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I am no fan of more spying hardware but why Is this special class (drones) of spying any different that "spy" sattelites, photo recon airplaes and street/car video cameras that have been used by the US Governemt for many, many years now to investigate foreign and domestic targets? What about computer bots that the Feds use to read email, data files, texts and search voicemails? Our privacy and freeedoms have been slowly eroded over the years by our own government. If you don't realize this perhaps it is time you woke up.
What about satelite recon, airplane recon, street cams, hot shot recorders, gps tracking, computer bots for reading email/data files/web posts, bots for reading texts and scanning voicemails? These have all been used for years to track "threats" both foreign and domestic.
There are few comparisons between use of drones and space-based platforms. The most glaring difference is the acquisition and use of real-time information. Also, there's that physics problem... high-resolution space-based systems in low earth orbits do not have the capability to loiter over a target and record its every more. Most also have limited views per day or even week over the same target area. Drones and air breather systems can and do have excellent time over target capability. Also, the use of government-owned space-based systems, i.e. national technical means, or NTM, systems, in any law enforcement role requires significant legal documentation and approval. It's not really an option, nor should it be, since other systems, including law enforcement organization-owned Cessnas and helicopters, provide cheaper solutions and greater reconnaissance and targeting capability.
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