ACLU Warns Of Drone Nightmare Scenario

ARGUS drone surveillance systemARGUS drone surveillance system

Drones have been in the media a lot lately, and last month the NOVA documentary Rise of the Drones showed some of the recent advancements that these flying robots provide the military and civilians alike. While the technological advancements are impressive, the ACLU warns that a 'nightmare scenario' could be unfolding, and that one particular piece of technology showcased in the documentary could be just the start of such a future.

ARGUS is a new camera technology which allows a drone to use a large quantity of small cameras together, in order to create a giant picture with very good resolution. By using all of these cameras, it means that a single drone can zoom in to multiple points at once. It can, in essence, spy on an entire city block and record what everyone does in real time, down to a few feet. Of course, privacy advocates often warn of such things as potentially damaging for our expectation of privacy, but ARGUS in particular is making some people nervous since it allows such a wide range of surveillance over long periods of time.

While spying on public streets may not seem like a big deal to some, the ACLU post goes on to say that this may well be a first step in the 'nightmare scenario' of drones. This is a concept where drones would become so cheap to make and utilize that they would become the de facto standard, replacing fixed cameras, in order to provide a continuous surveillance state over every city in the country. Once that's done, then law enforcement could arm these drones and use them to apprehend people from the air, similar to what the military does in other countries. While we may still be a long way from that, the ACLU post is a good reminder that such technology can lead to a slippery slope.

Feb 24, 2013
by Anonymous

Yeah, it will be cool when

Yeah, it will be cool when drones launch spider-man nets instead of murderous missiles.

Feb 25, 2013
by Anonymous

This technology is ALREADY

This technology is ALREADY being deployed for use by police across the US and has been used in multiple states across the US. This tech is a complete violation of privacy and constitutional rights and is the very definition of a police surveillance state. One device that literally tracks everyone in the city and databases their movements for forensic discovery is an assault on one’s freedom from unreasonable search. In an environment of gun bans, whistleblower imprisonment, indefinite detention, torture, dragnet electronic spying and secret law, ARGUS and Persistics are existential threats to individual liberty, privacy and constitutional rights. Join Teame Zazzu in opposing the deployment of Wide Area Persistent Surveillance technologies inside the USA.
A recent SLATE article asked if ARGUS or other Wide Area Persistent Surveillance technologies could be used for domestic law enforcement purposes, here are links detailing proof that these deployments have already been taking place:
you can also demo one of these systems at
Thank you, Team Zazzu

Feb 25, 2013
by Anonymous

OK, ACLU will U combat this

OK, ACLU will U combat this or NOT?
Your call if its that Urgent.