The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Columns

March 19, 2013

Those magnificent spies in their flying machines

There has been much debate recently about targeted killings by drones in our war on terrorism and the collateral deaths of civilians. Those attacks are bad enough, but now the specter of the domestic use of drones against American citizens has surfaced.

Lawmakers primarily have been focused on “the constitutional and statutory authority for targeted killings; the scope of the battlefield and who can be targeted as a combatant; and establishing a transparent legal framework for the use of drones,’’ according to Assistant Majority Leader Sen. Dick Durbin. He has scheduled a hearing on those issues for next month.

It is important to address the matter of domestic attacks, but of more general concern is the problem of using drones to spy on American citizens. 

On Wednesday, Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont will have a hearing in Washington titled “The Future of Drones in America: Law Enforcement and Privacy Considerations.” It will focus on the growing concerns about civil rights surrounding the domestic use of drones. 

“Drones have the potential to assist law enforcement and other first responders, but they could also pose a significant threat to the privacy and civil liberties of millions of Americans. This is another example of a fast-changing policy area on which we need to focus to make sure that modern technology is not used to erode Americans’ right to privacy,” Leahy said.

The issue is that drones, or unmanned aircraft, are no longer merely a tool for military attacks and spying abroad. And it’s not only the military’s possible domestic use of drones that has lawmakers and civil rights advocates worrying.

The private sector now is getting into the drone business as companies, including some formerly occupied with radio-operated model planes, acquire the technology to manufacture larger and more-advanced unmanned aircraft.

Text Only
Big Chuck D'Imperio

Cary Brunswick

Chuck Pinkey
Guest Column
Lisa Miller

Mark Simonson

Rick Brockway
Sam Pollak
William Masters
  • Schreibman tops Chris Gibson on women's issues

    As the time to vote draws near, we need to remember how money can run politics more than we can. Raising funds is a prominent (if not the dominant) task of getting elected. Raising issues is also crucial, but those efforts are subject to distortion and fear-mongering.

    September 18, 2012

  • Republicans feelentitled to allthey can garner

    An entitlement is a legal benefit available from the government to individuals who are within a defined category of recipients, such as needing insurance for unemployment or health services.

    September 4, 2012

  • Romney focuses on self; Obama emphasizes unity

    Mitt Romney criticizes President Obama for saying a person's success is rooted in his community, and is not all his alone. Romney belittles this with his belief in individual initiative. He is better at the put-down than the push-up.

    August 21, 2012

  • Romney shows little regard for common man

    The Republicans in Congress have voted over and over, 33 times, redundantly and uselessly, to rescind what they call Obamacare.

    August 7, 2012

  • Scouts' gay ban creates problem where none exists

    The Boy Scouts of America's "emphatic reaffirmation" of its vow to exclude any and all homosexuals from its hallowed ranks is ill-considered and pathetic, especially in view of its having reviewed the matter for two years.

    July 24, 2012

Additional Content
Join the Debate
Helium
Additional Resources
CNHI News Service
Poll

Are your taxes going to be done on time?

Yes, they're all finished
I should make it in under the wire
No, I'm late
No, I'm filing an extension
I'm not filing a tax return
     View Results