Legislation

 With the rise of the drones comes the rise of several critical questions of Constitutionality of their potential uses. One of the most crucial of those inquiries concerns the application of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against “unlawful searches and seizures” and the requirement that warrants be supported by affidavits “particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The ever-expanding use of drones and the frightening possibilities thereof are only exacerbated by statements from insiders telling citizens that they have nothing to worry about. At a recent convention of drone manufacturers, the acting administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that his department is working tirelessly to “fully integrate” drones into the wider world of civil aviation. This synthesis, Michael Huerta, insists, should be accomplished within three years and will bring with it great strides in the federal government’s commitment to guard our nation from threats to our security.

 The U.S. government exercises control over a massive and technologically advanced surveillance system that has the capacity to keep nearly the entire population of this country under the watchful eye of government 24 hours a day.

TrapWire is the name of this newly revealed network of cameras and other surveillance tools being utilized by a federal government that is rapidly constructing an impenetrable, inescapable theater of surveillance, most of which is going unnoticed by Americans and unreported by the mainstream media.

 Freedom advocates breathed sigh of relief when a coalition of Senate Republicans and a few Democrats opposed the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (S. 3414). Unfortunately, the recent setback of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 has all the earmarks a false sense of security. The timing has created a false impression that Internet regulation legislation has failed for this session of Congress, but the 112th Congress is virtually certain to convene a lame duck session after the election.

Although Senate Republicans rejected cybersecurity legislation last week, President Obama may yet rule on the issue, once again bypassing the legislative branch and the separation of powers set out in the Constitution.  According to a report in The Hill, President Obama is mulling the issuing of an executive order to create “law” where Congress failed to do so.

As the international effort to deploy so-called “smart meters” to monitor electricity usage marches on, resistance to the controversial devices is increasing around the world as well. Proponents claim the schemes could save money and reduce energy use. Opponents from across the political spectrum, however, worry that the smart meters might not be just a stupid idea and a waste of money — they could actually be dangerous in more ways than one.

 

As the technology facilitating the expansion of the surveillance state becomes more advanced, the need for proximity to the target of the surveillance diminishes. For example, the ability to keep drones perpetually airborne is being engineered thanks to multi-million dollar research and development grants offered by the Pentagon to companies on the edge of technological advancement.

 Imagine that the U.S. government had the power to scour the reams of public records and collect and collate every bit of personal information about every citizen of this country. Now imagine that any of the various intelligence and security agencies within the government could combine that data with any other information about a person that has been posted to a social media website or compiled by one of the many data aggregating companies that keep tabs on all of us.

 Senator Rand Paul began with a story that got a huge laugh from standing-room-only crowd at FreedomFest. “As you may know,” he said, “I have sort of a love/hate relationship with the TSA.” He paused and then added, “Well, let’s be honest. It’s more of a hate/hate relationship.”

The U.S. Air Force is training more drone “pilots” than those who will be at the controls of traditional aircraft, according to the Air Force chief of staff.

 

 

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