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reply to Snowy

Re: San Fransisco police getting drones

said by Snowy:

said by armed:

In reply to the old "its an invasion of our rights and loss of our freedoms" crowd I must ask.... when cops first started to use horses and buggies did we lose it all and become a controlled society? How about cars? I find most responses in this vein to be without merit and fueled more by paranoia than reason.

That's not a bad argument but your choice of examples diminishes the point.
Horses & (faster) cars were available to the general public as they were to LE.
Look no further than the origins of NASCAR to prove that.
It's about the ever widening gap in technological advances that's available to LE vs the public.
It's not paranoia, IMO but just a healthy concern over where the line between prevention/enforcement intersects with the right to live without excessive surveillance.

Oh Snowy... do you expect me to respond to a reasoned post on this issue? Do I have to put down my tin hat argument to discuss the issue? LOL

OK then, I'll try.

I'm not sure that police should not use drones because they not are readily available to the general public. That is not a test proscribed by law nor practiced in the past. I suppose a better example than cars would be helicopters and DNA testing. Neither is easily assessable to the public but we tend to accept their use.

That we are inventing devices that can be more easily used for excessive surveillance is worthy of great concern. I have a problem with the idea that a device can be set up to monitor legal activity of the general populace on a continual basis. In this case say keeping a drones in the air 24/7 as it peers into our houses and backyards looking for someone pissing under their tree. But to use them in an investigation or to look for a specific issue... say trailing a suspect in committing a crime seems to me to be a proper application of a useful LE tool.

But even then its a matter of semantics. Is a patrol car driving through a neighborhood really nothing more than mass monitoring for legal behaviour? So we already have an established accepted and lawful application that LE can observe the populace without any suspicion of illegal behaviour.

To me its the law that is in play here and not the device. Take GPS tracking devices as an example. The cops just can't legally attach a tracking device to your car and follow you indefinitely even if they have suspicion that you are involved in illegal activity. They can try to but the law can and does get in the way.

New devices are making it harder to get away with crime but I agree they may come at a cost of more mass surveillance and dangerous abuse. So we must insist that our courts and law making bodies define the differences to protect our freedoms and not just blindly prohibit use of new technology by LE because it might be abused.

Now back to tin hat and paranoia land... although I did enjoy your thoughtful response and appreciate having a normal discussion rather than a war of trite sayings.