As White House officials spent the week defending targeted assassinations via drone strikes, the FAA released a new drone authorization list which highlights law enforcement agencies and other entities nationwide who have applied to use drones in domestic airspace for surveillance. Thanks to a Freedom Of Information Act lawsuit from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the release shows several sherrif’s departments, The State Department and several community colleges requested drone authorizations in 2012. Coupled with the FAA’s original list, 81 entities through October of 2012 have requested drone authorization.
Together with the website MuckRack, the EFF is building a database of drones authorized to fly in domestic airspace. So far, MuckRack has filed 275 public records requests to federal, state, and local agencies nationwide.
Considering the conversation taking place on Capitol Hill at the moment regarding the use of drones to kill American citizens anywhere in the world, one has to wonder how long it will take for those same surveillance drones, which can be equipped with facial recognition software, license plate cameras and other advanced forms of radar, to be equipped with Hellfire missiles.