Tech Only A Third Of US Citizens Fear The Use Of Drones By Police

Published on September 27th, 2012 | by Steven Hodson


Only A Third Of US Citizens Fear The Use Of Drones By Police

Only A Third Of US Citizens Fear The Use Of Drones By Police

Everyone these days seems to want to get in on the flying drone business. Environmentalist want them to count animal populations in remote locations, farmers want them so they can keep track of moisture content of fields, and oil companies want them to be able to check their pipelines. Leading the charge however is law enforcement as the technology behind the drones continues to advance and allow for the things like more powerful cameras, infra-red radar that and literally see through walls, listening devices that can hear better and further, and a whole host of other surveillance technologies.

While the police like to put the spin on the idea that it would make searching for missing children or criminals being tracked down there is also a fear in t he privacy community that these types of technologies will also make it easier for law enforcement on all levels to spy on American citizens.

In the midst of all this we are finding out that Congress has directed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to come up with a set of safety regulations when it comes to the use of drones so that the way for the use of drones in domestic airspace can be cleared; and they want it done within three years.

In a recent poll that was conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communication they found though that 36 percent of the people “strongly oppose” or “extremely concerned” when it comes to the use of drones by the police; and 24 percent that they felt “somewhat concerned”.

When it came to gender 40 percent of the men were concerned which is in contrast to only 30 percent when it came to women. Also when it came to race 48 percent of blacks were concerned whereas only 32 percent of whites were concerned.

The results came as a bit of a surprise to David Eisner, president and chief executive of the constitution center in Philadelphia:

“I had assumed that the idea that American police would be using the same technology that our military is using in Afghanistan would garner an almost hysterical response,” Eisner said. Support for drone use “shows that people are feeling less physically secure than they’d like to because they are willing to accept fairly extreme police action to improve that security.”




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About the Author

Steven has been around the tech world long enough to see most of the stuff we think of cool happen before which leads to a certain bit of cynicism that has contributed to him being known as the cranky old fart of the Internet. Besides sharing some of the goodness that he finds with you here at 42x you can also find him curating some digital goodness at Winextra (tech type stuff) and Rotten Gumdrops (for your daily dose of WTF).

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