Spy Drone

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ShoeshineBoy, Nov 14, 2007.

  1. Do we all feel good about drones being used by the police as they already do in the UK??


    British Police's New Spy Drone
    By David Hambling September 20, 2007 | 7:37:20 AMCategories: Crime, Drones, Gadgets and Gear, Homeland Security, Video Fix
    In my 2005 book Weapons Grade I predicted that police would soon be using micro air vehicles developed for the military. I didn’t realize it would happen quite so soon.

    British police are now using the Microdrone from German company Microdrones GmbH in trials. According to The Times it was used to police a rock festival this summer, and there has also been interest from "MI5, the Metropolitan police, and Soca, the Serious Organised Crime Agency "

    As the video below shows, its something of a contrast to the Honeywell craft we looked at earlier on in the week. It's battery powered, so it's quieter -- apparently at 350 feet it is rarely noticed from the ground -- but more limited in terms of performance (flight time is about twenty minutes compared to an hour). Although it might seem flimsy, the video shows how stable it is in flight. It is said to be quite rugged and can return to base even if it loses two of its four rotor blades. One unusual feature is a speaker so that police can give instructions to those on the ground.

    The video style is also a contrast. It contains some footage shot from a Microdrone, which gives an impressive display of its powers. Zooming in on a sunbather in a bikini as a demonstration is not likely to allay fears about how intrusive this technology might be. And the ability to hover outside a window and peer in is one which is equally open to use and abuse.

    Using these devices for military purposes is one thing, but when the police have them the discussion is completely different. Although in principle it won't allow them to spy on anything that couldn't already be seen from a helicopter, small and cheap MAVs are likely to be much more common. And, crucially, unlike a helicopter you will not be able to tell when one is watching you.
  2. hello little spy drone at 350 ft...meet Mr. Barrett 82A1
  3. Lol!

    Note the problem however: "And, crucially, unlike a helicopter you will not be able to tell when one is watching you."
  4. "Pull!".

    They spied on a rock concert? How original.
    Yep, bound to be a stack of arch villians at a rock concert.
    Now, if they would put that footage on youtube, that would be worthwhile......helicopters are VERY expensive, and balloons have certain aerodynamic flaws.
  5. Yes, that is government dollars at work, wouldn't you say?

    I think someone was having fun with a new $60,000 departmental toy...
  6. Pretty much,
    here in oz a fully kitted out pursuit car went for about $54,000, 7odd years ago, so if thats the current price, maybe not so bad-can cover a lot of ground in a uav, but a loiter time of 20 minutes, thats bollocks!
    Why? What, exactly, is it going to be able to cover-that actually involves crime?
    Is it going to swoop out of the air, and bash a bag snatcher or something?

    Fact is, a device like this would primarily be used at football matches, g11 meetings, shit like that, pre arranged bollocks basically.
  7. I can't think of any use for them for police. I doubt they're any good for a high speed chase or a runaway criminal. They're basically only good for spying, i.e. if you thought you had a drug dealer at an address you could do a lot of monitoring. But the problem is that while you're doing that, you're spying on about five other houses as well.

    Imagine what we'll have in the US shortly: Homeland Security will have a fleet of these things and you won't be able to scratch your nuts in the back yard without it showing up in the Pentagon!

    I'm kind of surprised the UK allowed that: I thought in Europe they were much more "libertarian" if you will?
  8. Soon, it will be like Iraq over here. Iraq is simply a testing ground.

    1. We will have drones like in Iraq

    2. Blackwater thugs will come back to "police us" (Like they did after Kartrina, taking away guns and so on), having honed their brutal techniques over there.

    3. Likely we will have gas line-ups at some point.

    4. Already the liberators have completely sealed off cities and forced checkpoints and ID cards. At the first hint of a threat, real or made-up, we will see the same in a city or two.

    5. Bush and co. sit idly by as their puppet dictator crushed democracy in Pakistan. I'm sure they are watching closely and taking notes on how to handle that over here when the timescomes.
  9. That's easy for you to say because you're in Canada. I wake up every day and kiss the ground and say a little thank you for Musharraf. He is no saint, but some day the militants will take over Pakistan and then their nuclear materials and knowledge will head straight for one of our cities.

  10. Militants in Pakistan gain despite decree by Musharraf
    By Jane Perlez and Ismail Khan Published: November 15, 2007

    PESHAWAR, Pakistan: General Pervez Musharraf, the Pakistani president, says he instituted emergency rule for the extra powers it would give him to push back the militants who have carved out a mini-state in Pakistan's tribal areas.

    But in the last several days, the militants have extended their reach, capturing more territory in Pakistan's settled areas and chasing away frightened policemen, local government officials said.

    As inconspicuous as it might be in a nation of 160 million people, the takeover of the small Alpuri district headquarters this week was considered a particular embarrassment for Musharraf. It showed how the militants could still thumb their noses at the Pakistani Army.

    In fact, local officials and Western diplomats said, there is little evidence that the 12-day-old emergency decree has increased the government's leverage in fighting the militants, or that Musharraf has used the decree to take any extraordinary steps to combat them.

    Instead, it has proved more of a distraction, they said, forcing Musharraf to concentrate on his own political survival, even as the army starts its first offensive operation since the Nov. 3 decree.

    The success of the militants in Swat has caused new concern in Washington about the ability and the will of Pakistani forces to fight the militants who are now training their sights directly on Pakistan's government, not only on the NATO and American forces across the border in Afghanistan, Western officials said.

    After several weeks of heavy clashes, the militants largely control Swat, the mountainous region that is the scenic jewel of Pakistan, and are pushing into Shangla, to the east. All of the sites lie deeper inside Pakistan than the tribal areas, on the Afghan border, where Al Qaeda, the Taliban and assorted foreign and local militants have expanded a stronghold in recent years. In Alpuri, the administrative headquarters of Shangla, a crowd of militants easily took over the police station, despite the emergency decree, Mayor Ibad Khan said.

    "They came straight to the police station; it was empty," he said in a telephone interview. The district police officer had run away. "I am still searching for him," Khan said. Asked why the police station was empty, he said, "I am asking myself the same question."

    The shelling of militant positions in several subdistricts of Swat, and in neighboring Shangla in the last several days, was the first significant action by the Pakistani Army in the area, Western defense officials said.

    One Western diplomat said a government military briefing Thursday in Islamabad was intended to convince foreign countries of the feasibility of the government offensive. Instead, the official said, the presentation only underscored the Pakistan Army's lack of counterinsurgency skills as it tries to battle about 400 well-supplied and well-trained militants in the region.

    In the past, the government has relied on paramilitary forces, the Frontier Corps and the constabulary to control Swat, which is part of North-West Frontier Province.

    More than 2,000 Pakistani Army soldiers were deployed to the province in July, but they remained largely inactive, intimidated by the militants' ability to capture soldiers.

    The army said Thursday that more than two dozen militants had been killed in clashes since operations began three days ago.

    But Major General Waheed Arshad, a military spokesman, said the army had not cleared the main road in Alpuri by Thursday night.

    The local militants in Swat are led by Maulana Fazlullah, a charismatic Islamic cleric, and are fortified by Islamic fighters of Uzbek, Tajik and Chechen origin, residents say. They say that although masks hide the foreigners' faces, it is clear that they do not speak Pashto, the local language.

    Fazlullah leads the Movement for the Enforcement of Islamic Laws, a Taliban-style group that has forced the closing of schools for girls and shut down video stores. He delivers his message on FM radio, a technique that the government has not curbed. Civilians in the area said the arrival of the army three days ago was not reassuring.

    "The army has moved to the area, but so far I don't see any practical steps for this crisis," said Sher Muhammad, a lawyer, in a telephone interview from Swat. "We are just waiting. The situation is worse than 10 days ago."

    Civilians have already been killed, local residents said by telephone.

    In Kanju, a town under the militants' control, the army shelled a house, killing four people, said Walyat Ali Khan, a lawyer.
    #10     Nov 16, 2007