders but have been pressed into service on behalf of a growing number of law enforcement agencies including the FBI, the Secret Service, the Texas Rangers, and local police.

Homeland Security’s specifications for its drones, built by San Diego-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems [3], say they “shall be capable of identifying a standing human being at night as likely armed or not,” meaning carrying a shotgun or rifle. They also specify “signals interception” technology that can capture communications in the frequency ranges used by mobile phones, and “direction finding” technology that can identify the locations of mobile devices or two-way radios.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center obtained a partially redacted copy [4] of Homeland Security’s requirements for its drone fleet through the Freedom of Information Act and published it this week. CNET unearthed an unredacted copy [5] of the requirements that provides additional information about the aircraft’s surveillance capabilities.

Full article here [1]


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URL to article: http://www.prisonplanet.com/dhs-built-domestic-surveillance-tech-into-predator-drones.html

URLs in this post:

[1] CNet: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57572207-38/dhs-built-domestic-surveillance-tech-into-predator-drones/

[2] Predator B drones: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57570751-38/homeland-security-lets-be-clear-about-aerial-drone-privacy/

[3] General Atomics Aeronautical Systems: http://www.ga-asi.com/

[4] partially redacted copy: http://epic.org/2013/02/epic-foia---us-drones-intercep.html

[5] unredacted copy: http://politechbot.com/docs/dhs.uav.drone.specification.030113.html

[6] Homeland security drones designed to identify civilians carrying guns: http://www.prisonplanet.com/homeland-security-drones-designed-to-identify-civilians-carrying-guns.html

[7] Almost Half Of All Americans Support Domestic Surveillance Drones: http://www.prisonplanet.com/almost-half-of-all-americans-support-domestic-surveillance-drones.html

[8] Two Thirds of Americans Support Drones for ‘Homeland Security’ Missions: http://www.prisonplanet.com/two-thirds-of-americans-support-drones-for-homeland-security-missions.html

[9] St. Louis Police Chief Wants Drones to Patrol High Crime Areas: http://www.prisonplanet.com/st-louis-police-chief-wants-drones-to-patrol-high-crime-areas.html

[10] Predator Drones to Fly Over Texas-Mexico Border by Fall: http://www.prisonplanet.com/predator-drones-to-fly-over-texas-mexico-border-by-fall.html

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