I have posted to this blog before on the issue of aerial drones being deployed to monitor all kinds of activities within the domestic USA in future years. Important new information is included in this post on this subject.
The current issue of National Geographic has a major article on this subject and it examines what is good and not good about deploying drones within the USA. Drones have been effective as a military weapon overseas, but the subject of using drones within the USA raises obvious Constitutional and air safety concerns. President Obama has signed into law a bill directing the FAA to integrate aerial drones into US airspace by September 15, 2015, but many issues are yet to be resolved.
Some drones being developed are as small as “robotic moths and hummingbirds.” These could be deployed in all kinds of surveillance missions all over the nation. There are certainly excellent uses for such drones. It would be very beneficial to have federal law enforcement officials to have access to such unobtrusive drones if they are tracking and monitoring terrorists, “sleeper cells,” serial killers, kidnappers, looking for lost children, etc. Many non-law enforcement uses are also evident in agricultural contexts, media and police coverage of traffic accidents, etc. However, where do we draw the line between what is a Constitutional deployment of these drones and what is a violation of the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution against unreasonable search and seizures? I’m sure there will be a wave of court cases in the future deciding what circumstances must exist before law enforcement agencies can legally use drones to “search” a backyard, a business, or any private space.
There are also obvious safety concerns. With some drones being so small, it increases the likelihood of collisions with aircraft and helicopters. We know a bird strike can crash an airplane; what about the sucking of a drone into the engine of an aircraft or helicopter? If that happens and lives are lost, the drones are likely to be severely restricted in all usages. Will all drones carry transponders so FAA controllers can identify where they are in the domestic airspace? The National Geographic article states that “the safety record of military drones is not reassuring” due to the accident rate of drones, and it cites one incident where a 400 pound drone collided with a C-130 aircraft.
The article also notes that when Baghdad was occupied by US forces, every place in that city was under 24/7 aerial surveillance by drones. Is that what is coming to US cities and towns? The ACLU is already worried about such a thing happening with everyone’s privacy being lost. The ACLU sees a “nightmare scenario” in which authorities would be “combining drone video and cell phone tracking to build up databases of people’s routine comings and goings.” The article’s author adds that this scenario “doesn’t even include the possibility that police drones might be armed.” I don’t usually agree with the ACLU, but their concerns in this case seem justified. The first link also addresses the matter of some members of Congress beginning to question the use of drones in domestic police applications, and it also reveals that one Texas county last year already was equipped with a drone that could wield a grenade launcher and shotgun against people on the ground. To see what some of the small drones already built look like, be sure to click on the link “photo gallery” that accompanies the second link. Undoubtedly, future drones will look ever more like small birds, insects, etc. Indeed, the first link reveals the US Air Force already has a “micro-aviary” where realistic tiny drones are being developed to deploy drones which will appear as realistic “multi-legged bugs” which will be able to “swarm through alleys, crawl across windowsills, and perch on power lines.” One tiny drone is even being developed which “sneaks up on a scowling man holding a gun and shoots him in the head.” This US Air Force project is designed to produce drones which are “unobtrusive, pervasive and lethal.” Imagine that kind of weaponry in the hands of evil and totalitarian people! Hitler’s SS would have loved this kind of technology!
The third link offers a poll that 1/3rd of US citizens already fear the usage of drones by US police agencies and that a slightly larger group does not share that fear. However, the US public surely does not really understand this issue very well yet, and many are likely to be unaware of the issue at all.
This issue is very germane to latter-day biblical prophecies. Revelation 13 prophesies that a final, global government will come into being just prior to the return of Jesus Christ to govern the earth for 1000 years (Revelation 20:1-4). Revelation 13:15-16 foretell that the final beast power will become a “control freak,” totalitarian power which will execute anyone who doesn’t worship the “image of the beast” and which will micromanage, monitor and control all financial transactions. While the usage of aerial drones will at first surely have many benign purposes, one can only imagine what uses this final totalitarian global system will find for using drone surveillance and weaponized drones to monitor and control the globe’s population. The widespread deployment of drones in civilian regions of the world’s nations would clearly set the stage for the emergence of the prophesied “beast” power. In the time of the beast’s reign, even staying indoors and closing your drapes will not protect you from “persistent surveillance.” By then, your cell phone or I-Pad may be listening to all your conversations and monitoring all your electronic communications, and a mechanical drone disguised as a realistic bird could hover outside your window with an infra-red detector which can monitor your every movement in your home.
Somehow, I’m uncomfortable with the US government developing little micro-drones the size of bugs which can fly up to anybody and shoot them in the head without any current legal framework to determine when such technology can be used. What about you? This kind of murderous drone technology needs very tight judicial and Constitutional controls on its use to make sure it is only used against terrorists, kidnappers holding hostages, etc.or in military applications of taking out enemy sentries. Perhaps this technology is already being tested in Afghanistan by US military personnel against the Taliban or by intelligence operatives in undisclosed locations.
Polls show hardly anyone approves of the current US Congress. Do you trust Congress to properly regulate this kind of technology?
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