After perfecting them overseas in military situations, it was only a matter of time before the US government and law enforcement would start using aerial drones for monitoring citizens. And that time is now, as partygoers in Miami recently discovered.
Back in January of 2011 Miami’s police force acknowledged that they’d be the first in the US to employ camera-equipped drones to keep tabs on the city. So while its appearance isn’t a complete surprise, this clip from YouTube user “miamiearl” showing one of the drones monitoring partygoers at a recent Memorial Day weekend celebration, is still a little unsettling.
Of course, police departments all over the United States have used camera-equipped helicopters to watch over their jurisdictions for years now. But these remote drones are able to fly a lot closer to the ground, which has US citizens worried that the privacy they’ve enjoyed for years, or at least the feeling of privacy, is in jeopardy.
And it’s not like this drone seen in Miami is just going to be a one-off occurrence. New FAA rules have given clearance for more drones to fill civilian skies over the coming years. [YouTube via Dave Winer via Dprogram.net via Prison Planet]