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Aussie Police Consider Using Automated Spy Drones 113

Posted by timothy
from the no-one-likes-to-underspend-a-budget dept.
beaverdownunder writes "Police in the Australian state of Victoria have confirmed that they are investigating employing unmanned drones in the war against crime, following the lead of law enforcement agencies in the United States, set to begin using drones as of tomorrow. This revelation has alarmed Australian civil libertarians, who fear that in a country with no constitutionally-protected civil rights, people could be surveilled for political reasons."
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Aussie Police Consider Using Automated Spy Drones

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  • by OzPeter (195038) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @11:44AM (#39986653)

    A better link about the US story (*)
     
      Drones with an eye on the public cleared to fly [nytimes.com]
     
    (*) Why the fuck can't I edit my own posts? If you can track my karma, then you should be able to let me edit what I wrote. Sure it could be misused by trolls .. but on the whole it would make things easier by not having to reply to my own posts like this.

  • by PPH (736903) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @01:35PM (#39987533)

    I do wonder if having a world war rage across your home turf makes you culturally more sensitive towards what can go wrong in your own back yard.

    Good point. The powers that be in the USA like to inculcate their population with a sense of trust in domestic institutions. And they don't like skepticism of the same. These principles are found in ideas of "institutional intelligence". That is: The group is smarter than the individual. This may be true for cases where members of the group independently arrive at a consensus. But it overlooks the susceptibility of the group to influence by self-appointed leaders. Some with their own self interest placed before that of the public. Europe has had recent history with such leaders and is in a better position to recognize them should they arise again.*

    The study of social psychology [wikipedia.org] is more common in Europe than in the USA. One reason for that might be Europe's past experience with problems relating to group behavior. But its also due to the fear that American power brokers have with too close an inspection of their methods. One of the primary methods of dealing with dissent is to turn it into a "them vs us" fight. If you don't buy into the group philosophy without question, you must be an outsider. And by definition, a troublemaker. So, you are out of the group and the group, by definition, has no internal problems.

    *Its interesting to note the corollary to Godwin's law: That a reference to Hitler automatically ends a discussion. In part, because often that's a sign that the discussion has descended to the level of being ridiculous. But also because Americans (in particular) aren't comfortable with the idea that they are being manipulated by their own leaders for other than the good of the group. And with this remark, I end the thread.

  • by ixuzus (2418046) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @06:25PM (#39989853)
    Only in Australia there is constitutional case law saying that political free speech is implied by the constitution. There are three or four High court decisions I know of on the matter but probably the best known is Australian Capital Television Pty Ltd v Commonwealth. As the High Court interprets it, so shall it be. Granted, it isn't nearly as broad as elsewhere but it is there.

Maybe Computer Science should be in the College of Theology. -- R. S. Barton

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