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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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  • Misconceptions. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 14, 2012 @06:11AM (#39992909)
    Ok, let me clear up some misconceptions seeing as I was working for a vendor involved in the exploratory process of this whole thing:
    - These are not fully automated, they have human controllers.
    - The main use-cases that needed be demonstrated was surveying sites for the purposes of crowd control and disaster response, an eye-in-the-sky, not wholesale surveillance. These are cheaper to run and purchase than traditional rotatory and fixed wing aircraft.
    - The numbers they want are low, not hundreds and probably not dozens and dozens either, because frankly, they are still quite expensive (5 figures). They'll probably start with just a few.
    I would tell you more, such as the technical limitations that make these units unsuitable for wholesale surveillance, but I would be breaching an NDA. I'd be more concerned about wholesale telecommunication surveillance than this sort of thing.

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