Contracts show units to be used to enforce regulations
The deployment of federal drones in and around U.S. shores represents one of the Obama administration’s next steps in the nation’s expanded use of unmanned aircraft systems for surveillance purposes.
The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, or ONMS, recently acquired Puma UAS – a type of drone that the U.S. Navy also uses – for operations off the coast of Los Angeles.
ONMS now is enlisting contractor support in expanding UAS use in California, Hawaii, Florida, and Washington state. Vendors experienced in working with law enforcement and military personnel are needed for this endeavor, according to a solicitation that WND located through routine database research.
The Puma drones – which are small enough to launch by hand – will be used by ONMS to enforce federal regulations, the document says.
(Reuters) – An Israeli fighter plane shot down a drone from Lebanon over the Mediterranean sea on Thursday as it was approaching the Israeli coast, the military said.
“I view with great gravity this attempt to violate our border. We will continue to do what is necessary to defend the security of Israel’s citizens,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.
The military said the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was detected in Lebanese skies and intercepted by a F-16 fighter jet some five nautical miles from the Israeli port city of Haifa.
The Israeli navy was searching for the wreckage in the sea, a statement said.
It was the second time a drone from Lebanon has been intercepted in Israeli air space in the past seven months.
Last October, an Israel missile shot down a UAV sent by Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah after it flew some 35 miles into southern Israel.
(Reporting by Jeffrey Heller, Editing by Crispian Balmer)
This is some scary stuff folks! This is real and it’s happening now. This is not make believe or something in the movies. The government is planning for mass control over Americans. Put all of the pieces together. Drones of all types including this new technology. Department of Homeland security arming itself to the kilt with military armament and billions of rounds of ammunition, gun control soon to take place (I believe it will), gun confiscation which is already happening, FEMA camps, coffins, boxcars, Executive orders allowing the government to take control of food, water, power, land, everything. The list goes on and on, this is just a small portion. Wake up, get your head out of the sand, the time is soon coming for total government take over! What else would they be preparing for?!
Paul Joseph Watson Infowars.com April 9, 2013
The Department of Homeland Security is testing a number of different drones at a scientific research facility in Oklahoma that have sensors capable of detecting whether a person is armed, stoking concerns that the federal agency is planning on using UAVs to harass gun owners.
Researchers with Oklahoma State University are masterminding the drones for the DHS at a nondescript building that houses the Oklahoma Training Center for Unmanned Systems.
Field testing of the drones is being carried out at Ft. Sill Army Post near Lawton, Oklahoma, allowing the UAVs to avoid prying eyes due to the camp’s 200 square miles of restricted airspace.
Toney Stricklin, a member of the Governor’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Council, said the primary purpose of the drones was “to catch the bad guys.”
Attorney David Slane told KWTV-9 that the drones represented a threat to “privacy rights.”
A HSToday.us report details how, “SUAS sensor platforms are being tested for use by “first responder and homeland security operational communities” that “can distinguish between unarmed and armed (exposed) personnel,” as well as conducting detection, surveillance, tracking and laser designation of targets of interest at stand-off ranges, according to the RAPS (Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety) Test Plan obtained by Homeland Security Today.”
The drones are also fitted with cameras that can record “scene data” in high definition (HD) quality and consist of “fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft having gross takeoff weights of 25 lbs. or less.” A “Privacy Impact Assessment” conducted by a DHS official concluded that the drones posed no privacy issues – which is kind of like a fox concluding that a henhouse poses no safety issues.
A RAPS program official who declined to provide his identity assured critics that the sensor capabilities on the drones would not be used for “nefarious” purposes.
However, given that the DHS has purchased in excess of 1.6 billion bullets, which many see as an attempt to put a stranglehold on the ammunition market as an end run around the Second Amendment, such statements ring hollow.
The RAPS plan also notes how the cost of the drones being tested is continually plummeting, opening the door for some “50,000 police and fire departments” in the country to set up their own “aviation departments.”
Testing of the drones is also set to expand to two further locations, the Oklahoma National Guard’s Camp Gruber and the University Multispectral Laboratory’s test site at Chilocco, Okla.
“Public and congressional concerns over the expanding use of UAVs of all kinds by federal, state and local law enforcement were exacerbated recently following a report by CNET.com that DHS has “customized its Predator drones” to be able to “identify civilians carrying guns and tracking their cell phones,” writes Anthony Kimery.
“CNET.com reported that DHS’s “specifications for its drones … ‘shall be capable of identifying a standing human being at night as likely armed or not,’” and that “They also specify ‘signals interception’ technology that can capture communications in the frequency ranges used by mobile phones and ‘direction finding’ technology that can identify the locations of mobile devices or two-way radios.”
The Electronic Privacy Information Center’s Ginger McCall said the testing was, “clearly evidence that the Department of Homeland Security is developing drones with signals interception technology and the capability to identify people on the ground.”
After initially covering the DHS’ plan for “public safety drones” in October 2012, we first reported on DHS-funded drones being used in the context of the federal government’s gun control agenda in February of this year. A promotional video for the Shadowhawk drone, a 50lb mini helicopter that can be fitted with an XREP taser with the ability to fire four barbed electrodes that can be shot to a distance of 100 feet, depicted the UAV being used to spy on a private gun sale.
The fictional scenario falsely characterized the private sale of firearms as an illegal activity, with the drone being used to gather information on the individuals involved in the transaction.
Oregon-based company Domestic Drone Countermeasures announced last month that it would sell customized anti-drone defense systems to anyone interested in a little extra privacy. Drones will be an increasingly significant issue for people and companies seeking to limit aerial images of themselves or their property, company president Amy Ciesielka told The Huffington Post.
Domestic Drone Countermeasures’ anti-drone system would not disable drone technology nor jam the machines, Ciesielka said, but would neutralize the ability of a small air-bound drone to capture sound and images through its on-board cameras, video recorders and microphones. The anti-drone service uses patent-protected technology, and all the components already exist; Domestic Drone Countermeasures is simply joining them together into a single product for consumers, she said.
Ciesielka declined to name a price for the drone defense system, only saying it would “cost as much as car, maybe an Audi.”
Consumers can already purchase small drones — which resemble radio-controlled helicopter toys and outfitted with cameras — for as little as $300 online. And more drones are coming. Last month, Congress passed a funding bill for the Federal Aviation Administration that will allow for the use of a wide range of unmanned aerial vehicles by both the government and corporate entities by September 2015, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Domestic Drone Countermeasures is a spin-off of Aplus Mobile, which makes and sells defense-level computer hardware systems. According to the company’s website, any buyer of the anti-drone system must sign a non-disclosure agreement and must be an American citizen.
A new flying drone developed by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania could one day be used to snatch humans off the street.
Justin Thomas and his colleagues at the GRASP Lab have produced an “avian-inspired” claw drone that mimics the way an eagle uses its talons to grab a fish out of the ocean.
A video clip of the drone shows the UAV swooping down at high speed to snatch an object using its 3D printed mechanical claw. By mimicking how a bald eagle sweeps its legs and claws backwards to aerodynamically close in on its prey without the need to slow down, the drone is able to grasp a stationary object with precise efficiency.
Drexel University’s Christopher Korpela is simultaneously developing flight stability software for drones with arms that would enable the UAV’s to carry a weighty object without them falling out of the air. The eventual purpose of the drones would be focused around “interacting with people or the environment,” although that is still a long way off according to Korpela.
Technology journalist Adario Strange envisages a future scenario where a larger version of the eagle claw drone could be used by law enforcement or military to pluck humans off the ground.
“The optimistic view of this development offers a vision of an emergency situation in which a drone could rapidly fly in and save a person from a perilous situation, but it’s also fairly easy to imagine law enforcement and the military using this development to grab human targets in coming years,” writes Strange, reporting for DVice.com.
“We may be about to see a return to the days when unseen hunters lurking in the sky could easily snatch a human right off the street,” he adds, referring to the pterosaur, a flying reptile that existed 65 million years ago.
Although this incarnation of the eagle claw drone is far too small to snatch and grab a human, the potential that larger models could be deployed for that very purpose in future is sure to make many nervous.
As we reported yesterday, military insiders like Lt. Col. Douglas Pryer are warning that drone technology will soon metastasize into armies of remorseless killer robots which will be used to stalk and incapacitate human targets.
Noel Sharkey, professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield, has also repeatedly warned that the robots currently being developed under the auspices of DARPA will eventually be used to kill.
“Of course if it’s used for combat, it would be killing civilians as well as it’s not going to be able to discriminate between civilians and soldiers,” said Sharkey.
For the second time within a week, police are investigating reports of an unmanned drone spotted flying over New York within three miles of LaGuardia Airport.
According to journalist Christopher Robbins, police scanner audio revealed that the NYPD was called to look into an “unusual incident” concerning reports of a “drone flying” near exit 23 of the Long Island Expressway (LIE).
According to Robbins, the NYPD later reported a “negative result” after investigating the incident, although it is unclear whether this means they couldn’t identify the drone or had discounted the report altogether.
Last Monday, the crew of Alitalia Flight 608 reported a drone just 200 feet away from their aircraft as it approached John F. Kennedy airport. The drone was initially reported as having four engines, but the FBI later described the object as having four propellers and being only three feet wide.
The incident, which occurred at 1,750 feet and roughly three miles from runway 31R , prompted the FBI to ask the public for information on identifying the owner of the drone.
By law, remote controlled planes and drones can only fly to a maximum of 400 feet and operators must notify air traffic control if they are going to fly within three miles of an airport.
Last year, Congress passed legislation paving the way for what the FAA predicts will be around 30,000 operating in US skies by 2020.
Within months, the drone industry announced a campaign to “bombard the American public with positive images and messages about drones in an effort to reverse the growing perception of the aircraft as a threat to privacy and safety.”
As we reported in December, thousands of pages of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) documents newly released under the Freedom Of Information Act have revealed that the military, as well as law enforcement agencies, are already extensively flying surveillance drones in non-restricted skies throughout the country.
FAA documents obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting last August revealed that the FAA gave the green light for surveillance drones to be used in U.S. skies despite the fact that during the FAA’s own tests the drones crashed numerous times even in areas of airspace where no other aircraft were flying.
Critics have warned that the FAA has not acted to establish any safeguards whatsoever, and that Congress is not holding the agency to account.
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