“There is something visceral about being watched,” says Clifford S Fishman Professor – Columbus School of Law. “That’s direct. It bypasses the brain and goes straight to the emotion. That’s why drone surveillance strikes fear in people a lot more than electronic acquisition of data by private companies or the government.”

Back Country Voices

eye in the sky

Perhaps any technology born for war and covert surveillance was fated to struggle in its attempt to make a transition to domestic life. That is certainly the case for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or unmanned aerial systems (UAS), better known as “drones,” which are experiencing an arduous journey from foreign battlefields to the public airspace in the United States.

For the U.S. military, drones provide an economical alternative to manned raids in the dangerous enterprise of collecting intelligence and hunting terrorists. In the popular imagination, drones conjure up an image of stealth, of secret incursions targeting terrorists and enemy combatants in foreign lands. Yet the devolution of UAVS from military/intelligence tools into peaceful domestic products has been proceeding at a rapid pace.

Recent revelations that the National Security Agency is engaged in data mining that includes surveillance of U.S. citizens, and that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the…

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