Domestic Surveillance Drones
by Joanna Brenner

Unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly referred to as UAVs or drones, became part of our conversations as the military increased their use during the conflicts in Iraq and Afganistan.

Now drones are increasingly being used for work in law enforcement. Dozens of US police forces have applied to the FAA for UAV permits. As of August 2013, commercial unmanned aerial system (UAS) licenses were granted on a case-by-case basis.

Drones have been developed for aerial surveying of crops, filmmaking, search and rescue, pipeline inspections, medical delivery to remote areas and more. Potential for abuse from aerial surveillance, however, abounds. In February 2013, Seattle Mayor Michael McGinn scrapped the Seattle Police Department's plan to deploy UAVs in response to protests.



Joanna Brenner
Foreign Correspondent/Journalist
Member Since 2013

Joanna has been a journalist for over 20 years. She has worked with major television and cable networks, NPR, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and her hometown radio station. Joanna has travelled the world reporting from the field in war zones, natural disasters, and the political arena. She reports about politics and human rights with a global perspective.

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