Saturday, March 2, 2013

Drone Use by Maine State Police Still Experimental

Many across the nation are in an uproar about the use of drones overseas for targeted killings of terrorists. The argument gets even more heated when the topic of U.S. citizens (who are operating overseas with terrorist groups) are targeted by armed drones. The use of drones has become very widespread by the CIA and the military not only in Afghanistan and Iraq but in other areas of the world that harbor terrorists such as the Middle East and North Africa.

There are many who believe there are domestic applications for drones (or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles - UAVs). Some believe that the drones can be used for mapping, surveying, search and rescue operations, anti-poaching activities, border surveillance to counter illegal immigration, and more. Of concern to some organizations - such as the ACLU - is the use of drones by law enforcement officials. There is the sense that citizens privacy rights will be violated.

Thus far the Maine State Police have acquired only one drone for less than $400 for experimental purposes. It remains to be seen if the state police acquire additional drones and whether the use of drones by law enforcement agencies in Maine is prohibited or authorized.

Read more in "Drone use by Maine police might not be legal", Portland Press Herald, March 2, 2013.

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