09OCT2013: Drones Soon to Make Lethal Decisions on Their Own


(National Journal)  –

Scientists, engineers and policymakers are all figuring out ways drones can be used better and more smartly, more precise and less damaging to civilians, with longer range and better staying power. One method under development is by increasing autonomy on the drone itself.

Eventually, drones may have the technical ability to make even lethal decisions autonomously: to respond to a programmed set of inputs, select a target and fire their weapons without a human reviewing or checking the result. Yet the idea of the U.S. military deploying a lethal autonomous robot, or LAR, is sparking controversy. Though autonomy might address some of the current downsides of how drones are used, they introduce new downsides policymakers are only just learning to grapple with.

The basic conceit behind a LAR is that it can outperform and outthink a human operator. “If a drone’s system is sophisticated enough, it could be less emotional, more selective and able to provide force in a way that achieves a tactical objective with the least harm,” said Purdue University Professor Samuel Liles. “A lethal autonomous robot can aim better, target better, select better, and in general be a better asset with the linked ISR [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance] packages it can run.”

Though the pace for drone strikes has slowed down — only 21 have struck Pakistan in 2013, versus 122 in 2010 according to the New America Foundation — unmanned vehicles remain a staple of the American counterinsurgency toolkit. But drones have built-in vulnerabilities that military planners still have not yet grappled with. Last year, for example, an aerospace engineer told the House Homeland Security Committee that with some inexpensive equipment he could hack into a drone and hijack it to perform some rogue purpose.

Read more: http://www.nationaljournal.com/national-security/soon-drones-may-be-able-to-make-lethal-decisions-on-their-own-20131008

————————————-

The Official Government Rag 'Mayday' alert
The Official Government Rag ‘Mayday’ alert

THE GOVERNMENT RAG OFFICIAL MAYDAY TIMELINE PAGE

THE GOVERNMENT RAG HOME PAGE

Advertisements

04OCT2013: Border Patrol Loaning Predator Drones to Military, State, and Local Police


Border Patrol Loaning Predator Drones to Military, State, and Local Police

(Eff.org) – Customs & Border Protection released a new list to EFF this week that details the extensive number of times that the agency has flown its Predator drones on behalf of other agencies—500 flights in total over a three-year period. This list shows, yet again, how little we know about drone flights in this country and how important it is that we place limits on drone use to protect Americans’ privacy rights.

EFF obtained the list of federal, state and local agencies as a result of our Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the agency. Not only does the list show the total number of flights by year between 2010 and 2012, but it shows CBP flew its drones over 100 times just for Department of Justice components including FBI, DEA and US Marshals. This is in direct contradiction to a recently released DOJ Office of Inspector General (OIG) Report (pdf) that stated DHS had flown its drones on only two occasions for DOJ law enforcement components.

We discussed some of the other agencies that benefited from CBP’s Predators in a previous post, but some agencies on the list are new. These include the Grand Forks SWAT, the North Dakota Narcotics Task Force, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Minnesota Drug Task Force, and several branches of the military.

The list also includes several county sheriff’s departments. However, CBP has refused to release the names of these agencies, arguing in a recent court filing that to do so would disclose secret law enforcement techniques and would somehow “reveal that CBP is aware of the illegal activities taking place in a particular location.” It’s hard to fathom how releasing the name of a county sheriff department—without any other information about the drone flight for that department—would somehow let the criminals in the area know they’re being watched and help them evade detection.

Even after all the attention drone surveillance has garnered in the US, CBP has yet to establish rules for its drone flights that would protect Americans’ privacy rights. In the report on the DOJ’s drone use, the Inspector General severely chastised DOJ for similarly failing to implement privacy-protecting rules—and for willfully failing to recognize that drone surveillance raises privacy issues different from surveillance with manned aircraft. The OIG recognized what EFF has been saying all along—that the advanced technological capabilities of drones, their low operational costs as compared to manned aircraft, and their ability to conduct “pervasive tracking of an individual’s movements” whether on “public or private property “ raise “unique concerns about privacy and the collection of evidence.”

Read more: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/09/500-cbp-drone-flights-other-agencies

The Official Government Rag 'Mayday' alert

THE GOVERNMENT RAG MAYDAY TIMELINE PAGE

THE GOVERNMENT RAG HOME PAGE

29SEPT2013: U.S. Air Force and Boeing sent their first unmanned F-16 jet plane into the air


f-16 unmanned sept 29 20131

(WashingtonPost) –  The U.S. Air Force and Boeing have sent their first unmanned F-16 jet plane into the air — a drone craft test that promises to change the shape of battlefield missions in years to come.

“Now we have a mission-capable, highly sustainable, full-scaled aerial target to take us into the future,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Inman, in Sky News.

The unmanned plane was test-flown by two pilots at a ground control station at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, The New York Post reported.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/sep/26/air-forces-new-f16-drone-makes-debut-air/#ixzz2gIKuXBx6 
———————————————-

The Official Government Rag 'Mayday' alert
The Official Government Rag ‘Mayday’ alert

THE GOVERNMENT RAG OFFICIAL MAYDAY TIMELINE PAGE

THE GOVERNMENT RAG HOME PAGE

Update 25May2013: Obama Expands Militarization of Police


(TheRealNews) – Among items transferred to local law enforcement agencies have been assault rifles and grenade launchers, even Blackhawk helicopters and .50 caliber machine guns; In fiscal year 2011 alone, the Pentagon transferred almost $500 million worth of materials to domestic law enforcement – near double the previous year’s total –   May 23, 13

Read More: http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=10231

————————————-

MAYDAY

THE GOVERNMENT RAG HOME PAGE

THE OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT RAG MAYDAY TIMELINE

 

 

UPDATE 15APR2013 – PETA Plans to Fly Drones That Would ‘Stalk Hunters’


15APR2013 – PETA Plans to Fly Drones That Would ‘Stalk Hunters’ – PETA says it’s actively shopping for a drone to monitor hunters

(USNEWS) – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is actively shopping for a drone that would “stalk hunters,” the organization said Monday.

[READ: Drones to Monitor Endangered Animals in Africa]

The group says it will “soon have some impressive new weapons at its disposal to combat those who gun down deer and doves” and that it is “shopping for one or more drone aircraft with which to monitor those who are out in the woods with death on their minds.”

The group says it will not weaponize the drones, but will use them to film potentially illegal hunting activity and turn it over to law enforcement.

[PHOTOS: The Expansion of the Drone]

“The talk is usually about drones being used as killing machines, but PETA drones will be used to save lives,” PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk said in a statement.

They are currently considering purchasing the CineStar Octocopter, which is capable of carrying a DSLR camera for up to 5 minutes. With smaller cameras, the drone can fly for about 20 minutes. The group says it also hopes to fly drones over factory farms, fishing spots and “other venues where animals routinely suffer and die.”

[READ: Drone Wars in America]

In order to legally operate the drone, it will likely need a certificate of authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration, a process which can take several months.

Kaitlynn Kelly, a representative for PETA, tells U.S. News that they will soon seek FAA approval but that they “hope this won’t be an issue,” and that they plan to have permission to fly beginning in the fall.

“We’re not releasing the locations that we have in mind, but we will look into the Northeast, bighorn sheep hunts and bowhunts because those are especially cruel,” she says.

The group may want to carefully monitor its drone—last year, an animal rights group drone was shot down while it was attempting to monitor pigeon hunters in South Carolina.

Read More: http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/04/08/peta-plans-to-fly-drones-that-would-stalk-hunters

—————————————

MAYDAY

THE GOVERNMENT RAG MAYDAY TIMELINE PAGE

THE GOVERNMENT RAG HOME PAGE

UPDATE 14APR2013: Drones and Law Enforcement in America: The Unmanned Police Surveillance State


(Greg Guma – Global Research) – The US is at the dawn of “a new era in police surveillance,” the Associated Press revealed casually last week. In a Chicago-based story about the growing use of drones and other sophisticated, unmanned aircraft for aerial surveillance, it noted that the Congressional Research Service considers their future use “bound only by human ingenuity.” The story focused on one Illinois legislator who has proposed a limit on how far law enforcement agencies can go.

But bills have been introduced in almost 40 states, and the Bill of Rights Defense Committee has two model ordinances to assist communities in the emerging movement against domestic surveillance drones. This isn’t science fiction, although the threat of an emerging Surveillance State does figure in my forthcoming novel, Dons of Time.

As I learned while researching, drones already fly pretty freely in US airspace. Law enforcement groups use them for search and rescue operations, for security along the border (mainly the one with Mexico so far), for weather research and scientific data collection. In fact, last year Congress authorized the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to open the nation’s airspace to widespread drone flights by 2015.

The FAA estimates that more than 7,000 civilian drones could be surfing the sky by 2020.

As Bill of Rights Defense Committee Executive Director Shahid Buttar explains, “Because the legal landscape governing drones is essentially barren, law enforcement agencies around the country are currently making policy to suit their interests. But we live in a constitutional Republic, meaning that We the People hold the opportunity — and responsibility — to petition our local representatives for legal protections that Congress is too timid to provide.”

In Seattle, the police department purchased two drones through a federal grant, but opted not to use them after protests in February. A bill barring Virginia law enforcement from using drones for two years passed the General Assembly months ago, but awaits a response from the governor. The National Conference of State Legislatures has heard about more than 70 bills in around 40 states that address the use of drones.

The Defense Committee’s legislative models are designed to satisfy diverse interests. One creates a drone-free zone, while another establishes strict requirements limiting their use by law enforcement agencies and other public officials. The model regulating drone use (rather than outlawing it) allows them to be used with a judicially issued warrant or for limited non-law enforcement purposes like fire detection, hazardous material response, search & rescue, and natural disasters.

Beyond constitutional concerns, proposed legislation also addresses some safety issues. According to Buttar, many of the drones currently available to law enforcement have limited flying time, can’t be flown in bad weather, must be flown in sight of an operator, and can only be used during daylight hours, “making them ill-suited to search and rescue missions and best suited for pervasive surveillance.”

On the other hand, AP points to some of the attractions driving the rush to drone use. Unmanned aircraft vary widely in size and capability. They can be as small as a bird or look like a children’s remote-controlled toy, and yet can be equipped with high-powered cameras, microphones, heat sensors, facial recognition technology or license plate readers. Similar technology has been used by the US military and CIA to track down Al-Qaida operatives abroad.

Law enforcement likes drones because they’re relatively cheap; they reportedly keep down the price by cutting fuel and maintenance costs, as well as reducing manpower. Look at it this way: A police helicopter can cost from $500,000 to $3 million, and about $400 an hour to fly. It can be “affordable” snooping for those with the means of surveillance.

Read Original: http://www.globalresearch.ca/drones-and-law-enforcement-in-america-the-unmanned-police-surveillance-state/5330984

MAYDAY

——————————-

THE GOVERNMENT RAG MAYDAY TIMELINE PAGE

THE GOVERNMENT RAG HOME PAGE

 

 

 

UPDATE 09APR2013 – Leaked Government Report Reveals Testing Of Gun Sensing Drones In Oklahoma


Leaked Government Report Reveals Testing Of Gun Sensing Drones In Oklahoma

(NEWS9) –

 

MAYDAY

Visit the Government Rag Home Page

Visit The MayDay Timeline Page