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Let's Make PA A Drone-Free City

Original post made by Chris Zaharias, Crescent Park, on Dec 23, 2012

It seems clear as day to me that domestic drone use must be stamped out before it gains a foothold:

Web Link

Any Palo Alto politicians willing to lead a charge to ban them over PA skies?

Comments (59)

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Posted by John
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 23, 2012 at 9:22 am

I don't see the probem with the big eye in the sky, as long as it is not used to harrass innocent people. London has CCTV everywhere, and it definitely helps with solving and preventing crime. Londoners don't seem to mind it.

Drones can watch the border for illegal entry...what's wrong with that? How about illegal drug production out in the boonies? Why not avoid cop chase events on our highways (just let the drone track the final location, then make the arrest)? Attacks on people can be observed from above, making the police response/investigation much easier.

I see the benefits far outweighing the negatives.


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Posted by silly question
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Dec 23, 2012 at 10:30 am

Palo Alto can't even afford enough traffic cops to keep all the drunk drivers and reckless drivers off the streets. How is the city going afford a drone patrol?


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Posted by John
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 23, 2012 at 10:58 am

> How is the city going afford a drone patrol?

I think this is the wrong question. With limited police resources, we need increased efficiency. Drones could provide this. For example, instead of endless, clueless investigations, direct video evidence might be obtained from the drones. PAPD does not need to own the fleet, they could just contract with a private regional firm...and probably save money overall.


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Posted by Rresident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Sadly drones are thoroughly misunderstood by the average citizen because all they've ever heard about are drones being used in Pakistan to kill people.

However, drones are being used very successfully for peaceful purposes and by scientists studying the atmosphere. Recently my son led a team of scientists who used drones to collect and study pollution in monsoon clouds over the Indian Ocean. They were doing research into what effect these particles have on increased rainfall.


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Posted by Drones could be good
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm

A drone would allow a first responder to see inside a dangerous situation. Imagine a drone available to search a collapsing building for survivors. Puting a drone instead of a person in harm's way makes sense. This is just a tool. Banning all use is silly.


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Posted by Drone on the range
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 23, 2012 at 1:44 pm

1. Drones are infallible. Just look at all the reports on the CIA drones, they never miss. Well, IF there were actual reports available, I'm sure that's what they'd say.

2. Drones never hit an innocent person. The CIA tells us they always hit a terrorist, so therefore anyone nearby is obviously a terrorist sympathizer, who therefore has to die. Not a single terrorist sympathizer has come forward to lodge a complaint after getting killed, ergo, they were bad guys. Ditto the police, if the drone is used to watch you, even by mistake, golly, you must be guilty of SOMETHING. If not, we'll invent a crime, after all, we ave to justify the new system and the new money for it, and protect the person who choose you as a clearly suspicious miscreant.

3. Costs be damned. Let's add another layer of law enforcement, good strong union jobs. Besides, the Dept of Homeland Security is always willing to fund local drones. To defend the fatherland, um, HomeLand.

4. We can even heed the words of Wayne Lapierrre, arm drones with weapons and patrol schools. Don't use qualified, trained, background checked police, just have the school administrator do it from her office.

Even being so pro-drone, I have to ask what drones used by scientists up in the atmosphere have to do with PA? Ditto, the number of fallen buildings we've had in the last three decades? And how does a drone from the sky see through rubble of a fallen building? That's quite a reach. Stick with the dogs. They're non-union, after all.

We don't need no steekin' privacy.

No steekin' bodgeeez, neither.


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Posted by John
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 23, 2012 at 2:02 pm

I think there is paranoia going on here. If PAPD had a contract with a private or public entity to provide an eye in the sky, it would probably reduce the number of union-wage police on the ground. It is a simple efficiency and safety issue. There is no real possibility of the drones being armed, and shooting down on U.S. citizens.

We should not allow the black helicopter crowd to hijack and deny this new technology, which can provide a lot of good.


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Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Liked the snark in drone on the range.

Brings up the TOP issue - accountability.

NO OUTSOURCING of accountability of police functions. That's just stupid to give an essential srvice over to someone who's first prioity is profit.

If it is not essential, don't waste the money. If it is essential, qualified and accountable police personal.


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Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Liked the snark in drone on the range.

Brings up the TOP issue - accountability.

NO OUTSOURCING of accountability of police functions. That's just stupid to give an essential srvice over to someone who's first prioity is profit.

If it is not essential, don't waste the money. If it is essential, qualified and accountable police personal.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 23, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Public safety relies on private resources at many levels, even at very basic levels, like armored trucks to collect cash, and private servers for divorce notification, and bounty hunters to chase down the skippers. Don't forget the private contracts for helicopters. Basically, it is a tool, not an issue.

Bring on the drones!


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Posted by Drone on the range
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 23, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Banks using armored trucks is a public safety issue? That's a private company doing a free market activity. Unless you are telling us that is a police function?

Law firms hiring a server to deliver divorce notifications is a police function?

Sketchy examples to try and justify outsourcing a police function.

But let's look at the first thing promised by law enforcement and their new toys: "I promise not to spy on ordinary citizens, seriously, I pinky swear!"

With a promise like that, tell me, is the only question left to be asked: "how long before they do it?"

Yup. Think about the cop who does an innocent, quick little peek at the background of the guy dating his ex. What's the harm? Golly, just checking up on the ol' battleax. So what if it's YOUR son who's dating a woman, unbeknownst to him, that was going out with a guy who's having problems letting go. Hope your son didn't have a little wine when he's pulled over!

So, spying on innocent civilians - not a matter of if, but when.

This month: "Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern promised Tuesday to prohibit the use of a remote-controlled aerial drone for surveillance missions on ordinary citizens...."

A genuine pinky swear!

What could possibly go wrong if we take the responsibility and accountability and move it even a step further away, with less transparency? Thanks, Gary, I agree: no outsourcing. We need accountability and transparency on anything related to our most important constitutional freedoms.

The right to privacy.









 +   Like this comment
Posted by safety first
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Dec 23, 2012 at 3:58 pm

To increase safety in our neighborhoods, all we have to do is post armed guards at all schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, parks, and anywhere else you want to be safe. This is so easy, why isn't anyone other than the NRA in favor of creating a police state?


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Posted by John
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 23, 2012 at 4:15 pm

"Speed monitored by radar or plane"

Very common warning on our roads, innocent of speeding, or not.

What about all those helicopters, with or without their powerful spotlights, that look into the yards of innocent citizens, when trying to track an alleged perp? What about the cops demanding security videos from private stores, as they try to identify an accused perp?

If the eye in the sky gets abused by the authorities, the courts will deal with it.

Quite a few paranoids out today...is it the stormy weather, or disappointment that the Mayan calendar did't accurately predit the End?

Relax, the black helicopters are NOT arriving!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Drone on the range
a resident of another community
on Dec 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Very good, young grasshopper, you are learning well: "What about the cops demanding security videos from private stores, as they try to identify an accused perp?"

Great example!!!!! By "demanding", surely you mean a warrant.

Probable cause = Search warrant

Search warrant = accountability to the constitution.

Drones?

Silly.

Even with the Sheriff's pinky swear.

Just curious: what is this drivel you post about Mayans?

.


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Posted by Drone on the range
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 23, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Our young grasshopper, so fond of accepting Pinky Swears, is in a fringe of public opinion. Poll in June:

- 80 percent of Americans approve of using drones for search and rescue missions.

Hey, who wouldn't? That's a useful function, used in emergencies, documented and transparent.

- 42% of respondents said they would be "very concerned" about their own privacy if drones were used by cops

- 22% would be "somewhat concerned"

- 16% would be "just a little concerned"

So that's 80% who have concerns about drones, police and our constitutionally protected privacy.

The fringe? 15% said they would not be concerned at all

Web Link

That said, the FAA expects TWENTY THOUSAND drones in the skies in 15 years. Web Link

Speak up now, folks. There is bi-partisan support for the protection of privacy.

Except from politicians that have defense contractors in their districts, or whose Christmas stockings are being stuffed by those same contractors.


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Posted by Drones could be good
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 23, 2012 at 4:52 pm

"surely you mean a warrant"
A warrant is not required. The store can choose to give them the video, it would be silly not to, since it is typically in their interest to provide the video.


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Posted by Drone on the range
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 23, 2012 at 5:19 pm

There's a difference in your wild, swinging claims that you use as sophomoric examples.

First you said "demand", as in "What about the cops demanding security videos from private stores, as they try to identify an accused perp?"

Now, with your having made the mistake of supporting constitutionally protected privacy, you're changing the frame, to someone volunteering evidence.

Oh, grasshopper, and we thought you were seeing the constitutional light....

;-)

Again: what was the trivial noise that you spoke about Mayans?

See you tomorrow -- Niner time!

(a good example of a constitutionally accepted overhead camera!!)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Dec 23, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Stoplight cameras were a good idea too....

And look what they did with that one.


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Posted by insane
a resident of Ventura
on Dec 23, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Drones over the peninsula? That's insane.


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Posted by John
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 23, 2012 at 9:36 pm

>Drones over the peninsula? That's insane.

Why?


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Posted by insane
a resident of Ventura
on Dec 23, 2012 at 10:13 pm

John: the reasons outlined above, and more.

But you are clearly in the anti-civil liberties, police nsurveilance frame of mind, so I doubt you'll consider other thoughts.

If so, start by going to the libray and re-read 1984.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by 1984
a resident of another community
on Dec 23, 2012 at 10:51 pm

Wow, good call. Its been years, I need to read thatbagain.


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Posted by Drones could be good
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 23, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Drone on the range,

I never used the word "demand". John did. No warrent is required if a shop owner chooses to co-operate. You could just admit your mistake, but somehow I doubt you will.


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Posted by Drone on the range
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 24, 2012 at 8:48 am

Dcbg: my bad. Misread the names. Yes, a business could volunteer the video, also. In John's case, a "demand" would be different than sharing.

"You could just admit your mistake, but somehow I doubt you will."




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Posted by John
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 24, 2012 at 9:47 am

If, in a rare case, a business did not want to turn security videos over to the police for review, the police could just go to a judge and get a warrent based on probable cause that the video would provide essential evidence. Either way, the police get their video.

My civil liberties are best protected when crime is suppressed. That is why Londoners are OK with CCTV.

There are a few people here with bees in their bonnets. They seem to like to protest for the sake of protesting. Lots of scare tactics and parnoia, too (e.g. using weaponized drones on innocent U.S. civilians)


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Posted by Drone on the range
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 24, 2012 at 10:37 am

John: You've got it! It's called a search warrant, which supports constitutionally protected privacy.

A search warrant also provides transparency, accountability and a paper trail, which does much to discourage abuse.

There is much to be discussed, discovered and litigated regarding aerial drones and the fourth amendment. So far, most of it has not been ruled upon. Take the comparison to the police tracking someone with GPS over a long period, opposed to a shorter period. We have Jones which says short term is okay, but GPS tracking over a longer perriod, such as a month, requires a warrant due to the volume of information gathered over that period.

A drone collects at least that volume of information.

Without the proper accountability, abuses will occur. That's always the case (see the analogy about your kid's dating life above.)

Good call by poster "insane" above and the read: 1984.

Also, under suggested reading, see: Amendment IV

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

What do you have against our founders, and the great American value of protected privacy? If you are willing to give that away, what other constitutionally protected freedoms are you willing to give away? The 2nd amendment? The first? The right for all to vote?

If so, one wonders, why do you consider yourself an American citizen? What kind of citizen doesn't fight to defend the Constitution of the United States of America?

Perhaps the type that thinks *others* are paranoid, have bees in their bonnets or are protesting for the sake of protesting,with supposed scare tactics and another dose of "parnoia".

I'll go with the Constitution, over name calling.

Young Grasshopper.

;-)


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Posted by John
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 24, 2012 at 2:25 pm

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated"

If drones invade your interior homes and read your papers, then a judge should, and will rule it unconsitutional. In the meantime, drones will do what helicopters and security video do now: Observe the observable outside our homes, a very reasonable thing, considering the plague of criminals that infect modern society. For example, EPA might be MUCH safer with drones providing observation for the police. The gangbangers in EPA get away with murder, literally.


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Posted by Fred
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 24, 2012 at 3:11 pm

I would be happy to have drones do what security cameras already do - provide a useful extension of police resources and make us safer. Make Palo Alto drone free? Far from it, I would welcome drones (providing they aren't too noisy).


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 24, 2012 at 3:49 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by are you selling drones?
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 24, 2012 at 6:30 pm

So persistent...are you in the business of selling drones?
I oppose their use here, over us civilians, because of the extreme risk of privacy being violated and because they could be used for political purposes against someone's political competitors. I have understood the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan oppose the U.S. using drones, they build ill-will, I have no idea if they spy on the correct or incorrect people, real criminals or whatnot.
The idea that union police force would/could be reduce on the basis of purchase/use of these drones here is laughable - would never happen. There never is a material reduction in government union ranks (I am not focusing particularly on police, by the way)that lasts any significant period of time.


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Posted by John
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 25, 2012 at 3:42 pm

I can only speak personally, but I am not involved directly nor indirectly, in the drone business.

Drones are an efficiency tool. Imagine that our police departments do not need to do old school stakeouts anymore, wasting valuable police resources. Imagine the bad guys, fearing to drive/walking/running away from their crime...this means that the crimes will be reduced, before they happen.

The paranoia about political mischief is overblown...let the courts deal with it, if it occurs.

Let's get the drones in here, as the police see fit.


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Posted by Sean
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 25, 2012 at 3:51 pm

As the police see fit.....

They see fit to have collective bargaining and union representation.

Cool.

As they see fit --- let's say they want to ease into cameras overhead bystarting with a camera trained on everyones house.

Starting with the pro-drone crowd here.

Then we will let the police-prison-defense-industrial complex take over.

1984


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Posted by John
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 25, 2012 at 4:04 pm

The police, with drones, could put a spotlight on my home forever...big waste of time, because I don't break the law. The police have better things to do with their time and resources. Let's consider a much more real situation: A bank robbery goes down, and the perp runs out of the bank to a getaway car, which gets dumped, and the perps take on a hidden car for their getaway...all caught by the drone. Zippo, the perps get arrested, along with their stolen monies.

Drones make too much sense to not employ them.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sean- ster
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 25, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Doth protest...

You claim to be innocent, but then talk of robbery. Evidence in a blog post you did online. We have to put uup cameras.

Cameras outside your home are more efficient. No union employee to fly a drone, no wsted fuel and money.


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Posted by John
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 25, 2012 at 5:08 pm

>You claim to be innocent, but then talk of robbery.

I watch the crime channel...seen many variations by the perps. That is one reason that drones make so much sense.

If, after the next bank robbery on the Penninsula, the cops want to set up a camera outide my house (and waste valuable resources), they are quite welcome to do it. However, drones are much more efficient, including my home in the scan. Trust me, I won't have a problem, because I don't do robberies. Are you concerned?


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Posted by Sean- ster
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 26, 2012 at 10:03 am

Watching too much crime channel! So do criminals in jail, therefore, ergo, its obvious you could be a risk, with potentially subvervise blog postings above about bank robbery and perps (editor, pls read: irony)

Therefore, cheapest, easiest solution is not drone in sky but a FULL TIME CAMERA pointed at your house front and back.

Very low cost compared to drone.

And john agrees its a good thing to be under constant watch, gives up 4th amenment privacy.

Brave new world, 1984 is.

No privacy for John since he wants to give up everyone elses privacy.

Thanks for volunteering yourself for full time cameras, John


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 26, 2012 at 10:26 am

>Thanks for volunteering yourself for full time cameras, John

You're welcome. Our civil rights will be enhanced by the use of drones, because crime will be suppressed.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Chris Zaharias
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 26, 2012 at 10:50 am

I started this thread because I wanted to see a debate about the limits of infringement on the laws America's had on the books ever since freeing itself from England. Instead, this has turned into a discussion about whether or not drones make us safer from crime.

Whether or not drones make us safer from crime, in my opinion, is besides the point. The Bill of Rights says:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

To my reading, 'particularly describing the place to be searched' makes it abundantly clear that unwarranted observation of large swathes of the population by drones that by definition watch over large areas, is unconstitutional. To disagree by saying that drones could reduce crime is, in effect, an argument that crime *must* be reduced at all cost, even if it means reducing our personal freedoms. That idea is *nowhere* in our laws, nor should it be.

I'm open to dissuasion, but how can those not against domestic drone use disagree?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Drone on the range
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2012 at 11:06 am

Chris:

With John admitting he has no problem with 24 hour camera surveillance of his house, front and back, by the police, all the while claiming to be an innocent American citizen, in my opinion disqualifies him from the discussion...

... as he has already given up his 4th amendment rights, and again in my opinion, FAR too easily.

Anyone so willing to cavalierly give up his constitutional rights shall not speak for me about my rights as an American citizen. What kind of American gives up so easily on the constitution when so many have worked and died defending it?

re: your comment on drones, privacy and the blessed 4th, there is valid commentary above (see the post above addressing US v Jones, for example.)

This is not a left vs right issue -- it is a issue of constitutionally protected freedom and privacy.

"In June, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced a bill to "protect individual privacy against unwarranted governmental intrusion through the use of unmanned aerial vehicles commonly called drones."

Paul's bill mandates that:

A person or entity acting under the authority [of], or funded in whole or in part by, the Government of the United States shall not use a drone to gather evidence or other information pertaining to criminal conduct or conduct in violation of a statute or regulation except to the extent authorized in a warrant that satisfies the requirements of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Senator Paul explained, "Americans going about their everyday lives should not be treated like criminals or terrorists and have their rights infringed upon by military tactics." "

We can find similar sentiments from the far left as well.

Thanks for the thread.

May you have a Happy (and private) New Year.


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Posted by John
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 26, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Aerial survelience (e.g. helicopters) has not been found to be unconstitutional, despite all your claims to the contrary. Let's not forget all those satellites that can look into our backyards. Rand Paul seems to want to make it so, but he has not yet prevailed, has he? The 4th Ammendment was written to prevent the kind of abuse seen during the pre-revolutionary period, where British soldiers kicked in doors.

The benefits of the eye in the sky far outweight its (potential) abuse, and we have the courts as a backup to counter abusive use.

Those who are claiming potential abuse (by drones)refuse to consider their benefits. They probably have not had their civil rights violated by criminals, nor have they had relatives killed in high speed highway chases...and the list goes on.


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Posted by Fred
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 26, 2012 at 2:18 pm

@Chris, I think I miss your point. As pointed out above, the drones don't violate the 4th amendment, any more than satellites, helicopters or government agents on foot. I suppose your view can be tested in the courts, but based on a plain reading, I don't see the problem. I don't see people arguing that the drones utility overrides constitutional protection; the argument is that there is no conflict.

You could make an argument that it is constitutional, but is a bad idea anyway, just as one might argue that surveillance cameras are bad, or having cops on every corner. My sense, though is that they are generally more useful than dangerous.


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Posted by Drone on the range
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2012 at 2:28 pm

"The 4th Ammendment was written to prevent the kind of abuse seen during the pre-revolutionary period, where British soldiers kicked in doors."

The 4th Amendment IS NOW INTERPRETED to prevent the kind of abuse that technology has provided, whether it be the modern equivalent of British soldiers kicking in doors, or police and other governmental agencies overstepping the bounds of the constitution.

John: don't be so obtuse as to consider that we do not understand the possible benefits, as well as the risk inherent with, modern surveillance, and IT'S LAWFUL, WARRANTED application within the framework of the 4th amendment.

Flying drones over your house all day, every day is an invasion of privacy as described in the 4th amendment.

If a Waco type event occurs, probable cause exists to justify a warrant and use of appropriate surveillance, including drones if allowed under the court's supervision (via it's constitutionally mandated warrant.) That warrant provides transparency, accountability and a paper trail of the police agencies' actions.

John seems more than willing to give up on the 4th amendment, transparency and accountability. Willing to give Obama, the FBI, the IRS, down to the PA PD the ability to track his every move, along with anyone he comes in contact with, without accountability.

But from John, who has already admitted he will concede *all* his privacy protections afforded by the 4th amendment, to babble on about the protections afforded to all other American citizens, is silly.

And completely un-American.

Why does John dishonor the great Constitution of the United States of America?


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Posted by Drone on the range
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Fred: you missed several points earlier on surveillance issues and the 4th Amendment, already adjudicated. See the posts above. Also, see Jones and the relevant references to long period surveillance.


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Posted by Fred
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 26, 2012 at 2:45 pm

@Drone - I looked again, and while I saw statements, I didn't see the backup. Can you repost a link or two?

I did my own search, and it looks like various technologies are limited in various ways. A drone parked above your house watching everything that went on might be deemed unreasonable; a drone that responded to activity or simply did fly-overs might be reasonable. The 1986 Ciraolo case (identifying pot plants on private property from airplanes) and others support fly-over surveillance without warrants.

Any new technology is subject to review and potential limitation under the constitution. If that's the point of this thread, I accept it, and leave it at that. If the point is more about whether, given constitutionality, is it good policy, that seems like a more interesting discussion.


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Posted by John
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 26, 2012 at 2:56 pm

As intrusive seach and seizure goes, the Internal Revenue Service is, by far, the worst violator (could be nearly extinguished by getting rid of the income tax, and going to a value-added tax). Some little birdy tells me that most of those, who are now getting all buckled in the kness about drones, are big supporters of the income tax.

There is some need for proportion, here. Drones are not a big threat to American civilians, in fact they will prevent us from having to address the real threats...sadly not including the IRS.


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Posted by Drone on the range
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Fred: US vs Jones is about exactly what you are referring to, types of surveillance and duration, specifically a ruling on GPS. Web Link

I don't disagree with your position; I have been having more fun poking the trollishness of a certain poster who hears little birds tell him that drones are God's answer to all our problems, including bank robberies (not a terribly bad problem at present compared to other issues, and drones won't stop them,) the IRS and police unions, etc...

Odd how applying the constitution to questions about drones makes one "buckled in the kness" while tossing the the 4th amendment overboard makes the "little birdy" feel quit superior. Funny that. Almost as funny as how Little Bird wants PA PD to have drones, but buckles a little himself when Obama and the IRS as drone operators are brought into the conversation.

Indeed.

I would rather that accountability and transparency remain at the forefront, the 4th Amendment does just that with the call for probable cause and warrant.

Enjoy, Fred. I'm heading out on the range...


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Posted by good questions
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Dec 27, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Good info above, 20,000 drones above US in a dozen years. Whose drones?

How many controlled by Obama?

How many controlled by Clinton?

How many by the IRS?

How many by the EPA?

How many by Acorn, over polling sites?

Rand Paul knows.

/shudder


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Posted by John
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 31, 2012 at 3:18 pm

The recent armed robbery of the liquor store in Midtown is an example of how the drones (eye in the sky) could have solved the event, or even prevented it.

The thugs have very little to worry about, if they can get away quickly, as they did in this case.


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Posted by Ben Franklin
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 31, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Anyone willing to give up liberties for security deserves neither.

Fourth amendment privacy. Get a warrant.


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Posted by John
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 31, 2012 at 7:21 pm

>Anyone willing to give up liberties for security deserves neither.

Ask the guy at the liquor store, who had a gun in his face. Did Old Ben ever have a gun in his face, trying to rob him?


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Posted by Ramon G
a resident of Atherton
on Mar 7, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Rand Paul filibusters yesterday, about Brennan but primarily about drones.

Don't care for either Paul, but for fighting drones? Good on ya, Rand.

One notes that poster John above never addressed the comment about 20,000 drones and who runs them.

Obama? The Santa Clara or San Mateo Sheriff (no way-not him!)? The IRS? Acorn? Hillary?

And yeah, Ben Franklin and his boys had a few guns pointed at them, back in the day. Seriously, you posted that?!?!?!?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Randy Pauly
a resident of another community
on Mar 7, 2013 at 4:46 pm

You don't want those drones blowing up cafes in Palo Alto. Ban them now.


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Posted by John
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 7, 2013 at 5:07 pm

There has been a rash of recent strong-armed robberies in Palo Alto. If we had the eye in sky (drones), the perp(s) would probably already be in jail; if he/they knew about the eye in the sky, he/they probably wouldn't have even thought about doing it.

Rand Paul, far as I can tell, was arguing that armed drones should not be used against American citizens on American soil. In general I agree with that premise, but I am not absoulte about it...I could envision a scenario where an armed drone, directed and owned by the FBI, with a warrant, might be a better solution than sending a SWAT team into harm's way.

The larger issue, IMO, is that survelliance drones provide for public safety. Well worth doing drones. We need the big eye in the sky.




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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 9, 2014 at 12:32 am

In May 2006 Mark Klein is a former AT&T technician in San Francisco, leaked knowledge of his company's cooperation with the United States National Security Agency in installing network hardware to monitor, capture, and process American telecommunications.

Klein revealed that AT&T allowed the NSA to construct and equip a secret room in a San Francisco AT&T switching center, with data-mining equipment that forwarded internet traffic to the NSA. Klein said the equipment used to capture 100% of the internet traffic passing through the San Francisco hub was manufactured by an Israeli company, named Narus Inc. In 2010, Narus became a subsidiary of Boeing, located in Sunnyvale, CA.

Narus equipment made it possible for the NSA to monitor everything Americans do in the virtual world of the internet. Drones will make it possible for the NSA to monitor everything Americans do in the real world.

Narus Inc: Web Link

NSA Leak Vindicates AT&T Whistleblower (Mark Klein)
Wired ~ June 27, 2013 Web Link


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 9, 2014 at 1:22 am

The FAA's plan to make the skies over the Bay Area compatible with the operation of domestic surveillance drones, is already well under way.

The FAA kicked-off the three-year roll-out of its "NextGen" air traffic control plan at SFO in January 2013. The precision navigation used in the "Nextgen" air traffic control system will channel piloted air traffic into several narrow flight paths which the FAA calls "highways in the sky", and will allow air traffic control to use much tighter aircraft-to-aircraft spacing. The "NextGen" plan will free up vast amounts of Bay Area air space for the operation of drones, whose operations are fundamentally incompatible with piloted craft.

If you live under one of the FAA's new "highways in the sky", you will have a commercial airliner passing overhead every 5-6 minutes. Under the prevailing westerly wind pattern, there are five "highways" into SFO. Three of the five "highways" pass over Palo Alto. One "highway" from the North flies over the bay, and one "highway" from the East flies over Fremont.

For anyone unfamiliar with the airspace over the Peninsula, the diagram linked below was created by SFO to illustrate the plan for bay area airports under the prevailing westerly wind pattern, which is in effect 83% of the time.

SFO approach and departure plan illustrated: Web Link

"FAA Plan Seeks More Direct Air Routes in Bay Area"
SF Gate ~ Tuesday, January 15, 2013 Web Link


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Posted by Ol' Ben Franklin
a resident of Green Acres
on Mar 9, 2014 at 11:23 am

How on earth could anyone in a post-NSA-revelation world just accept drones without strict rule and oversight?

Ol' Ben Franklin was correct, yet again...

Big government becomes bigger, looking into our backyard and our bedrooms.


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Posted by Midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 9, 2014 at 8:59 pm

No drones please. No additional surveillance (not even needed), no additional noise in our a;ready unacceptably noisy skies.


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2014 at 5:22 pm

This is interesting... Michael Huerta (current head of the FAA) has very little experience in the airline industry, but lots of experience in the toll road racket. Who knew there was a Toll Roads News...

Michael Huerta replaced by Dave Amoriell at ACS Transportation
Toll Roads News ~ March 9, 2009 Web Link

"Huerta has been active in IBTTA and is one of the toll industry's best known and liked characters. ACS is the dominant contractor for back office operations for electronic toll collection. They manage E-ZPass accounts in some of the largest toll states such as New York and New Jersey. They also run the Bay Area FasTrak center in California. They also do front-end toll collection on a number of tollroads. The group is a 1990s spinoff of Lockheed Martin and has its head offices in Washington DC."


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2014 at 5:32 pm

FAA head Micheal Huerta replaced Randy Babbitt who resigned after he was arrested in Virginia for drunk driving in 2011.

The arresting officer claimed that Babbit was driving on the wrong side of the road. Babbit was later acquitted of the charges when video from the arresting officer's car proved Bobbitt was not on the wrong side of the road, and tests revealed his blood alcohol was below the legal limit in Virginia.

Drunken driving charge dismissed against former FAA chief Randy Babbitt
Washington Post ~ May 10, 2012 Web Link

"Babbitt was a former airline captain and internationally recognized expert in aviation and labor relations when Obama tapped him in 2009 to head the FAA. He was a pilot for now-defunct Eastern Airlines for 25 years and had served as president of the Air Line Pilots Association in the 1990s. As head of pilots association, he championed the "one level of safety" initiative".



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