Drones are all the rage in the news these days. Just last week, there was a big stink about President Obama giving himself permission to kill American citizens with drone strikes overseas if he had, you know, a good reason for doing so. Like they once grew a beard or wore a turban. However, American citizens have no idea just how many drones are flying around amongst them on a daily basis right here at home. When Christopher Dorner was on the run in one of the biggest manhunts in recent memory in the United States, drones were part of it. As a matter of fact, law enforcement agencies are one of the biggest users of drones in the country. No one knows for sure how many drones are out there, but some estimate as many as 20,000 could be buzzing around on any given day of the week. And that number is poised to get a lot bigger.
The Federal Aviation Administration has accepted twenty new applications from different organizations that wish to have permission to use drones over United States land. Some of them are pretty par for the course, but there are some surprising new entrants. Believe it or not, the list includes community colleges, traffic-related agencies, and even an Indian casino. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has hit the FAA with a mountain of requests under the Freedom of Information Act to find out what drones are up to. Not surprising at all is that the United States military experiments with drone technology by (gasp!) practicing on regular citizens.
It’s very convenient that organizations other than government agencies are looking into drone technology. After all, it gives the government more creative ways to install eyes everywhere without us necessarily being able to prove these ever-increasing intrusions into privacy. Big Brother is growing, and the size of drones is shrinking. They will continue to get more compact and be able to take the high-tech snooping to unprecedented levels. Are you ready for the drone invasion?