Sunday, September 29, 2013

National Guard Assures Drone Surveillance is Constitutional - The San Juan Daily Star - Last Update | FBI has been using drones on US soil since 2006 - PRPD and local FBI, why don't you consider it seriously?

Last Update: 10.1.13 

October 1, 2013 


The Puerto Rico National Guard assured 
a House panel Monday that the drone 
surveillance it uses to detect illegal drug 
shipments would not be considered “unreasonable search” under the local Constitution.
Adjutant General Juan J. Medina Lamela 
also told the House Public Safety Committee 
that he is planning to spend $9 million on a 
drone similar to an unarmed “Patriot” drone 
to patrol the coasts. The plane will be unmanned and capable of fl ying for 18 hours nonstop.
The National Guard utilizes unmanned 
and manned drones for the island’s security 
“As a matter of fact, we have staff and 
equipment on the Counterdrug program that 
uses aerial platform like helicopters to fi ght 
drug traffi cking. … The federal government 
pays for this,” said Medina Lamela. “One of 
the requirements for this program is the absolute compliance with strict protocols related to 
constitutional guarantees that protect the rights 
of citizens against unreasonable searches.”
Committee chairman José Báez said the 
equipment used by the National Guard detects movement and heat inside a structure 
in a way that could violate privacy rights, but 
he trusted the National Guard was following 
Medina Lamela said the National Guard 
has an oversight program that ensures the 
equipment does not violate privacy rights. He 
said the Guard also has unmanned vehicles 
used to keep watch over citizens, but offered 
the assurance that such equipment is only used 
in instances of emergency or natural disaster.
He said the vehicles the National Guard 
uses for surveillance could be used by the Police Department.
“This technology has the potential of revolutionizing criminal investigations,” he 
said. “But like all technology, it must be used 
within the statutes of the law.” 

Mike Nova comments: 

IMHO, with PR rampant crime rate and its devastating effect on economy and social life, PRPD cannot afford NOT to use drones and all the latest technology especially in the light of mandated requirements for police reform, reduced funding and workforce attrition. Besides this, there is a need to develop specialised mini-drones specifically for police work, and this is where PR can make a mark, both economically and as a technological and social achievement. This potential advance might turn PRPD into a pioneer of police work from a perpetual and looked down upon lagger. It also has a potential of enhancing greatly the local FBI and DEA work. From a criminal jungle PR will turn into a true "shining star", the "Switzerland of the Caribbean" and everyone, all social classes will benefit, except the criminals and drug dealers, of course; who will be placed where they belong. It also will start and implement the new and the most efficient preventive approach to controlling crime and other social ills. 


FBI has been using drones on US soil since 2006
The FBI has been suing domestic drones since 2006.
The FBI has been suing domestic drones since 2006.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States has been using domestic drones since 2006 but has failed to codify rules to protect privacy rights.

A recent report by the US Department of Justice’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, has shown that the use of domestic drones in the US is not limited to the FBI and is even expected to expand.

According to the Justice Department’s internal watchdog, the FBI’s domestic drone use since 2006 has cost over $3 million as of May while the department has also granted $1.26 million to local police departments for drones.

Meanwhile, the use of domestic drones in the US is expected to expand to the Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive.

Moreover, the US Marshals Service and Drug Enforcement Administration, both components of the US Justice Department, have purchased and tested drones for domestic use.

This comes as civil rights activists have raised concerns that the use of drones for spying purposes in the US would create a “surveillance society” in which authorities are allowed to monitor, track, record, and scrutinize every movement of citizens.

The Justice Department’s report also acknowledged that the use of domestic drones in the US has raised “unique concerns about privacy and the collection of evidence.”

However, the report says the FBI’s guidelines for the use of domestic drones simply “require that agents request supervisory approval before conducting any aerial surveillance and comply with aviation laws and policies” and do not address drone-surveillance privacy concerns.

“Usage policy on domestic drones should be decided by the public’s representatives, not by police departments, and the policies should be clear, written, and open to the public,” urges the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), an organization working to defend Americans’ individual rights and liberties.

ACLU Senior Policy Analyst Jay Stanley has also called for the passage of legislation proposed by a bipartisan group of US lawmakers that requires law enforcement agencies in the US to get court approval before deploying drones and forbids the arming of drones with lethal or non-lethal weapons.


» FBI has been using drones on US soil since 2006 - Press TV
27/09/13 04:52 from fbi aclu report - Google News
Press TVFBI has been using drones on US soil since 2006Press TVA recent report by the US Department of Justice's inspector general, Michael Horowitz, has shown that the use of domestic drones in the US is not limited to the FBI and i...

» FBI has been using drones since 2006, watchdog agency says - Los Angeles Times
26/09/13 20:04 from fbi - Google News
San Francisco ChronicleFBI has been using drones since 2006, watchdog agency saysLos Angeles TimesThe unmanned surveillance planes have helped FBI agents storm barricaded buildings, track criminal suspects and examine crime scenes since ... 

Mike Nova comments: Methinks, the use of drones for police work: crowds and disturbed individuals control, assistance in making arrests and also for surveillance of various criminal activities should be greatly expanded, if anything. It is definitely the wave of the future and is most definitely the most efficient and the most cost efficient and also clean, safe and humane (for both sides) way of performing these duties. I do not see anything wrong with it. Furthermore, from economic point of view, it is a new, smart and labor efficient, with high profit margin economy: to design, construct and manufacture drones and to develop and to perfect ways of using them remotely with computers and also to train people from other locations in using them. It is also fun. It might be a blessing for PR economy. The proper care should be taken to prevent the knowledge and the use of this technology by criminals and their groups. PRPD and local FBI, why don't you consider it seriously? 
It seems to me that The Joint Task Force to fully explore this issue with its implications and options might be the most suitable format and it should include the representatives of DOD, which is the largest manufacturer and user of UAV-s, the law enforcement agencies, local and federal governments and business community. This arrangement would also likely contain the "fringe benefit" of improving the communications and cooperation between these largest players.  
Modification and special development and equipment of commercially available mini UAV-s along with exploration of UAV-s already in use for police work might be the most practical ways to start. 


drones - GS

Drones | World news | The Guardian › News › World news

Latest news and comment on Drones from the Guardian.

Unmanned aerial vehicle - From Wikipedia

They are deployed predominantly for military and special operation applications, but also used in a small but growing number of civil applications, such as policing and firefighting, and nonmilitary security work, such as surveillance of pipelines. UAVs are often preferred for missions that are too "dull, dirty or dangerous"[3] for manned aircraft.

Domestic policing[edit]

UAVs are increasingly used for domestic police work in Canada and the United States:[42][43] a dozen US police forces had applied for UAV permits by March 2013.[22] Texas politician and commentator Jim Hightower has warned about potential privacy abuses from aerial surveillance.[44][45] In February 2013, Seattle Mayor Michael McGinn responded to protests by scrapping the Seattle Police Department’s plan to deploy UAVs.[46] 

Future potential[edit]

In the future, UAVs may be able to perform a variety of unique tasks apart from what they are capable of today. Engineers are currently working to produce remotely piloted UAVs that are capable of air to air combat, aerial refueling, combat search and rescue with facial recognition, and resupply to agents on the ground.[90]

Design and development considerations[edit]

UAV design and production is a global activity with manufacturers all across the world. The United States and Israel were initial pioneers in this technology, and U.S. manufacturers had a market share of over 60% in 2006, with U.S. market share due to increase by 5–10% through 2016.[91] Northrop Grumman and General Atomics are the dominant manufacturers in this industry on the strength of the Global Hawk and Predator/Mariner systems.[91] The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 required selection of six test sites from 24 applicant states, to study UAS safety and certify commercial UASs for use in U.S. airspace.[40] Some universities offer UAS research and training programs or academic degrees.[40]
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Israeli companies were behind 41% of all UAVs exported in 2001-2011.[92] The European market share represented 4% of global revenue in 2006.[91]
Development costs for American military UAVs, as with most military programs, have tended to overrun their initial estimates. This is mostly due to changes in requirements during development and a failure to leverage UAV development programs over multiple armed services. This has caused United States Navy UAV programs to increase in cost from 0% to 5%, while United States Air Force UAV programs have increased from 60% to 284%.[93] 

UAVs over the United States[edit]

Surveillance and policing[edit]

UAVs can be powerful surveillance tools by carrying camera systems capable of license plate scanning and thermal imaging as well as radio equipment and other sensors.[176] The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a Freedom of Information Act request on January 10, 2012 against the Federal Aviation Administration.[177] As a result of the request, the FAA released a list of the names of all public and private entities that have applied for authorizations to fly UAVs domestically.[178] Some of these government licenses belong to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a component of the Department of Homeland Security. UAVs have been used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to patrol United States borders since 2005, and the agency currently owns 10 UAVs.[179] With plans to use armed drones.[180]
A May 2012 report issued by the DHS Inspector General found that CBP "needs to improve planning of its unmanned aircraft systems program to address its level of operation, program funding, and resource requirements, along with stakeholder needs." [181] Also, despite the Bureau’s limited mission to safeguard the borders, the Bureau often flies missions for the FBI, the Department of DefenseNOAA, local law enforcement, and other agencies. In December 2011, the CBP made headlines when reporters discovered that the agency's UAVs were being used to assist local law enforcement in relation to cattle raiding in North Dakota without receiving prior approval from the FAA or any other agency.[182]
Individuals in the United States have few legal privacy protections from aerial surveillance conducted through UAVs. In Florida v. Riley,[42] the United States Supreme Court held that individuals do not have the right to privacy from police observation from public airspace. The weakness of legal protection from UAV surveillance have led to calls from civil liberties advocacy groups for the U.S. government to issue laws and regulations that establish both privacy protections and greater transparency regarding the use of UAVs to gather information about individuals.[183] As an example, the ACLU has warned of a "nightmare scenario" in the future where the police might be able, with computer technology, to combine mobile phone tracking with video data and build up a database of people's routine daily movements.[22] 

Mike Nova comments: It is not necessarily a "nightmare scenario" but might be a "God blessed scenario" in control of criminogenic situations and prevention and investigation of crimes depending on how conscientiously, responsibly and lawfully the drones are used. 

On February 24, 2012, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, joined by over 100 organizations, experts, and members of the public, submitted a petition to the FAA requesting a public rule-making on the privacy impact of UAV use in U.S. airspace.[184] In June 2012, Senator Rand Paul and Representative Austin Scott both introduced legislation that would require law enforcement to obtain a warrant before using a UAV to conduct surveillance of criminal activities.[185] EPIC has stated that transparency and accountability must be built into the FAA's system of UAV/UAS/RPV regulation in order to provide basic protections to the public.[186]
While Congress rapidly moves ahead to authorize further use of domestic UAVs, many remain skeptical regarding privacy concerns.[43] Some privacy scholars argue that the domestic use of UAVs for surveillance will ultimately benefit privacy by encouraging society to demand greater privacy rights.
Associated today with the theatre of war, the widespread domestic use of drones for surveillance seems inevitable. Existing privacy law will not stand in its way. It may be tempting to conclude on this basis that drones will further erode our individual and collective privacy. Yet the opposite may happen. Drones may help restore our mental model of a privacy violation. They could be just the visceral jolt society needs to drag privacy law into the twenty-first century.
—M. Ryan Calo[187]
FBI Director Robert Mueller testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the 19th of June 2013 that the FBI owns and uses UAVs for the purposes of "surveillance."[188] 


Non-police uses[edit]

Law enforcement and other government agencies are not the only entities that use UAVs. Private citizens and media organizations use UAVs as well for the purposes of surveillance, recreation, or personal land assessment. Some farming initiatives utilize UAVs for crop spraying, as they are often cheaper than a full-sized helicopter. Occupy Wall Street journalist Tim Pool uses what he calls an Occucopter for live feed coverage of Occupy movement events.[189] The "occucopter" is an inexpensive radio controlled quadcopter with cameras attached and controllable by Androiddevices or iOS. In February 2012, an animal rights group used a MikroKopter hexacopter to film hunters shooting pigeons in South Carolina. The hunters then shot the UAV down.[190] UAVs also have been shown to have many other civilian uses, such as agriculture, Hollywood, and in the construction industry.[191] 

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Unmanned vehicle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Target drone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Drone Strike Is Said to Kill 4 Militants In Pakistan -

Teen dies in accident with remote-control helicopter 

Why Won't the FBI Tell the Public About its Drone Program ...‎ 

Jun 20, 2013 - We hope Senator Feinstein will follow up on her concerns about the FBI's apparent lack of “strictures” in place to protect Americans' privacy in ... 

Álvaro Mutis, Novelist Who Created a Rambling, Ruminative Soul, Dies at 90 - NYT

Álvaro Mutis, Novelist Who Created a Rambling, Ruminative Soul, Dies at 90 

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Álvaro Mutis, a Colombian poet and novelist who created one of Latin American literature’s more memorable characters, the rambling and ruminative Maqroll, an inadvertent explorer of jungles and his own jaded soul for whom life seemed a long and futile boat ride, mostly upriver, often running aground, died on Sept. 22 in Mexico City. He was 90.
Denis Doyle/Associated Press
The novelist Álvaro Mutis, right, with King Juan Carlos of Spain in 2002, when he was awarded the Cervantes Prize.
The cause was cardiorespiratory problems, his wife, Carmen Miracle, told news agencies in Mexico.
Mr. Mutis was 19 when, in verse, he first introduced Maqroll to readers as the “Gaviero,” the Lookout, a label linked to his early life as a seaman whose duties included scanning the horizon for potential peril, even if he did not always recognize it.
More than 40 years later — after Mr. Mutis had become a widely admired poet, spent more than a year in prison on embezzlement charges that were later dropped, moved to Mexico and was a well-traveled representative for Standard Oil and two Hollywood studios — he transferred his protagonist to prose. Beginning in the late 1980s, Maqroll appeared in a popular series of seven novellas that were eventually published as a single volume in 1997.
The collection appeared in English in 2002 as “The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll.”
In a 2003 review of the collection for The New Yorker, John Updike wrote that Maqroll’s journey in the first novella, “The Snow of the Admiral,” in which he hopes to reunite with a former lover, is “rendered so vividly as to furnish a metaphor for life as a colorful voyage to nowhere.”
Mr. Mutis was well known and well read in Latin America and Europe but received far less attention in the United States than his fellow Colombian writer and confidant, Gabriel García Márquez. They became friends in their youth and stayed close after both moved to Mexico City, reading each other’s work before it was published and sometimes sharing the same translator for their English editions, Edith Grossman.
“One of the greatest writers of our time,” Mr. García Márquez called his friend. Mr. Mutis received numerous awards, including the Cervantes Prize, the most prestigious literary award in the Spanish-speaking world, and the Neustadt International Prize for Literature. But Maqroll rarely got much recognition. He was a bundle of conflicts and foolish schemes, his life filled with close calls. Alternately optimistic, realistic and fatalistic, he kept going, compelled even as he lost lovers, friends, money and hope.
“I’m really intrigued: these disasters, these decisions that are wrong from the start, these dead ends that constitute the story of my life, are repeated over and over again,” he says as the narrator in “The Snow of the Admiral.” “A passionate vocation for happiness, always betrayed and misdirected, ends in a need for total defeat; it is completely foreign to what, in my heart of hearts, I’ve always known could be mine if it weren’t for this constant desire to fail.”
He continues: “We’re about to re-enter the green tunnel of the menacing, watchful jungle. The stink of wretchedness, of a miserable, indifferent grave, is already in my nostrils.”
Yet Maqroll’s destiny was not death but the journey toward it. The Chilean poet Gonzalo Rojas threatened to sue Mr. Mutis if he ever killed off his beloved character. Mr. Mutis spoke of Maqroll as if he were a living person.
“He often accompanies me, but we are no longer side by side but face to face,” he said in an interview with the writer Francisco Goldman, who wrote the introduction to the 2002 collection. “So Maqroll doesn’t surprise me too much, but he does torment me and keep me company. He is more and more himself, and less my creation, because of course, as I write novels, I load him up with experiences and actions and places that I don’t know but that he of course does.”
Álvaro Mutis Jaramillo was born on Aug. 25, 1923, in Bogotá. His father, Santiago, was a Colombian diplomat, and Mr. Mutis spent much of his early childhood in Brussels. In the summer, his family returned to Colombia by boat, and he later said his writing was rooted in his long stays at the sugar and coffee plantation his grandfather owned in Tolima Province. He never graduated from high school, but he read voraciously and widely, from Jules Verne to Marcel Proust.
Maqroll read, too, bouncing between biographies of dukes and saints. “In each novella, internal life is represented by the book he happens to be reading,” Leonard Michaels wrote in a review of three novellas in The New York Times in 1992. “One night, after a grueling effort to carry guns up the side of a mountain, Maqroll must sleep. But first he must read.”
Mr. Mutis published books of poetry in 1948 and 1953 (his early verse was praised in reviews by Octavio Paz), and he also wrote short stories and nonfiction. But he did not write full time until he began writing novels in his 60s. In the decades between, he worked in jobs whose only link to his literary interests were the experiences they provided — traveling to Latin American capitals, venturing into jungles to search for oil, riding with river captains through rain forests.
“My life became a long trip and I met thousands of people, in all different kinds of situations,” Mr. Mutis told Mr. Goldman. “And this was like a continuation of what I had experienced as a child. In this way I lost the sense of belonging to a particular country.”
Many people in Latin America also knew him for his dubbing of English-language television programs into Spanish, most notably for “The Untouchables.” Information on his survivors was not immediately available.
While he was at Standard Oil, he was accused in 1956 of spending company money on friends, including those who opposed the Colombian dictator at the time, Gustavo Rojas Pinilla. Warned by a friend that his arrest was imminent, Mr. Mutis fled to Mexico. He avoided immediate extradition back to Colombia but was jailed for 15 months while awaiting trial. When the Rojas Pinilla government fell in 1957, Mr. Mutis was freed. He later said the experience was more influential than any great book.
“There is one thing that I learned in prison, that I passed on to Maqroll,” he said, “and that is that you don’t judge others, you don’t say, ‘That guy committed a terrible crime against his family, so I can’t be his friend.’ In a place like that, one coexists because the judging is done on the outside.”
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: September 29, 2013
An earlier version of this obituary misspelled the name of a former Colombian dictator. He is Gustavo Rojas Pinilla, not Gustavo Rosas Pinilla.