Look up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane.
No, it’s Miami-Dade police spying on you.
The Miami-Dade Police Department is about to become the first large metropolitan police department in the country to buy a drone, an unmanned plane equipped with cameras that until now, has only been used by military in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Police say the drone is necessary to keep us safe, but ACLU officials say it will allow police to invade our privacy by peeping through our bedroom windows and into our backyards – where we have an expectation of privacy.
But technology experts say we better get used to this idea because this is only a sign of things to come. Soon all large-scale police departments will be flying drones.
But before that can happen, the Federal Aviation Adminisration must first approve the airways.
According to the Miami New Times:
At this point, it doesn’t really matter if you’re against this technology, because it’s coming,” says P. W. Singer, author of Wired for War and an expert on drones. “The precedent that is set in Miami could be huge.”
The irony, of course, is that police have been doing all they can to prevent us from recording them even when they have no expectation of privacy.
So next time you choke the chicken inside the privacy of your own home or make love to your wife, your photo can wind up in a police file labeled for domestic terrorists probably along the side your crotch-shot from that time you walked through a TSA checkpoint during the holidays.
The MDPD will purchase the 20-pound T-Hawk from Honeywell for an unspecified amount of tax dollars that are supposedly coming from some federal grant.
Probably the same grant that allowed the MDPD to create its Homeland Security Bureau that responded to Stretch Ledford and I taking photographs at the Miami-Dade Metrorail.
A Detective Bustamante told us we would be arrested if we continued taking photos, even though he had shown him official documentation that we were allowed to take photos on the trains.
We were then “permanently banned” by the Metrorail sesecurity company while the MPPD Homeland Security jackasses looked on approvingly.
Our tax dollars at work sure as hell are not going towards the brains of the Homeland Security operation.
The Federal Aviation Administration still needs to approve the drone so it can fly at 10,500 feet at a cruise of 46 mph at 49 minutes at a time.
Knowing Miami, it probably won’t be long until somebody shoots it down.
Meanwhile, citizens can purchase their own smaller-scale drone for only $300 that can be operated with an iPhone.
I’d like to see what will happen if I fly the drone outside the window of the Miami-Dade Police Department.