Recently an article that appeared in CNN caught my attention about drones. They are unmanned killing machines armed with missiles, controlled from thousands of miles away, as they stalk and then destroy supposed terrorist targets in places like Pakistan, Yemen, and Afghanistan. Last Thursday the Senate Intelligence Committee received a classified document, which gives legal justifications for the administration’s use of drones. According to CBS news, controversial drones are the weapons of choice in a semi-secret war that was dragged into the spotlight this past week, during confirmation hearings for John Brennan as CIA Director. He says: “The people that were standing up here today, I think they really have a misunderstanding of what we do as a government,” said Brennan of protesters. “We only take such actions as a last resort to save lives when there is no alternative taking an action that will mitigate such a threat.”
The question is, is this legal? The government claims that the drones are only used to save lives or stop terrorist actions even though statistics show that 98 percent of those killed by drones have not been high-level targets.
Most of the drones that so far the military has been using for reconnaissance are small planes that are equipped with small special-purpose cameras.
The police of North Dakota are using the drones in demonstrations in hostile situations. It now seems that the drones are already spreading throughout our own country. Now you can order online a drone kit for a couple of hundred dollars. At least eleven states have pending legislation or restrictions that would allow the drones.
I think there is clearly a privacy issue. Everyone has the right to privacy in their home and that includes the backyard. The fence that divides the yard of your home from the rest of the world is an imaginary vertical fence that cannot be violated by any drone. With the use of drones carrying cameras, anyone can film you being in your backyard and immediately put it on the Internet. It would not surprise me that some paparazzi are already using this technology to get their news.
I am not against the police and the task of maintaining order, but I have always been a person who likes to be in accordance with the law. However, in this case, I think they are taking the issue of security so far away that it violates our basic right to privacy. Everyone has the right to have a private space, and this should not be violated.