Thursday Nov 01, 201208:06 AM GMT
US Homeland Security sued over drones
Thu Nov 1, 2012 8:6AM
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A model of an unmanned flying vehicle (UAV) protesting the use of drones is seen on Pennsylvania Avenue outside the White House on June 23, 2012 in Washington.


The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security in the U.S. demanding it reveals information about the use of its drones.

 

The EFF is seeking to find out how and why the U.S. department loans out the drones to other law enforcement agencies in the country.

 

The EFF said the U.S. currently uses the drones for border surveillance, but reports have indicated Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have begun loaning out the drones to other law enforcement agencies, such as the Bureau of Land Management and the Texas Rangers.

 

“Drones are a powerful surveillance tool that can be used to gather extensive data about you and your activities. The public needs to know more about how and why these Predator drones are being used to watch U.S. citizens,” Jennifer Lynch, EFF staff attorney, said in a statement.

 

The U.S. is a significant user of military drones - unmanned aerial vehicles. Its arsenal of drones has increased from less than 50 a decade ago to around 7,000, according to a report by the New York Times, with Congress sinking nearly $5 billion into drones in the 2012 budget.

 

The U.S. commonly uses drones called the Predator and Reaper, which are remotely piloted drones that are capable of carrying out air strikes. Recently the New York Times reported the U.S. had carried out a drone strike on regions in Afghanistan and Pakistan, allegedly killing a Pakistani Taliban commander.

 

An opinion piece in the Times also stated drone strikes in Yemen are adding to the growing hatred towards the U.S. and spurring people on to join radical militants. CIO Magazine

 

FACTS & FIGURES

 

More than a third of Americans worry their privacy will suffer if drones become the latest police tool for tracking suspected criminals at home, according to an Associated Press-National Constitution Center poll.

 

The U.S. government has announced that 30,000 drones would be spying on Americans domestically. CBS

 

Hundreds of American Predators and Reapers fly above Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Nearly 3,000 people have been killed in the U.S. drone campaign. Wired.com

 

The United Nations has identified the U.S. as the world's number one user of "targeted killings" largely due to its drone attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

 

The CIA and the U.S. military have used drones to target and kill those Washington describes as “suspected militants”.

 

In 2008, after Barack Obama won the presidency in the U.S., the drone strikes escalated and soon began occurring almost weekly, later nearly daily, and so became a permanent feature of life for those living in the tribal borderlands of northern Pakistan. CBS News

 

AHT/HJ

 

 

 

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