June 19th, 2013
02:10 PM ET

FBI uses drones in U.S., says Mueller

By Carol Cratty

FBI Director Robert Mueller acknowledged the law enforcement agency uses drone aircraft in the United States for surveillance in certain difficult cases.

Mueller told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that drones are used by the FBI in a "very, very minimal way and very seldom."

He did not say how many unmanned surveillance vehicles (UAVs) the FBI has or how often they have been used.

But a law enforcement official told CNN the FBI has used them a little more than a dozen times but did not say when that started. The official said drones are useful in hostage and barricade situations because they operate more quietly and are less visible than traditional aircraft such as helicopters.

The FBI said it used a UAV earlier this year to monitor the situation where a boy was held hostage in a bunker in Alabama.

Bureau spokesman Paul Bresson said their use allows "us to learn critical information that otherwise would be difficult to obtain without introducing serious risk to law enforcement personnel."

Bresson said the aircraft can only be used to perform surveillance on stationary subjects and the FBI must first get approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly in a "very confined geographic area."

Surveillance fallout

Mueller's comments come as the Obama administration grapples with political and other fallout from the public disclosure of top-secret surveillance programs, which has triggered new debate over reach of national security vs. privacy rights.

National security and law enforcement officials have defended National Security Agency telephone and e-mail surveillance of overseas communications as an effective tool in fighting terror.

President Barack Obama has assured Americans the government is not listening to their phone conversations or reading their e-mail.

But Sen. Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, asked Mueller whether the FBI had guidelines for using drones that would consider the "privacy impact on American citizens."

Mueller replied the agency was in the initial stages of developing them.

"I will tell you that our footprint is very small," he said.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein expressed concern over drone use domestically.

"I think the greatest threat to the privacy of Americans is the drone and the use of the drone, and the very few regulations that are on it today and the booming industry of commercial drones," the California Democrat said.

Mueller said he would need to check on the bureau's policy for retaining images from drones and report back to the panel.

"It is very narrowly focused on particularized cases and particularized needs and particularized cases," said Mueller. "And that is the principal privacy limitations we have."

Sen. Mark Udall, a Colorado Democrat, said he was concerned the FBI was deploying drone technology and only in the initial stages of developing guidelines "to protect Americans' privacy rights."

Grassley wants answers from Holder

Grassley sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder following the hearing asking why written information Holder sent him last month about federal law enforcement use of drones included related information about the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives and the Drug Enforcement Administration, but not the FBI.

Grassley sought answers to several questions and asked Holder to reply by June 28. He wants to know who at the FBI authorized drone use and information on the uses and limitations of their use and whether any are armed or capable of being armed.

The Justice Department said it was reviewing Grassley's letter.

Mueller said Wednesday the drones were used for surveillance.

Members of Congress and privacy advocates have pressed for regulations on the use of drones, and their use in counterterror operations overseas was a controversy that flared publicly during confirmation hearings for CIA Director John Brennan earlier this year.

Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, delayed a vote on Brennan with a filibuster over the possible use of drones against American citizens on U.S. soil.

Attorney General Eric Holder told Paul in a March 4 letter that "the U.S. government has not carried out drone strikes in the United States and has no intention of doing so."

Last month, Paul introduced legislation to prevent "unwarranted government intrusion" by drones.

The bill proposes that law enforcement officers be prohibited from using drones to gather surveillance or collect evidence without a warrant, unless there is an imminent danger to life or a high risk of a terrorist attack.

The measure also makes an exception so that drones can be used to patrol the nation's borders. The Senate has not taken up Paul's proposal. A similar one was previously introduced in the House.

Drone use more common

Unmanned drone use is becoming more common in the United States although it is not lawful in many cases.

The FAA forecasts some 10,000 civilian drones will be in use in the United States within five years, including those for law enforcement and commercial purposes.

Amie Stepanovich, of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, has previously said law enforcement should not use drones as an alternative to police patrols.

She said that they should be used for specific operations and that Congress should pass a law requiring legal permission.

Because they are cheaper to use than helicopters, unmanned aircraft can be used to monitor crops and livestock, look at damage to buildings and for other uses.

The FAA recently announced plans to create six drone test sites around the country.

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Filed under: drones • FBI
soundoff (984 Responses)
  1. Barry G.

    If I were a criminal, I'd be worried and unhappy about the use of drones, or any other means of combatting crime.

    June 19, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Reply
  2. Barry G.

    Given the rampant and growing lawlessness we now have in the U.S., we need all the help we can get, to fight crime.

    June 19, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Reply
    • Nate

      Actually, according to statistics, violent crime is at an all time low and dropping.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Reply
    • SconnieLooker

      Um, Barry.... No, crime isn't going up... It's going down. It's idiots like you that the NRA loves to scare so you will cling to your "guns and religion". h t t p : / / w w w . c n n . c o m / 2012/10/29/justice/us-violent-crime

      June 19, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Reply
      • Paratrooper_us

        SconnieLooker – If you look at cities that have a high firearm ownership, you will see a correlation that gun ownership helps drive down violent crime. Take a look at Kennesaw, GA – in 1982 they mandated that every home have a firearm (there were ways to opt out) and violent crimes dropped 74% (rest of Georgia it dropped only 18%) and in 1983 it dropped another 45%. Also, between 1982 and 2007 they had only three murders (2 with a knife and one with a gun). In addition to nearly non-existent homicide (murders have averaged a mere 0.19 per year), the annual number of armed robberies, residential burglaries, commercial burglaries, and rapes have averaged, respectively, 1.69, 31.63, 19.75, and 2.00 through 1998.

        Now – let us look at Chicago and DC – Chicago, strict Gun Laws and more than 500 murdered last year, Washington DC, in 2008 there was one violent crime per 69.3 people, SCOTUS overturned the Gun Ban in Washington DC in 2009 and the violent crime rate went down to one violent crime per 74.1 people (that is a approximately a 7% decrease), in 2011 it was one violent crime per 83.1 people (that is approximately a 20% decrease in violent crimes.

        But that is OK – keep your head buried in the sand, believe what those in DC tell you and ignore the facts like they do.

        June 19, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
      • Will S

        Kennesaw has a population of 30,000. You'd have to be either obtuse or dishonest to compare an overgrown village like that to a metropolis like Chicago.

        June 19, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
      • Barry G.

        I am by no means a supporter of the NRA, and am far from being liberal in my political ideology.

        As for the aspersion you made about my intelligence, I will overlook and forgive it, whcih perhaps will tell you something about my character.

        Incidentally, after I completed my first masters degree, I began a doctorate. I then completed a second masters degree. I also completed extensive and additional graduate work (on the masters and doctoral levels) at a prestigious university; and, I have never ceased my pursuit of knowledge and understanding.

        What credentials are you touting?

        In your unfounded arrogance, you neglected to mention this.

        June 20, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • Kevin

      "rampant and growing lawlessness" - ummm, what are you talking about, looking over the last 10 years there's been a decrease in most crimes within the US

      June 19, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Reply
    • Knucklehead

      Keep spreading the lie, devoted citizen.

      June 19, 2013 at 10:52 pm | Reply
  3. Snoopy

    Use helicopters for surveillance and nobody bats an eye.

    Use drones, and everybody loses their minds.

    June 19, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Reply
    • Chris

      I have been saying that for years now. I guess most of these people missed those signs up and down i-95 that said your speed is being tracked by aircraft.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Reply
    • Hugh Jass

      These aren't surveillance drones anyway. Too big. These are for when they know you are coming. You can get the other kind at WalMart.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  4. Mike

    So unless you live in a cave? You walk outside and google maps has your home and maybe you cars online and you think it's cool. Unless you still us a stamp you pay all or most of you bills online. Did you fillout your work healthcare online? Life insurance online. Oh did you call and have someone else type it in for you? Oh have a smartphone? Allow is you friend? Come on like you had no idea?

    June 19, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Reply
    • Sbella

      Thankyou. My point exactly Mike!

      June 19, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Reply
      • Mike

        Thanks.. But I forgot a good one.... What entertainment device is not hooked up to the Internet. I love the E3 remarks about the ps3 vs xboxone. We are sheep and now we are upset?

        June 19, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • Joe

      what?

      June 19, 2013 at 4:06 pm | Reply
      • Mike

        What? Lol your online.

        June 19, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
  5. mary

    Drones, actually rather easily detected in this country, if they were there.

    The spy planes of the 50's onward and current day satellites - much more secretive.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Reply
  6. Johnny 5

    Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain – he's only there to help you...

    June 19, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Reply
  7. gahgah

    Good thing I run around butt naked. I dont really care about the size of my snapping turtle, but they can sure look at behind all day long if the want.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Reply
  8. ALEX

    Its not the weapons that is scary, its the fact that ever since the internet was created, Privacy has slowly been dying, im saying people that are worried about a drone catching them hitting a pipe, because they decide to smoke in their backyard dont have a reason to be paranoid, sure so far they have only used them for occasions where "We use it sparingly in dangerous situations where the risk to agents lives are at stake," the official told CNN." But at the same time i read a post about 4 months ago about a man who, and i will repeat this for anybody who wants to go and do some research, ONLY HAD 1 ARM AND 1 LEG, REPEAT , ONLY HAD 1 ARM AND 1 LEG, anyway this man was in a wheelchair and had apparently been threatening a police officer with a pen... IN HIS 1 HAND. The officer, WHO HAD BACK UP apparently had felt threatened by the 1 armed 1 legged person and shot him to death, its BS to say only when an officer's life is on the line because if you ask an officer, he will tell you his life is on the line everytime he goes out, its only a matter of time before they have evidence of doing things that you never thought anybody was watching like the hitting the pipe thing i said earlier, but who knows maybe they will be able to i dont know... EDIT THE PICTURE AND MAKE INNOCENT PEOPLE SEEM LIKE THEY ARE DOING ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES, OR MAYBE A STEP FURTHER, NOT JUST THE INNOCENT BUT THE PEOPLE WHO WOULD HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY THAT THE GOVERNMENT DOESNT WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT, SNOWDEN GOT OUT ALIVE BUT HE GOT LUCKY, AMERICA IF YOU TALK OUT ABOUT YOUR GOVERNMENT THEY WILL COME FOR YOU AND FIND YOU, BUT ONLY IF YOU KNOW SOMETHING THAT SOMEBODY IN CHARGE ACTUALLY CARES ABOUT KEEPING A SECRET TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE....

    June 19, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Reply
    • Joe

      Your privacy has never been all that secure. You are just more aware of the fact that it is not. And most people willingly trade a bit of their privacy each day for the CONVENIENCE of communicating online.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Reply
    • Hugh Jass

      Dude, you started raving halfway through there. At least TRY not to seem crazy.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Reply
  9. trustusnot

    if you have done nothing wrong then don't worry be happy. right ask the 6 million is germany, the 70 million in russia who did nothing "wrong" except cross the government trust no one in the government who says trust me

    June 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  10. cedar rapids

    What is the issue? We arent talking missile armed drones or anything.
    Are we wanting an Amish FBI and supposed to tell law enforcement that they arent allowed to use modern technology? That they have to stick with guys in helicopters rather than use drones?

    June 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Reply
    • Dan

      And you are basing the so called non use of weapons,because they said they were not right? See they have potentially already suckered you in.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Reply
      • cedar rapids

        oh jeez, really? your default position is these must military style drones? and you say ive been suckered?

        June 19, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
      • cedar rapids

        and you didnt actually answer the question.....do you want to tell our law enforcement that they are not allowed to use modern tehcnology to do their job?

        June 19, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • mary

      They're just pretending that Americans being watched is a new thing and they're all mad about it. Though it's not a new concept, and it has been done in a wholesale manner with other devices for decades – other devices which can't be as easily detected.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Reply
    • Hugh Jass

      Actually, I think we are talking the kind of drone you can arm if necessary. Police depts have been using the little ones for years. The FBI is saying they have a couple with real muscle in case they needed it.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  11. Sbella

    Hahaha, ok wait, so if everyone is SOOOOOO concerned with their privacy, then might I suggest canceling your Facebook, Twitter and any other social media you may have. But we don't mind splashing our personal lives ALL over the internet, every day, right? As long as its for our own pleasure? Not for our own safety? It doesnt make sense really.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Reply
    • Canadian

      there is a difference between choices you make and others making choices for you

      June 19, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Reply
    • Knucklehead

      What's facebook? What's twitter?

      June 19, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Reply
    • Knucklehead

      You know, you have a point. If/when we lose the rest of our freedom, it will probably be willingly.

      June 19, 2013 at 11:00 pm | Reply
  12. Roooof

    A drone caught me masturbating, I pleaded not guilty but was later charged with self bodily harm. Damn drones!

    June 19, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Reply
    • Knucklehead

      Yeah, I saw that on the NSA website. Couldn't click away fast enough...

      June 19, 2013 at 10:57 pm | Reply
  13. Fuzzy Thinker

    The head of the FBI says 'we are using drones, but we have no guidelines for their use, but citizens should trust us in using drones.'. NOT!

    June 19, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Reply
    • burt

      There are hundreds of millions of people in the US. They'd have to go through a whole lot of people to find you the least little bit interesting. And if they had that many drones up in the air, don't you think that our technology would expose regular usage and our massive air traffic would be bumping into them.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Reply
  14. Sokman

    Its not about honest Americans having something to hide. Its about respecting people, & their privacy. So you wouldnt have a problem with someone standing behind you all day every day watching over your shoulder? While you work, eat, watch tv, use the bathroom, ask your kid how school was, make love to your spouse, shop for groceries, read the paper, mow the lawn, etc? You are a Socialist party's dream citizen

    June 19, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  15. Bill

    Not even news, CNN.

    Get busy and find the real stuff.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Reply
    • Yankeeinthebluegrass

      Agreed. An unarmed drone is nothing but an expensive, high-powered pair of binoculars.

      Rand Paul's 13 hour PR stunt is just a result of his being upset to learn that Santa isn't real.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Reply
  16. Jaker

    Just another scandal that will be ignored because we have so many freeloaders in this country they could care less, as long as they get handouts

    June 19, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Reply
    • Bill

      No scandal. Not even news.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Reply
    • Obvious

      How is it a scandal? lmao

      June 19, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Reply
    • The Other Bob

      Have another cup of tea.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Reply
    • cedar rapids

      what is scandalous about using drones? really? What possible difference does it make to use whether they use unmanned drones or guys in helicopters?

      June 19, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Reply
  17. Eddie

    The government has been using drone for years. They use them for border security as it is more efficient than foot patrols.

    Local police and Swat teams have been using drone for years especially in situations where it is a large campus or a large area where there is insufficient personal to cover the entire area.

    Drones have been used to track drug smugglers.

    All inside the USA.

    All this is, is an attempt of the far right to try and create scandals where there are not any. Because they cannot win on the issues because they are too far to the right on most issues so they use scandals in attempt to weaken the President and his party prior to next years mid terms elections and they can use what is happening now in ads during the elections. Also, because the economy is turning around they know by the time the elections come around next year they will not be able to use the economy as an issue.

    This is a page from the Clinton years, investigate anything and everything until you find something or you create a mistrust of the President.

    To bad the Republican party refuses to discuss the issues that are most important to Americans like income inequality, stagnant wages over the last thirty years and corporate and the weathy's dominance of our political process.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Reply
    • pete

      I would say Nancy Pelosi is hardly the far right

      June 19, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Reply
  18. aria c

    Think about it. With all the technology out there in everyday use, it would be impossible to conceal regular fleets of spy drones. Odd how some of the posters here just don't think before they post.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Reply
  19. PeterGrenader

    I haven't read through this particular string, but based on the many that I have which touch on this topic: if there are any here giving the big brother speech, please be real. The FBI, among other law enforcement agencies have been watching us form the sky for fifty years. Highway patrol, local police, game wardens, state troopers and yes, federal law enforcement, not ot mentions news broadcasters in the private sector. So instead of a plane or helicopter with pilots inside, it's an unmanned aircraft with pilots on the ground and suddenly this is an immoral breach of our freedoms? Are you kidding me?

    I just don't understand this. I am open to debate or convincing on this, please don't insult me in that process though. thanks in advance

    June 19, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Reply
    • mark hensley

      I absolutely agree.
      It's just another load of nonsense for loonies to get crazy about.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Reply
    • burt

      I'm calling faux outrage from them. Next they'll be screaming that we have security agencies in the US and they are just finding out about them.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Reply
    • noly972

      Peter, I agree. It's much like the NSA flap; the NSA has been doing its thing since the Cold War on a much more low-tech basis. We've been spied-on for 40+ years and it's suddenly a big deal because the pilot is on the ground or the internet is used? Give me a break!

      June 19, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Reply
      • Knucklehead

        Exactly. Soooo much drama. As long as I can have my latte and keep up with the Kardashians, what else really matters?

        June 19, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
  20. sawtooth

    You want to see drones in action, go to any federal building, they are hovering all day, they are called Federal employees, they are usually seen with a cup of coffee in their hands

    June 19, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  21. gregory

    Do we really want to live in a society under constant surveillance by the government? And the old "if you've got nothing to hide" argument does not address the fundamental issue. Do you want the eyes of government everywhere without probable cause? That's where we are headed if we do not regulate them and decide what we want.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Reply
    • Obvious

      Aren't they already with satellites that can see down on us? Drones just get a closer look. I'm ok with that. Pros outweigh the cons.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Reply
    • burt

      You forget that the US government has been watching its own since its inception. Get real.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  22. citizenUSA

    Be a good American and you don't have anything to worry about. Otherwise, come up with some beter ways the government can protect us without "violating" anyone's privacy and quit yer b-atchin!.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Reply
    • some guy

      Sure bro, in 20 years time what is available to the feds will be available to your local turd cop his turd department and the county turd officials, who generally are paid legal goons of the richest in the county. When they use these technologies it will be unlike the feds who have a good level of professionalism and oversight. Be a good american when a moron cop is trying to eavesdrop on your wife or daughter. Too bad it will be too late by then , that cop will own you simply because the power you gave him due to ignorance some 20 years ago.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Reply
    • deeniman

      What you are saying is idiotiot. You don't have to be a bad American to want to want your rights preserved. One of the founding fathers main goal was to limit the power of government – thereby preventing tyranny. Why would you willing give up a right, thereby passing more power along to the government? Google Cointel-pro, or look at the spying done on Martin L King; our intelligence agencies have shown a propensity to cross lines in the past, why do you think any thing would be different now? Stop drinking the propaganda coolaide, and be a critical thinker.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Reply
    • Knucklehead

      And who defines "good american?" You? F you. I don't want to be good. Don't have to be. Stick it.

      June 19, 2013 at 11:04 pm | Reply
  23. Bill

    Welp, time for Tea Parties to lose their s*** some more.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  24. bb

    Unless all the drones they are using have stealth capability, which by design – they don't, what he is saying is about right.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Reply
  25. givemeglenn

    Let me see if I've got this straight...Congress is concerned about the FBI using Drones in very limited use but they aren't willing to keep assault weapons and high capacity ammo clips away from individuals other than law enforcement and military personnel? Those weapons have been designed with one purpose in mind – to kill people.

    So, on one hand, Congress is allowing criminals and crazies to arm themselves with these weapons of mass destruction, and on the other hand, they're preventing law enforcement from using a method that could potentially protect them from these types of weapons...Is that screwed up or what?

    June 19, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Reply
    • anti-tea-bag-man

      Yup. Totally screwed up.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Reply
  26. SanDiegoWatch

    We've been living in the Police State the moment the U.S. Government decided to use weapons of war to turn U.S. soil into a battlefield.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Reply
    • Get Real

      are you talking about the Civil War?

      June 19, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Reply
      • The Other Bob

        No, it was the Reviolutionary War, silly!

        June 19, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
      • The Other Bob

        No, it was the Revolutionary War, silly!

        June 19, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
  27. hitman

    Nothing to see here folks. Move along.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Reply
  28. Jimmy

    Land of the free ...

    haha hahaha hahahahahahahahahaha

    June 19, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Reply
  29. Leah

    So much air traffic of all types in the US at any given hour that anything BUT rare usage would be common knowledge.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Reply
  30. Sbella

    Some government secrets are for the good of mankind. Some things are just better left unsaid. Perhaps these "whistleblowers" should learn to just keep their mouths shut and we all could go on living our lives while the government work hard to invent and use these tools for our own good. Come on people.....if you arent doing anything wrong, there is nothing to fear!

    June 19, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Reply
    • Nixon's Ghost

      I will leave that blind trust in government to despotic serfs thank you.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Reply
    • Law Breaker

      Everyone breaks laws to some degree or other whether is speeding, failure to use a directional, or smoking maryjane. I certainly would not want a video camera recording every moment of my life and then receiving tickets in the mail for the various laws BS laws that I break on a daily basis...some intentionally...some not.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Reply
    • Rune159

      The "Nothing to Hide, Nothing to Fear" statement is inaccurate for a couple of reasons. 1) It is a narrow view of privacy – privacy isn't just about protecting yourself from embarrassing and/or humiliating things that could be damaging if disclosed, it's about your activities in general, which could be misconstrued by malicious people in the government. Which leads to point 2) That statement naively assumes that all government is benign and always will be benign, which is dangerous thinking. Someone with malicious intent could use even mundane data gathered on people against them, either on purpose or in error (e.g., misconstruing data into sinister patterns.)

      June 19, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Reply
    • Knucklehead

      Good point. Leave all the thinking to Der Vaterland. Don't concern you with those Jews. We know what's best here.

      June 19, 2013 at 11:06 pm | Reply
  31. blinky

    Mueller said his wee wee is "very small" and he "very seldom" uses it in bed, and then only in a "very minimal way." Those occasions are "very few." For the "particular incidents where you need the capability," he calls up DICK Cheney.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  32. mark hensley

    Good. I'm glad they're using them. Beimg able to have the upper hand on those committing crimes is excellent.
    Lets see how people feel about drones, when its used to follow a suspect in a child abduction case.
    The only difference between a drone and a police helicopter, is the bad guys don't know the police is on their ass.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  33. Obvious

    Normal people read the story and say, "Oh well....no big deal. Glad they can use this technology to capture the bad guys." Crazy people(the 1 out of 10,000) come here to complain that their rights are being invaded.....and it's all Obama's fault, lol.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  34. BFD

    BFD. We'll need to do what we need to do to keep the public safe. Until we have all the facts, top crying wolf. With another 9/11, it's the crying wolves that will cry about how we didn't do enough. Go fvck yourselves, backseat drivers.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  35. omeany

    The fact they admitting to this says (to me) they probably do it a lot more often than we would be comfortable with. They are probably anticipating another leak and are trying to get out ahead of it.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Reply
  36. Dan

    Ironically, all of these programs that everyone is up in arms about... have existed for 10 years or more. Obama is getting the blame, but many of those blaming him actually approved the use of these programs both under Obama and Bush. Leave it to the GOP to blame Obama for policies implemented by the GOP.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  37. Deez

    A "drone" is not a toy. When used in war environment, it's NOT a video game. Not any more than looking down a sniper rifle from a mile away and killing someone. Still mentally difficult to kill someone, no matter where or how. Technology is supposed to put our troops further away from harm (bombers, missiles, long range-rifles, and now drones). Why are people so afraid? If they are afraid of the government, shouldn't we look to shrink our military? After all, the military is part of the government.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  38. ChalupaBatman

    Checking phone calls, checking our internet, drones high up in the sky with high-powered cameras. Sounds like a bad episode of Coast to Coast, but it's real.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Reply
  39. Keith

    "The FBI used a drone to monitor a situation underground"

    Granted the situation was highly dangerous and every precaution needed to be taken with the young boys life. If they used them for this kind of situation, what else have they used them for, and why can't they come clean about it?

    June 19, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Reply
    • Get Real

      Evil Government (Obama) – they should STOP this – let the kid DIE – your privacy is far more important.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Reply
  40. The fact of the matter

    "... drones are used by the FBI in a "very, very minimal way and very seldom." And that can't change at someone's whim?

    June 19, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Reply
    • Canada

      not only that, but they've been lying, especially that Clapper guy, now everybody is supposed to trust them on their word?

      June 19, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Reply
  41. dadguy

    Didn't Homeland Insecurity just buy, or ask to buy, several thousand drones??

    June 19, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Reply
    • Rick

      Do you guys forget that freedom isn't free? Everyone expects to live in a country hailed for its freedoms compared to other countries, and you think it comes with no strings attached. Wake up america, your living in a bubble.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Reply
      • Lone

        I remember reading somewhere that the only difference between a free country and a not-free country is the lies the people of the free country tell themselves are more complex.

        June 19, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
      • What Now

        I know. We think we can have freedom, independence and security without anyone watching our backs. I wish people would make up their minds because we can't have it all.

        June 19, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
      • brian meyer

        Freedom is not freedom if it's paid for by giving up our freedoms. What you are describing is not freedom but security.

        June 19, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
  42. veggiedude

    Drones are used by everyone. It only costs about $500 to get one at the hobby shop equipped with cameras. Animal rights organisations are using them in the UK to spy on hunters and PETA said they will do the same in USA.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Reply
    • curlybilltucker

      Sweet, hunters have open season on drones!

      June 19, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Reply
  43. Fubarack

    Like all the other spying issues, it's Obama that makes them bad. If we had a normal President who was not involved in a scandal a day, we would not need to be so critical. Obama has proven time and again, he will target people based on politics and ideology.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Reply
    • cwiz

      Finally someone with some common sense!

      June 19, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Reply
    • Dan

      If we had a congress that did its job as opposed to obstructing everything that Obama proposes, we would not have these "scandals". All of these so-called scandals are simply efforts by the GOP to accuse Obama of everyting...hoping people believe their lies.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Reply
      • The fact of the matter

        "If we had a congress that did its job as opposed to obstructing everything that Obama proposes..." So – you want a rubber-stamp congress. They're doing their job Dan-O – at least as far as keeping a leash on your man and his idiocies.

        June 19, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
      • Dan

        @matter – The congress's job is to pass bills... job bills, budgets, regulatory bills. All this congress does is look for a way to take back the white house in 2016. Benghazi was a witch hunt that turned up nothing, but wasted weeks and millions of dollars. Did the GOP hold hearings on improving embassy defenses? No, they didn't. If the congress was concerned about America, they would introduce bills that help americans... not hold endless hearings trying to get the whitehouse back.

        June 19, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Deez

      Take your blind ignorance elsewhere.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Reply
      • The fact of the matter

        Take off your rose-colored glasses.

        June 19, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • 9people

      The drone program is a continuation of the bush administration, nothing new here to see.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Reply
    • What Now

      That's because we have Congress members who wake up each morning looking to make everything a scandal. Then, when they are not doing that, they concentrate their efforts on abortion issues, women's issues, and yet another vote against healthcare. It is sad that so many know so little about how our government actually works. The President is not a CEO of a big corporation that waves a magic wand. We have three branches of government.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Reply
      • Dan

        Don't teach about government on this site. Obama haters want to believe whatever they want. They couldn't care less about how government works. They want to have their way, regardless of how it destroys america

        June 19, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
  44. Stuart

    It's now obvious the intelligent agencies of this country are completely out of control. From illegal blanket FISA subpoenas to intelligent flights not knowing if possible eavesdropping is taking place. What has happened is that the government trusts no one, not even its own citizens. One needs to read the book "1984" to understand this effort. The government is busy creating false enemies all the while spying on its citizens to keep them subdued. It seems the same is really happening now in real life.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Reply
    • asdf123

      we don't trust them, so why should they trust us?

      June 19, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Reply
      • shadowscry2

        Mainly because the people's votes are what put them in power in the first place. You do not bite the hand that feeds you. If you want me to make it more clear for you, the people of this country did trust their government at one time until the whistleblowers and government actions showed us all who the bad guys really are. They gave us reason to not trust them and they continue to do so.

        June 19, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Mad Dog Mike

      In 1984 they have 'Newspeak' which is a lot like modern' Political Correctness' and 'Talking Points' . All being forms of Indoctrination.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Reply
      • Mark Bostnar

        Biting the hand that feeds you can prove a tasty treat!!

        June 19, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
  45. Brian

    There isn't anything in the article asking if these drones are weaponized or not. If not, what's the harm? I mean, they used Google Earth in the Boston incident, right? Does that mean the IRS is going to be asking that homeowner how he came to owning that boat, and if he paid taxes on it?

    June 19, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Reply
    • penda

      It is DANGEROUS because there are NO check and balances on this intrusive power

      June 19, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Reply
    • The fact of the matter

      It could come to that – yes.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  46. JT

    Lots of paranoid people in here! The only reason to be paranoid is if you have something to hide. Just saying.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Reply
    • Erisian

      You won't mind if I come by and take a look then.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Reply
      • cwiz

        Not if you're capable of preventing tragedies. But I highly doubt that is the case. When you have the funding and organization to do this, then you can compare yourself to government agencies.

        June 19, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
      • Canada

        funding and organization is what makes it scarier.

        June 19, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
      • Canada

        you know it's bad when a socialist from Canada thinks it's to much power.

        June 19, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Theseus

      The U.S. government is flying drones armed with missiles over Americans. Who's really paranoid? Or maybe the feds are just "conspiracy theorists".

      June 19, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Reply
      • Lefty Coaster

        Armed with missiles? No.
        .

        June 19, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Curtis Jones

      Amen JT. What is everybody afraid of.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Reply
      • eatchicken

        Everyone is afraid that the infrastructure is being laid in place to assume totalitarian rule and control over the citizens of the United States. Perhaps this current administration has noble intent, who is to say the next one will? Pretty soon we are going to go the way of Iran and China, where the government tells you what you can read, what you can say in public, what religion you must follow or not follow.
        Personally I am afraid that the movie terminator was prophetic.
        But I am just a computer programmer, what do I know.

        June 19, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
      • Knucklehead

        Exactly. The legislation (Patriot Act) is in place. The technology is getting there. Now, all we need is somebody with a bad mustache to implement his grand plan to protect us all...

        June 19, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
    • eatchicken

      Uh huh. So why then is the government hiding everything?

      June 19, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Reply
    • Tyler

      I invite you to consider the reasons the 4th and 5th Amendments were included in the Bill of Rights. I'll give you hint. They aren't just there to protect the people who really DO have something to hide.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Reply
  47. Jim

    Drones are here to stay whether we like it or not. I was in Verizon the other day and saw that a person can buy a drone fully-equipped with cameras to fly around their neighborhood. Neighbors can now spy on neighbors from above. Great.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Reply
    • Hugh Jass

      Until a strong wind comes up and blows them away, or someone with a rifle shoots it down for peeping in his window. Anyone can buy one, and anyone can shoot one. It's a free country.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Reply
      • Dan

        Shoot at a drone and you will be arrested for illegally discharging a firearm. The bullets fired at the drone will come down somewhere and could injure or kill. Personally, I'd get my own drone and use it to take down other drones.

        June 19, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
  48. doyle

    For a long time, we have been aware of spy satilattes, both ours and others. Why is there no complaint against this spy vehicle? It looks like some people will look at anything that they can complain about our government. And, attack Obama to everything that they think of as being bad.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Reply
    • BeReasonable

      Once those satellites are weaponized, I'd imagine you'll hear a similar outcry.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Reply
      • Hugh Jass

        There would be no outcry about weaponized satellites; we would have to surrender immediately. That's why there are no weaponized satellites; we would launch our missiles as soon as we knew. Or they would attack us as soon as they knew.

        June 19, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Don

      Plenty of people HAVE been complaining about spy satellites since they were acknowledged. Just like people will complain and are complain about the abuse of drones like this. It has nothing to do with being paranoid and hiding something as someone suggested, it has everything to do with where this will lead the world. 1984.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Reply
    • eatchicken

      Well when they arm those satellites with hellfire missiles, and pass a law making it legal to kill american citizens with said satellites on US soil ... I am pretty sure you would get a strong reaction.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  49. Thinking

    My god folks, it isn't like these drones are invisible objects hovering over your house everyday. You would have to be a complete idiot not to recognize one if it was overhead. Smaller than a plane, no pilot, and making a buzzing noise. I suppose people are upset when they send in a remote control vehicle to look for potential bombs or booby traps in hostage situations?

    June 19, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Reply
    • Batman

      Dude, some of these drones fly so high and are so small you can't hear or see them. Do some research.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Reply
    • eatchicken

      Uh, some of the drones are stealth and fly at a 50,000 foot ceiling, thats in the Troposphere. they also dont buzz, as they use rather silent jet propulsion. Explain to me how you are going to see that?

      June 19, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  50. nik green

    One of these days, a drone will crash and explode in the middle of a city somewhere. Just like earthquakes, hurricanes of any other potential hazard, its not a matter if, but when. Who will take responsibility for the possible deaths and injuries caused by an errant drone, since we the people are not permitted to sue the government for damages and/or wrongdoing?

    June 19, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Reply
    • sly

      Gee Nick ... wonder what happens when a Blue Angel crashes into the crowd at a airplane show?

      Thank you – I'll add that worry to my list somewhere around 'what happens if the Space Shuttle crashes into my house?'

      June 19, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Reply
      • Don

        Who will take responsibility when they start murdering dozens of innocent americans just to kill one bad guy like they are doing overseas already? Many people don't care because it's so far away, but you can't justify killing even one innocent to catch a terrorist.

        June 19, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
  51. George W Ybama

    He forgot to mention that FBI also set ups innocent Americans as terrorists. I am potential terrorist since 2010. Lately FBI undercovers were forcing me to commit terror attack on cruise liner. They tell you what to do and they supply you with explosives. And all they want is to arrest you at security check point and declare the end of successful operation. I reported about FBI and Fusion Center terror plot on cruise liner to major news organization and major world secret services organizations. I am not sure if FBI liked it.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Reply
    • sly

      "They"?

      Gotta love a guy to who the police, firemen, teachers, politicians, lawyers, garbage men are all 'they'. The 'bad guys'.

      This fella is obviously not a legal immigrant.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Reply
      • George W Ybama

        what world are you from? undercover agents can take any form. FBI agents do not ask people to commit terror plots in their offices.

        By the way I am not the only victim of FBI set ups. Read book "The Terror Factory"

        June 19, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
      • Don

        Oh lord not the "They" argument again. You are out of ammunition friend, get out of this discussion before it's too late. That defense became unacceptable around 2003.

        June 19, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Hugh Jass

      As soon as you say "drones," all the crazies come flocking to tell you about the government implanting chips in their brains or controlling them with satellites. Living with mental illness must be difficult.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Reply
  52. sly

    Drones?

    Next thing you know someone will invent some mapping website and actually post satellite photo's of people's houses and roads and buildings on it.

    Or, worse, they'll invent tiny camera's that people can carry around and invade our unalienable right to privacy by taking pictures in public!

    Nah ... that would never happen in America.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Reply
    • Thinking

      If Google or Microsoft do it, well then it is acceptable, and people will even buy it and bring it into their homes willingly.. But if it's the government.. well now??? lol

      June 19, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Reply
    • Knucklehead

      This can only mean that Zillow can now make even better valuations of real estate. Super!

      June 19, 2013 at 11:16 pm | Reply
  53. Rob

    Big deal. How is it any different than using airplanes with heat-sensing equipment to find marijuana grow houses?

    June 19, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Reply
  54. TheTraveler

    Don't even care anymore. Look, as soon as we "solve" one crisis, we simply stumble to the next, and the next, etc. Watergate, Iran Hostage Crisis, Reaganomics, Desert Storm, White Water, War on Terror, Iranian Nuclear Program, Afghanistan, Recession, Benghazi, IRS, drones, and so forth and so on. Feel any more "free" folks? "Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose" rings truer and truer with every passing year and every passing administration. Life is a constant state of compromise and true peace is an illusion. We kid ourselves that any governments of Man will ever achieve it.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Reply
    • Hugh Jass

      "Benghazi, IRS, drones, and so forth and so on. Feel any more "free" folks?" Sure, because I don't let right-wingers desperate for votes scare me into believing stupid stuff. Has it escaped you that the FBI is made up of Americans, and some fairly right-wing Americans at that? You keep completely missing that the Joint Chiefs of Staff handled the Benghazi call; you think THEY are leftists? You think either party is insane enough to turn this country into a police state(HINT: if you said 'yes,' you are listening to too much propaganda from your party)?

      June 19, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  55. Bruce Eder

    Drones are not scary, unless A) you don't know what you're talking about, or B) you think the government having ANY ability to act, react, or defend itself is "scary.." Drones are what used to be known in the military as RPVs, remote-piloted-vehicles - among other uses, they replaced the use of scout planes on the re-commissioned battleships of the 1980s. They are no more "scary" to any objective observer than any other piece of hardware.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Reply
    • Sherri

      Just read an article in News of the Weird, in local paper where a man bought one and crashed it into neighbor's yard. So yes, they are dangerous and can kill you. What do you think they do in Afghanistan? I've read also where soon they will be able to sit on your house and monitor any/all conversations inside your house. They will be able to (can already) monitor your movements anywhere you go. Government wants to have thousands of them in the air in the next few years. They will.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Reply
      • Hugh Jass

        "read an article in News of the Weird, in local paper where a man bought one and crashed it into neighbor's yard. So yes, they are dangerous and can kill you."
        Honey, the local man didn't buy an armed military drone and crash it. He bought a flying camera from Radio Shack or Target. I bet you were too flustered to actually read the article, right babe? It's a long way from the FBI using them as eyes in the sky to millions of them plastered on your house listening to you call your boyfriends.

        June 19, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
  56. meadowsea

    I see no legal difference here from the method of planting a bugged microphone onto a person who goes undercover for the FBI. Similarly, it seems not much different from the use of surveillance cameras for security.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Reply
    • Phillip

      Except for the scope of the information gathered. When a wiretapping device is put in place in only intercepts that one persons phone call and the people they communicate with, a drone on the other hand can gather information unscrupulously about any individual in the area regardless.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  57. Curtis Jones

    They don't have enough up there! When I don't have to keep my guns loaded, then criminals will no longer have the police protection they now have.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Reply
    • Curtis Jones

      One more thing, these drones could stop a terrorist attack. Why would any honest citizen be against this.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Reply
      • Hugh Jass

        These aren't armed drones like the military uses, but we could probably call them from the nearest base at need. Here's the Big Maguffin, ok? You are flying an armed drone, following an armed man chasing an unarmed woman. You are facing a slight lag, like a reporter on a cellphone, and as he raises his weapon, you fire the drone's gun. Did you kill him? Did the drone kill him as you lagged? He's dead, in the USA, and there must be an inquest and maybe a trial. In combat this is not a problem, but in civilian life, you can't remotely kill someone. God help us when the first one of those cases goes to trial.

        June 19, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
  58. David Lucason

    where do I acquire MANPADS? HEAT rockets? the way things are going people in the US will need to use them soon (and not be considered terrorists) and I want to get in on the ground floor of that market

    June 19, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Reply
  59. Observer...

    Since the dawn of time – people are curious – first it started with caveman spying...then evolved to tribal spying...now we got digital spying...but in time curiosity killed the cat....people are smart enough to catch the spying if they want to...post it...
    that would embarrass the feds...look the people are smarter than their government...hit them back with their own technology
    "I almost got away with it" comedy central hits Washington DC...today's episodes – how CIA got lost in traffic...lol...oops..

    June 19, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Reply
  60. sly

    Drones? Are you kidding me? Next thing you know they'll let people own guns.

    This is awful – after all, we loved 9/11, watching all those people skydiving.

    Why would we want to try to prevent another 9/11? I say, let the terrorists roam free in America.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Reply
    • meadowsea

      Great post! Completely agree.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Reply
    • JF15

      Bad post! Completely disagree!!

      June 19, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Reply
    • Hugh Jass

      " I say, let the terrorists roam free in America." Terrible idea. Is your head made of cheese?

      June 19, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  61. Thank you NSA

    Whatever it takes to stop terrorism. America needs to be secured. The world is dangerous. Enemies from outside seek to destroy freedom.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Reply
    • are122

      So do enemies from the inside.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Reply
    • Nope

      That's the mindset that got us the Patriot Act and the NSA PRISM program.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Reply
      • JF15

        These people are brainwashed... And the funny thing is that when the patriot act was signed they were all up in arms about it... Now that it is their Messiah doing it they think it is fine and now I am crazy...whatever

        June 19, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
      • Hugh Jass

        "their Messiah doing it they think it is fine and now I am crazy...whatever" Yeah, people who believe that Obama is worshiped as a messiah are crazy all right. I've never heard anyone except a right-winger call him that. I can assure you that the adults who voted him in recognize him as a junior Senator from Chicago and have no delusions about his non-virgin birth in Hawaii.

        June 19, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Hugh Jass

      "Whatever it takes to stop terrorism" Kid, the object of terrorism is to cause us to become more like the terrorists as a response. The Patriot Act was a win for whoever blew up the towers(Cheney knew too much and should be waterboarded) because we now have a more powerful president. When the president is also the Pope of America, we will be just like Iran and the terrorism will cease. See how it goes? Use the drones if we need them, and then put them away when we are through, and don't use them without strict necessity.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  62. DB

    So? We've had spy satellites in space for decades. Using drones for surveillance is just a new way of doing something they've already been doing for decades, with both our knowledge and our consent.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Reply
  63. us_1776

    Drones are the biggest threat to commercial and general aviation since its inception.

    .

    June 19, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Reply
    • nope

      It's not surprising you can't actually elaborate as to how. You just felt like you had to say something I guess.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Reply
    • Will S

      Drones are essentially model airplanes. They aren't armed with anything beyond a camera. You launch it by throwing it in the air and catch it by hand when it returns. Safer and less expensive than a helicopter. Why *wouldn't* they use them? If you are in favor of reducing government spending, then you should be advocating a cheap drone vs. an expensive helicopter. If they had existed then, Washington would have used them during the Whiskey Rebellion and Jefferson would have used them to hunt down Aaron Burr.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Reply
      • Hugh Jass

        Apples and oranges; the ones the military uses are small airplanes that need an airstrip to take off and land; they can be armed and are used in other countries to shoot down terrorists. The FBI is saying that it actually has a couple of those, but uses them only in shootouts and confrontations because they are loud. There are plenty of hobbyist drones, which have been around for years. Google 'remote control flying shark' to see one of the more hilarious ones.

        June 19, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
      • Will S

        wiki RQ-11 Raven. It is a glorified model airplane. That's undoubtedly what law enforcement is using. Works quite well; easy to fly, has a nice IR camera outfit, and has a small launch and recovery footprint. The maintenance, training, and support requirements for larger drones (like the ones you are talking about) makes them impractical; law enforcement would just use a helicopter with a sniper if it wanted to use weaponry. The sorts of "collateral damage" that are acceptable on an Afghan battlefield because of operator error or misidentification of targets aren't acceptable in Atlanta.

        June 19, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
  64. sly

    I think we should let the terrorists and gangsters and murderer's do what they want without trying to stop them.

    Who cares if all the Americans get killed? At least they will be free while dead.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Reply
  65. Carpe Diem

    Take no notice – this is ANOTHER Obama distraction from IRS, NSA, AP, BENGHAZI etc etc etc............................

    NEWS FLASH for the worst president in US history..............NOBODY'S forgetting anything!

    June 19, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Reply
    • nope

      NEWS FLASH – These are testimonies at the request of congress and has nothing to do with the administration.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Reply
      • Brian

        You just ruined his/her day.

        June 19, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • relmfoxdale

      Aw, sure we will. We forgot all of George's crimes against this country, didn't we? If we can forgive George, we can forgive anyone. We're a very forgiving people!

      June 19, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Reply
    • MJ

      What does Warren G. Harding have to do with this?

      June 19, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Reply
    • jboh

      More TEA trash talk. Get you head out of pill-popper Rush's backside, and you won't get so much manure in your ears. Long past time to flush the TEA pot.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  66. newscale62

    Just like in Brazil (eventually)?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/28/brazil-drones-confederations-cup-stadiums_n_3347015.html

    June 19, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Reply
  67. M.E.

    It's not all that different from using a manned helicopter, just smaller and quieter. It still isn't great, but at the same time we have to differentiate between kinds and purposes of drones. Yes, some drones deliver bombs and some spy, but that same drone with a camera can serve the exact same purpose as a manned helicopter and we don't complain about those too much. Other drones are extremely useful for scientific purposes and growth in the use of those drones should be encouraged.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Reply
  68. Polar Bear

    My 16 year old has hacked one and she's using it to scope out deals at the mall. Trying to save on gas money.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Reply
  69. dude

    It's just the tip baby. We won't go all the way...

    June 19, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Reply
  70. Julian

    Analogy: Small footprint and minimally invasive amounts to almost pregnant.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Reply
    • nope

      Except.....not really. Terrible analogy.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Reply
  71. Anon

    Control freaks cannot control themselves...

    June 19, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Reply
  72. Duane

    Ok folks, when you see the San Diego Sheriff helicopter flying in circles around the neighborhood don't you think they are doing the same thing that drone would be doing, except with the drone your not risking a officers life in a possible crash!!

    June 19, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Reply
    • nope

      It's truly strange that when the pilot is on the ground instead of in the air, so many people all of the sudden think it's a privacy issue.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Reply
  73. Polar Bear

    Good! Not doing anything wrong, so nothing to worry about. Unless, of course, there is a loose hinge pin on a bomb meant for a terrorist, drug dealer, or thug and it ends up in my bedroom instead!

    June 19, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Reply
    • Michael

      Drug dealer and thugs? what the hell does that mean?

      June 19, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Reply
      • Brian

        Simple, a drug dealer is usually referred to as a person who solicits "illegal" drugs...a pharmacist prescribes "legal" drugs...and a "thug" well, that would be a violent person, esp. a criminal (Webster Dictionary).

        June 19, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Phillip

      Despots love people like you. Afraid of your own shadow much?
      First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
      Because I was not a Socialist.

      Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
      Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

      Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
      Because I was not a Jew.

      Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.
      Martin Niemöller

      June 19, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Reply
      • JGer

        Excellent post, but I'm afraid it's way too intelligent for anyone here to understand.

        June 19, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
      • cedar rapids

        There are a lot of conservatives here that would be cheering for the removal of those groups.

        June 19, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
  74. Boo

    It's a "Brave New World" We have arrived.

    June 19, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  75. Virgil

    My privacy is important to me, yes. But considering the events occuring in our country today....people shooting children in their school, bombs at sporting events....if one of these events might have been prevented? Makes you wonder.

    June 19, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Reply
  76. Brad

    Unmanned aircraft, unmanned phones at the FBI complaint center, unmanned desks at their home office, what's next, unmanned guns floating down the street? This must end.

    June 19, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Reply
    • Polar Bear

      If our society in general was honorable, it wouldn't have started in the first place. That's the problem. Too many people trying to get away with nefarious deeds.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Reply
  77. Nathan

    http://www.gadsdentimes.com/article/20120429/NEWS/120429749 – Drones. They are everywhere!

    June 19, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  78. blaze562

    I found one floating in my toilet, it must have been an eric holder submersible.

    June 19, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  79. Craig

    Ok so everyone is up in arms about the FBI using drones whats the difference if they use manned planes? If they want to spy on you they can spy on you they do not need to use drones

    June 19, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  80. greedywench

    "Our gov isnt doing enough to keep us safe." " Our gov is invading our privacy. " Washington cant win, regardless of what political party is in the White House. Gov using drones isn't surprising and honestly, in this day and age, I would be embarrassed if our country wasn't using high tech methods of surveillance.

    June 19, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Reply
    • linda operle

      Then let them spy on YOU. I'm quite frankly SICK of all this spying on the citizens of this country. What's next they want to use my home to spy on my neighbor or perhaps they'll just implant listening devices in the dogs collar. Seems to me the "bad guys" are the only ones laughing here as they will outwit Drones, cell phones, computers..If I was a bad guy you'd never catch me as I woudl be so under the radar you'd need excavation equipment to find me.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Reply
  81. J Fusco

    Reblogged this on From the Bridge Blog.

    June 19, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  82. doug

    Siri. Please Drone Boehner.

    June 19, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  83. joe blo

    We only have the smallest footprint, as we stomp all over your right to privacy.

    June 19, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Reply
    • nope

      Why would they need drones to do that?

      June 19, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  84. tmatheson

    I wonder if anyone still doubts that the US is a police state. Do they still teach kids that it's the greatest nation in the world?

    June 19, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Reply
    • Polar Bear

      Shhh! A drone heard you. It's on its way............

      June 19, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Reply
    • Polar Bear

      We still are the greatest nation in the world. That's 'cause we have the greatest drones!

      June 19, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Reply
    • M. Edward Triefler

      And what would you choice be for the Greatest Country in the World?

      June 19, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Reply
    • Hugh Jass

      Not everyone is a scared old nannygoat like you, my friend. Just go hide under the bed and pretend Obama's after you. You may not be free, but I sure am.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Reply
    • linda operle

      I don't doubt it's a police state. With teachers thinking they're cops now and packin at school ready to shoot anything that moves, the government spying on a whim, the republicans telling me I HAVE to give birth, the churches shoving religion down the throats of anyone who opens their mouth long enough, government deciding how much fat I can eat or how big a soda can be sold. No one can just live their life free from the paranoia & extremism that defines not just the US government but state & local governments. Makes you want to enter yor home and never leave – Until the goverment passes another law that states I can only spend 4 hours a day in my house.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Reply
      • Jimmy

        When you elect lawyer to policial office this what you get.

        June 19, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • JGer

      The US is only the greatest nation in the eyes of those who are really good at telling themselves lies, always has been. When the government of a "free" nation has to spy on its own citizens it is only marginally better than China.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Reply
    • cedar rapids

      Tell anyone that actually has lived in a police state that the US is one and they are likely to slap you stupid.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  85. baldrick

    So the use of drones, spying on people, etc. is okay if it's on non-US citizens, but is a problem when it comes home. So we are implicitly stating that the expectation of privacy is reserved for US citizens only, and the rest of the world unfortunately do not enjoy the right to privacy?

    June 19, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Reply
    • Blackadder

      No, Baldrick, they mean the FBI has a couple that they roll out when they need an eye in the sky, not that they are following people around with small jet airplanes. It's completely different.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  86. Brendan Murphy

    "the U.S. government has not carried out drone strikes in the United States and has no intention of doing so." Suuuuuuurrreeeee

    June 19, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  87. Chris

    Wow just great. This is seriously getting insane. Stop spying on me. I know you won't, but I can ask right? Grr.

    June 19, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Reply
    • nope

      So then you'd complain when they stake someone out in van near their house? When they track down a criminal in a helicopter? Correct?

      June 19, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Reply
      • linda operle

        correct.

        June 19, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Hugh Jass

      " Stop spying on me." They just said they aren't. Now you can grow a huge pair 'o noids wondering if they aren't spying on you, and if they are, why did they say they're not. Pro Tip: There is information about this IN THE STORY.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  88. Starman

    Scary? Get used to it! I see nothing wrong with unmanned cameras up in the sky for police work. There arnt many people complaining about police helicopters. Robots (aka drones) have been used in hostage situations for years. What would you have against police having a small toy helicopter with a camera on it to scout out a location where a guy is holed up with hostages. These are totally different scenarios then the drones of death in Afgan armed with helfire missiles. We should have laws on the books NOW making it illegal in the US to *ARM* a drone.

    June 19, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Reply
    • Phillip

      You sir echo the sentiments of every despot in history.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Reply
      • 2112Starman.temple@pbsenv.com

        You sir echo the sentiments of every technophobe in history.

        June 19, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
  89. outwest

    Can they call it flashing and arrest you?

    June 19, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  90. blahblahblah

    Scary? Why?

    June 19, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Reply
  91. HereticX

    We've been using helicopters for decades for surveillance with FLIR and high-powered optics. A drone is nothing more than a smaller un-manned version doing the exact same mission. People need to get over their objections to drones (especially those that want to complain about gov't all the time... losers).

    June 19, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Reply
    • linda operle

      You sound like the Government – You may ask me to get over it but you can't make me, unless you make not getting over it against the law, which I think is a bill in congress it's called the we're the government, of the government, for the government and by the government.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Reply
  92. Nodack

    We are using drones? Duh. Drones are here to stay. Lots of countries are already using them. Kind of like complaining about guns, cars, airplanes, tanks, etc. after they invented them.

    June 19, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  93. Citizen

    As if we didn't already know they were doing this. You know this is just the surface anyway.

    June 19, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Reply
    • Hugh Jass

      Drones are LOUD. You have more to worry about with quieter surveillance. You don't sneak up on somebody with a flying chainsaw.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  94. TCov

    How is this scary? It's just like having another plane in the sky doing aerial recon on something, there's just no person inside of it.

    June 19, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Reply
    • Deez

      No person inside it, but often is maned by a human somewhere. I agree. What's the difference?

      June 19, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Reply
  95. shimey

    Wait! didn't Obama say they dont a few months ago?? Oh how we forget the lies we are told everyday

    June 19, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Reply
    • nope

      He said they don't carry out drone strikes.

      June 19, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Reply
      • Carpe Diem

        He SAID "We don't use drones." If you can't reads get an adult to help.

        June 19, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
      • Bob

        Carpe Diem is completely wrong but listen to Rush Limbaugh will lead to that or perhaps just to much tea.

        June 19, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • Hugh Jass

      To your little mind there's no difference between "armed drone strikes" and "aerial recon," but to us grownups, the difference is huge.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  96. Greenspam

    If you manage to escape all the electronic monitoring of emails, phone calls, online search. The govt can still get you when you travel with TSA and road checkpoints. And if you don't travel, the govt can get you with drone monitoring... Nice.

    June 19, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Reply
    • Nodack

      As far as I know the government only gets the people that need getting. When they are trying to track the bad guys I want them to use every tool available to them. Do you have something to hide?

      June 19, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Reply
      • StopBreeding

        I'll be by shortly to go through your underwear drawer. You don't have anything to hide, do you? It's almost certain that you broke some law or another today alone, making you the "bad guy".

        June 19, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
  97. dev

    just like they used airplanes and radar to catch speeding... why does the "government" need to know the speed of my car. !!

    June 19, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Reply
    • Nodack

      Because if you are going 90mph in a 55mph zone I want them to catch you. I don't want to die just because of some idjut driving like a maniac.

      June 19, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Reply
      • Urgh

        What if he's going 55 in a 55?

        June 19, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • JT

      Here's your sign!

      June 19, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Reply
  98. Yon

    No more nude sunbathing in the backyard.

    June 19, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Reply
    • Carpe Diem

      No please – carry on! While they're ogling you they're leaving the rest of us alone!

      June 19, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Reply
    • Knucklehead

      Hey!! Hey!!! Over here! I'm the guy looking up at you from his backyard with both my middle fingers extended...

      June 19, 2013 at 10:50 pm | Reply
  99. Puzzled in Peoria

    Seems to me there is plenty of droning going on in Congress.

    June 19, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  100. malcolmtbm

    now, this scary....

    June 19, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Reply
    • james

      why? How is it ay different that using a helicopter or a small plane to take photographs or do other surveillance? Just because it is a drone, doesn't mean that it is armed with weapons. A drone is simple an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).

      June 19, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Reply
      • blahblahblah

        Agreed. Are you hiding something malcolm?

        June 19, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
      • Bruce Eder

        Thank you, for being a voice of reason, James.

        June 19, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
      • Dan

        If the goverment is spying on people they have a reson to not trust,and this is not illegal..Then why may I not spy on the govt.(that includes all administartions since I have been alive)due to the fact I believe they can not be trusted?

        June 19, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • sly

      Really scary. Next thing you know they'll have a website with satellite images of peoples houses and other buildings and roads.

      Nah ... that could never happen.

      June 19, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Reply
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