Illustration for article titled Our Own Military Is Using Drones to Collect Info on Us Without a Warrant

The government is in the process of rewriting regulations so that private citizens and law enforcement agencies can fly drones willy-nilly through the skies. The proposition has a lot of people very nervous that the government will be increasingly monitoring us from above. Turns out they've probably been doing it already.


New documents obtained by CBS Los Angeles reveal that under current regulations, it is possible for Air Force drones to gather information on American soil without a warrant. Technically, Air Force drones aren't allowed to perform surveillance in US airspace under most circumstances. (They can only be used to fight back against foreign intelligence operations, the war on drugs, and for counter-terrorism.) However, if in the process of conducting other missions an Air Force drone happens to capture information, it's not immediately tossed out.

What has critics alarmed is that data collected by drones accidentally, under the guidelines, can be kept by the military up to three months before being purged and can also be turned over to "another Department of Defense or government agency to whose function it pertains."


In other words, what the Air Force accidentally captures might just end up in the hands of local law enforcement or anyone else that might find what you're up to interesting. But what exactly constitutes accidentally? Drones could be misused under the guise of a mishap and there's very little we could do about it. Yikes. [CBS Los Angeles]

Image credit: Gwoeii/Shutterstock

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