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. Mopery

    The key phrase that sums it all up, but that the media is too scared to use: "Guilty until proven innocent."

    June 19, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Reply
    • Joe Bloe

      Amazing to see so many people so easily give away their freedom. I guess when you're on the government dime, you support the same. How about personal freedom and the right to disagree with the morons in government? Now you have a drone flying over to "collect" data. The politicians have fooled most of you based on replies. Let's hope the rest can still support this great nation. IMPEACH THE MUSLIM before he can do more harm to our great country.

      June 19, 2013 at 11:11 pm | Reply
  2. Mike Buck

    What did we expect when the Patriot Act passed?

    June 19, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Reply
  3. Willie

    I find this revelation 'interesting' – this is better than Cameras – the Govt can see our every movement – track our calls – know our locations – maybe know how we might cast a vote – 'interesting'

    June 19, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Reply
    • Germanicus

      The CIA has mind reading agents with cancer inducing ray guns too.

      June 19, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Reply
    • Rob

      They can mostly likely read your brain-waves, right through that pointed tin-foil cap you wear there.......

      June 19, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Reply
  4. YommotJr

    What is the story, the fact that they are using unmanned airplanes in place of helicopters to monitor situations during hostage situations or in situations where things need to be monitored? So what "drones" is the new bad word to throw out there? Personally, the FBI out of all the other agencies serves and protect and is the one called in when stuff is hitting the fan. The press gave the FBI a hard time after Boston because they supposedly did not do enough though following the rule of law and now we should panic because they use drones. The FBI from what I have seen works with many other law enforcement agencies to include local police departments I, for one applaud them in the efforts to protect us from harm.

    June 19, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  5. Superman

    It's the ease of using these that have me concerned. Flying a helicopter takes a lot more money and manpower. It won't be long until local police departments will fly drones full time. And no, the assurances from the authorities that this will all be done carefully are not even close to enough.

    The militarization of police forces in this country is astounding. Have you seen the SWAT teams firepower? Drones are just another area of concern. Are we allowed to shoot them down if they are over our property? How do we even know if the drone is from a police force or from some jerk who just wants to intrude on their neighbors?

    Finally, its the idea that someone can look over our fences easily that bothers a lot of people. What are fences for if not to create some privacy? But any police force can just fly over and take pictures without a warrant? Again, how about some jerk who wants to take pictures of the locals sunbathing? Get over it. I don't think so.

    June 19, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Reply
    • Je

      I'm sure you and your 35 cats won't notice anything inside your boarded-up home.

      June 19, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Reply
  6. Gorsh

    America is over guys. That experiment in freedom has run its course. Western Europe is still somewhat free. If you have the money, get out now. We've all seen this movie before, and it doesn't end well.

    June 19, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Reply
    • heywood

      somebody needs to put on his big boy pants. Its time to grow up.

      June 19, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Reply
  7. Germanicus

    Who cares if they are using drones? The FBI has be using photo surveillance for half a century. Whats wrong with aerial surveillance? "Drones have become a boogie man phrase that whips up fear among the uninformed.

    June 19, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Reply
    • Rob

      Exactly! I agree... most people pretend they're so important the government is going to waste time monitoring, watching them. Please, I just don't CARE if they watch my house.... they will leave soon out of boredom!

      June 19, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Reply
  8. rodbuilder321

    Hell, I'm still wondering what's really going on at Area 51 and now they're flying drones over my place? Back the frikkin info wagon up here a doggone minute will ya'?!!

    June 19, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  9. Clark Kent

    It's a bird. It's a plane. It's Big Brother Drone!

    June 19, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  10. Bill

    10,000 drones over the US in 5 years... welcome to 1984 folks.

    Actually, this sounds more like a defense contractors wet dream, than a necessary surveillance system.

    Imagine the cost! Yet everyone is complaining about spending.

    June 19, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Reply
    • Je

      We'll just borrow the money from China and give them corn in return. Solved.

      June 19, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Reply
  11. rodbuilder321

    Saying that you just became aware that our government is conspiring against the public is like saying: " Gee whillikers, they have computers now?"

    June 19, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Reply
  12. I'm watching you

    Their always watching, it doesn't matter if its democrats or republicans in office, get over it. Ad be VERY careful what you say, you can be arrested these days for just a remark made in jest.

    June 19, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Reply
    • rodbuilder321

      Right on! Take my outspoken ass_to jail!!!

      June 19, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Reply
  13. Gorsh

    I just give up. So many Americans are just fine with living in a police state as long as they are told it is for their own good. True, every dictator in history told their people he was serving their best interests, keeping them safe but Americans have no sense of history or what America used to stand for anymore.

    June 19, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Reply
    • Je

      Just because freedom exists doesn't make it the best way to live. We learned that on 9/11. Don't be old school. Move with the times. Changes are needed and we're finally seeing them.

      June 19, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Reply
      • zack

        dumbest comment i've ever read

        June 19, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
      • Je

        and yet somehow your comment was dumber.

        June 19, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
      • The Praetor

        "You're always welcome to leave the country if you have a problem with it." Same goes for you. You don't like freedom? Go live in North Korea. No terrorism there, you lily-livered pansy. You are everything that is wrong with this country, you nazi. Feel free to disagree, but threaten anyone's right to live free and you won't last long.

        June 19, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
      • Je

        I'm not questioning your right to live free. I'm just saying you're an idiot for thinking it's the correct way to live. This country must find a compromise between freedom and safety and the government is slowly coming up with a solution, like we see in this article.

        June 19, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
      • Tim Jones

        No, really yours was the dumbest. Why don;t you just roll over now?

        June 19, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • rodbuilder321

      ........that is until it happens to THEM!!!

      June 19, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Reply
  14. stalkingnightmare

    It may not just intelligence agencies who have access to our personal data. I believe some big corporations also have access to these surveillance programs. I have my own experience.
    They can basically ruin your life.

    http://stalkingnightmare.wordpress.com/about/

    June 19, 2013 at 6:11 pm | Reply
  15. cribbooky

    I cannot believe how dimwitted people are. There is only an illusion that there are two sides in DC. Wake up already!

    June 19, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Reply
    • Je

      You're always welcome to leave the country if you have a problem with it.

      June 19, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Reply
      • advocatusdiaboli

        And you are welcome to delude yourself with fantasy since you cannot accept reality.

        June 19, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
      • DP

        How about you moving to Europe or some remote communist country rather than changing mine to suit your wants. We like to know we have freedoms and some sense of privacy in the US. This is what makes the US the greatest country on earth.

        June 19, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
  16. JW

    I pray some damn politician would not interfere with the use of drone if it would increase the odds my family member would survive the police storming the bad guys.

    June 19, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Reply
  17. sly

    I am furious that surveillance video's were used to violate the freedoms and privacy of the 2 Boston Marathon bombers.

    Our nation has NO RIGHT to photograph those 2 bombers, and when they saw the video evidence, they should have destroyed it!

    Those men should be free. After all, this is America. Land of the free.

    Wow, what a police state. (It is also disgusting that we have security cameras and checkpoints at airports and borders ... simply watching people!).

    June 19, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Reply
  18. Dana

    Sparingly? Last time they told us that, sparingly turned out to be almost everyone. You only get to tell a lie once.....

    June 19, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Reply
  19. bmac

    Yes, it's weird being watched but can someone explain to me how it affects my everyday life? Like is this not allowing me to do something.

    June 19, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Reply
    • bmac

      That wasn't supposed to sound sarcastic, sorry. I'm genuinely interested.

      June 19, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Reply
      • Je

        It only affects you if you're a criminal or terrorist. Otherwise it protects you. Unfortunately these stubborn freedom-ites that think freedom is amazing on paper refuse to see the disadvantage of it in real life.

        June 19, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
      • crimsoninok

        It violates the 4th Amendment right to Privacy.. I value it, just because you dont, only makes you wrong and really weak of character. You stand for nothing, so you dont care when youre being pushed around by an over aggressive government. Its time to stop them, simply because it is WRONG.

        June 19, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
      • Je

        But you're making the assumption that the 4th amendment is correct. Perhaps it's time to revise it to better match our current times. Remember, just because its written down doesn't make it true or completely correct. Humans always make mistakes and, over time, we need to correct them.

        June 19, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
      • J in Denver

        Well for starters, there are so many federal laws on the books that the department/committee that is supposed to keep track of them cannot give an accurate accounting. And that's just "laws" that doesn't include government agency rules and regulations. Due to the bloated collection of laws and regulations it's estimated that the average person commits 3 felonies per day.

        In and of itself that is a worrisome fact, but with the knowledge that all it takes is one partisan employee to start a snowball effect of targeted crackdowns. You know, like the IRS? It hasn't been discussed much but there are many people who were part of the Tea Party and Patriot groups which were subjected to addition IRS scrutiny, who were individually targeted as well. Audits by the IRS as well as visits from other regulatory agencies in vastly disproportionate numbers.

        There hasn't be one shred of proof that any terrorist attacks have been thwarted by spying on all of America. Thus far they've given us a number, in the 50 range, of attacks that have been prevented. Out of that only two cases have had their details shared. Of those two cases BOTH of them were shown to have been solved through conventional police work that had NOTHING to do with the NSA violation of our rights. Additionally it's been stated that a large number of the attacks have been minor plots outside of the US, well that's nice but it's still not protecting YOU. And I'd be willing to bet that of the non-disclosed attacks that were supposedly stopped ALL of them were cases of FBI entrapment. Do a little research online, it won't take but maybe 10 minutes. The FBI sets up "sting operations" where they find disgruntled Muslims who probably couldn't cobble together a campfire, let alone a device to cause harm to anyone but themselves, and presents them with connections, funds and supplies. Once they've bought what they've wanted or made the contacts that the FBI has provided them with... BAM busted Terrorist Arrest! It's a sham.

        And finally, your cowardice doesn't override my natural born rights. The framework of our government was intentionally set up to prevent the majority from voting away the rights of the minority. Basic protection from the mob... protection from the "might makes right" mentality.

        June 19, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
    • suffer'n succatash

      They used drones to steal my donuts!

      June 19, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Reply
    • stalkingnightmare

      This is one way of effecting you

      http://stalkingnightmare.wordpress.com/about/

      June 19, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Reply
    • Reason

      Thats what they used to say in "certain other countries" where the government slowly ripped away peoples privacy and rights under the guise of "we are keeping you safe"

      June 19, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Reply
    • Jackie Treehorn

      If you can't see the potential for abuse on your own, then no amount of explaining is going to help.

      June 19, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Reply
      • Je

        How will it abuse a normal law-abiding citizen? Will the drone swoop down and steal my hot dog off the grill? Will it take provocative photos of my dogs? Unless you're a terrorist or any criminal, then quit being so paranoid.

        June 19, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
  20. mary

    Nothing to see here.

    The US has watched its own since its inception.
    The US has regularly used much more covert means of doing so with spy planes/satellites.

    June 19, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Reply
    • crimsoninok

      Thats the marijuana argument. Because youre not stopping everyone from doing it, you shouldnt try to stop it at all. Its time to stop this administration from gathering our data without our knowledge. That is the problem, we dont KNOW its happening. When we find out, that STILL doesnt make it right. Enough already.

      June 19, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Reply
  21. rodbuilder321

    Why don't we all just go out and kill ourselves? Every bit of "news" the media throws at us makes me want to retreat to a cabin in the mountains somewhere and watch the birds fly.

    God, this country is getting SO damn depressing.

    June 19, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Reply
    • The REAL Truth...

      I'm not sure why this appears to come as a surprise to you???
      There appear to be very many clueless Americans who react to information like this as if it had never happened before. Our history is full of such events. We're collectively too stu_pid to accept the fact! DOI !

      June 19, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Reply
  22. Bob C.

    OMG... what f-ing difference does it make? Drone or man flying a helicopter. It's surveillance, people. Get over it.

    June 19, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Reply
    • crimsoninok

      It is without our knowledge and its wrong.

      June 19, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Reply
  23. Michael Moran

    The issue of drones, is – not in that they are being used ( Domestically ), but – - That there be proper OVERSIGHT on the programs, to ensure they are not being MISUSED. These UAV / UCAV systems; can very easily be violating inherent rights & freedoms, of average law – abiding citizens. Can we TRUST the government – to ensure that such a line is not 'crossed' ? They have NOT demonstrated, in the past – that such trust is warranted.

    June 19, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Reply
  24. Tychi

    The FBI uses helicopters, so what is the difference? Drones should be used when long-term surveillance is needed.

    June 19, 2013 at 5:54 pm | Reply
    • crimsoninok

      Not against American citizens. The government of the USA should not be trusted anymore to value the rights of the citizens. Obama has really crossed the line and we HAVE to back him up.

      June 19, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Reply
      • rodbuilder321

        Obama has really crossed the line and we HAVE to back him up.

        HUH?

        June 19, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
      • crimsoninok

        If you dont know, you deserve the loss of freedom. I am going to continue to fight for and defend my freedoms.

        June 19, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
      • Mike

        So . . . it's better to spend the money on a helicopter and a pilot than to fly and RPV to do the same exact job?

        There's no law saying they can't use a manned aircraft. And they do use manned aircraft – which are much more expensive to operate than a drone. Functionally, there is -no- difference between an unmanned recon drone and a manned surveillance aircraft.

        June 19, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
      • The REAL Truth...

        Were you aware that local Police agencies have been using drones for years?
        I'm astounded when people state that this is Obama's fault – like he instigated it. Wake up people, this has been going on for some time... it's NOT new..

        June 19, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • mike

      Some of you fools deserve to live in an authoritarian police state since you don't give a crapola about the real value and meaning of your freedom(s). If you're too dumb to realize a lot of people died so you DIDN'T have to live in a police state, then I feel sorry for you.

      June 19, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  25. Pete

    If you're that worried about being watched.... Stop leaving politically charged rants on the internet.

    June 19, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Reply
    • rodbuilder321

      RIGHT ON! And when they come to watch you for no reason sit there in yiur $25 recliner and drink your Keystone beer and cram tater chips down your fat ugly face!!!

      June 19, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Reply
    • Pete

      Hey! I'm not fat! And I'm outside in a $7 chair... Watching for drones... Shows what you know. Mmmmm... Specially lined can.

      June 19, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Reply
  26. Je

    How dare the FBI protect us! I want to be targeted, and maybe even killed, by a terrorist but the darn FBI keeps getting in the way! LEAVE ME ALONE!!!

    June 19, 2013 at 5:51 pm | Reply
    • crimsoninok

      Boston, Boston, Boston......... ring a bell?

      June 19, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Reply
      • rodbuilder321

        Communist country..............Communist country..............Communist country.............. – ring a bell?

        June 19, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
      • Je

        Not really

        June 19, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • rodbuilder321

      Go to your local FBI 0ffice and fill the locks full of Crazy glue! That'll probably get their attention!!! You could also shove a couple baggies down the gas tank of any vehicles parked outside!

      June 19, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Reply
  27. OMG

    OMG drones in the U.S. It's the end of civilization as we know it

    Our freedoms are going down the toilet, we will all be masters to the government, it will be like 1984 all over again.

    yeah or not...let's keep making stories to frighten the populace about a non existing threat. The McCarthy hearing were more an affront to freedom than this, and we survived it just fine.

    June 19, 2013 at 5:49 pm | Reply
    • andrew

      I wonder if the German populace shared any of your sentiments during Hitlers rise to power.

      June 19, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Reply
      • OMG

        Are you clueless...or do you just not know history. Go look up why Hitler came to power and come back and talk. He came to power because he made the population AFRAID of an imaginary boogeyman he made up (the jewish people) and blamed them for all their problems and there were all like right on...go for it.

        Learn some history before sounding like a fool please.

        June 19, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
      • andrew

        OMG

        You obviously have a very limited and naive understanding of German history. Perhaps there is a local Community College in your area that offers a History of Western Civ. course?

        June 19, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
      • OMG

        Says the guy who clearly hasn't the foggiest idea what he is talking about. Go start reading at the end of WW 1 until Hitler took power...then come back and apologize for not being in the loop the last 100 years.

        June 19, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
  28. Les Besensible

    Seriously, why wouldn't FBI use drones in specific cases or situations. Let's say a hostage situation on a large facility or ranch. Or a fleeing suspect in the country or desert. What is someone with a gun was holed up around a corner or behind a wall. Wouldn't any of us want to look over and see if the suspect was still there and what he/she was doing? What if the drone could show that the person is reloading and now is the right time to do the takedown. There is nothing illegal or even immoral (whatever standard that would be, if not the law) about drones. They take pictures of what is happening in open areas and transmit them to another location. I hope people understand that a TV or video surveillance camera is a drone on a post, and all they are doing is moving it up into the sky. But not as far into the sky as a helicopter or airplane. No one ever suggested police or FBI surveillance of a crime scene from a helicopter was wrong. In fact, that was used heavily in the Boston Marathon bomber takedown. It would be no different for a drone to have taken the pictures of the man in the boat than to do it from a helicopter, and a heck of a lot less risk to human life from being fired at from the suspect.

    June 19, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Reply
    • Tim Horton's donuts are yummy!

      And that is why you are Canadian – and not American!

      June 19, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Reply
      • Les Besensible

        Um, no, but the donuts do sound yummy!

        June 19, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
      • Les Besensible

        It's Les like Lez. Read it again.

        June 19, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
      • suffer'n succatash

        They used drones to steal my donuts!

        June 19, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • northerstar

      The question is WHAT are the guidelines for using drones? Who, what and when will drones be authorized . What will drone use look like in 5 years if NO guidelines are followed ? Will we be finding out only when an UNauthorized leak occurs like with NSA and most recently the spying by the US on G8 leaders, supposedly our allies.

      June 19, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Reply
      • crimsoninok

        Clearly this administration can NOT be trusted. Never could be. Enough already.

        June 19, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
      • The REAL Truth...

        Right, like I'd trust the previous one any more??

        June 19, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
  29. Kevin

    Martin Luther King Jr. : "I have a dream....."

    Barack Obama: "I have a drone....."

    June 19, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Reply
  30. Rexdogcanadian

    We live in a perfectly imperfect world. How naive we are about this fact. We want our goverment to protect us from those who are bent on destroying the sociopolitical fabric of our nation. Yet, we disapprove of the methods and tools used to monitor or remove those who will do us harm from within or without. Wake up. Be vigilant about what is happening in your homes, churches, schools, workplaces, etc and help those who have sworn to serve and protect us do their work.

    June 19, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Reply
    • andrew

      We live in a perfectly imperfect world. How naive are we if we think our government is beyond reproach and would never abuse its' power.

      June 19, 2013 at 5:51 pm | Reply
    • jaas

      I do not "want our goverment to protect us from those who are bent on destroying the sociopolitical fabric of our nation". Our government is the largest body bent on destroying the sociopolital fabric of our nation.

      June 19, 2013 at 6:00 pm | Reply
  31. Black Dynamite

    Only the truly stupid are surprised.

    The US population is nothing but test subjects to the government.....
    BD

    June 19, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  32. Mopery

    Welcome to the "Land of the Free", where credit companies rather than skills determine whether or not you're employable, where traffic cameras strip you of your due process, where every citizen is guilty until proven innocent in a secret court with no appeals.

    War is Peace.
    Ignorance is Strength.
    Freedom is Slavery.

    June 19, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  33. The watchers

    Ever hear of mission creep? Starts small and you get used to it and by the time u realize what's going on its too big to stop..... Until one day you're being shipped off to "camp" on a cattle car

    June 19, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Reply
    • sly

      Yeah, it is much better to let the terrorists kill us all. At least we'd die 'free'.

      I am very very upset that cameras were used to catch the Boston Marathon bombers.

      That was a horrible violation of those 2 mens freedoms and privacy. Our nation should be ashamed that there are hidden cameras, and should be very angry that the 2 terrorists were caught.

      It is better to let terrorists kill us all.

      June 19, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Reply
  34. Mike

    Aside from the privacy issue, folks should be concerned about an expanding use of unmanned drones in US airspace posing an unintended danger of collision with airliners or other civilian aircraft. It has been widely reported in the news that various law enforcement agencies are contemplating the use of drones, and if anyone thinks an accident cannot happen, then think again. Drones are very sophisticated and all, but because they are unmanned and rely on cameras for their remote operator to see, they do not have the ability to quickly monitor the surrounding airspace. Even a small drone that collides with another aircraft can cause catastrophic damage with fatal results.

    June 19, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Reply
    • DontBeAfraid

      Well Mike, in case you haven't heard, this government doesn't give a SH1T about human lives.

      June 19, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Reply
  35. VEW2012

    @tenshi78...I have a surveillance camera in my home ....it is called a security system. LOL!

    June 19, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Reply
    • sly

      All surveillance cameras are un-American.

      All cameras are a violation of our privacy, and America should ban all cameras.

      Especially at airports. We also need to get rid of all airport security checks – those are such an un-American violation of our rights.

      June 19, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Reply
  36. Jaimie

    Even if it is not right you can't hide folks.From the sky to your phone to your internet to your bank account to your car to your political belief . They know everything and that is that. Now it is time to live. Be aware but live a good life.

    June 19, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Reply
  37. VEW2012

    Gee you would think these whiners have never been video taped by a bank security camera...did anyone hear whining about that invasion of privacy? NO! Technology once invented cannot be undone., and once invented we will find other ways to use it. Hello .....this is the 21st Century!

    June 19, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Reply
    • Vader

      False analogy (bank and drone). When I walk into a bank, I expect to be watched, whether it is by a human guard or video surveillance. When I walk into my back yard, I expect nothing of the sort.

      June 19, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Reply
      • ken

        What about your neighbors?

        June 19, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
      • cmh01

        Why would anyone want to watch you in your back yard? If some guy had a kid hostage in your back yard, then sure, let them watch your back yard. We already send in cameras on wires, high powered scopes from hidden locations, satellites, robots on treads, and other things when stealth and safety are concerns. In the arms race against criminals I'd prefer for the 'good guys' to have better technology.

        June 19, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
  38. Freedom

    Okay, The budget is up in the air an we are wasting money on drones. Honestly, I don't believe that drones will only be used for difficult cases. Eventually, you will be spied on even if you didn't do anything.

    Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

    June 19, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Reply
    • cmh01

      We were warned a long time ago. We were warned when we used artists to put up wanted posters. We were warned when we figured out that we could identify people by their fingerprints. We were warned when the government wanted to control us with traffic signs and 'safety' inspections. People never listened, and now we will be ruled by robots who are programs to kill all humans! We knew this was coming.

      June 19, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Reply
  39. CCCombo Breaker

    This is no different than using a chopper or satellites. Move along...

    This about the media exploiting the connotation with the word "drone", one automatically assumes weapon-carrying, cold red computer eye. Must say, it works. Really though, this is no different than a helicopter.

    June 19, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Reply
    • Freedom

      You must be ignorant or just a liberal propagandist to say such a thing. Even if they won't carry weapons like you say, they are spying on you whenever they want whether you do something or not, just like the Verizon scandal. (Last time the Administration was aking the cronies at DOJ if it was legal to use weapons from the drone on citizens in USA, and the answer was yes).

      You believe and trust what the government says and you will be in a world of hurt. I hope there aren't many people like you. Here is something to ponder about: Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Benjamin Franklin

      June 19, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Reply
      • VEW2012

        So does bank and business security.

        June 19, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • Vader

      A helicopter, transporting passengers from point A to point B is one thing. A helicopter "observing" you without cause is something entirely different. A drone, aimlessly wandering and recording everything is even worse.

      June 19, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Reply
      • Les Besensible

        Since when do you need probable cause or a search warrant to observe someone? Those are needed for searches and seizures.

        June 19, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • GBee

      I get a kick out all the internet hermits that thinks the government really gives a crap about their secret moonshine operations.

      June 19, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Reply
      • VEW2012

        Probably their marijuana plants.

        June 19, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • Nick

      Your complacency is the epitome of what will lead us down the path towards a surveillance state along with every other control method moving into place. Keep it up and see what happens.

      June 20, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Reply
  40. dike

    Can we get a copy of the video... I want to see what is going on in my neighbors back yard... Just curious about all the noises.
    What's the big deal.. now if the drone loses control and crashes into populated area... that's when Sh..t hits the fan....

    June 19, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  41. angeloIppis

    CNET reports:
    Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed this week that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed "simply based on an analyst deciding that."
    If the NSA wants "to listen to the phone," an analyst's decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. "I was rather startled," said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the House Judiciary committee.
    Nadler told CNET that the "same legal standards that apply to phone calls also apply to e-mail messages, text messages, and instant messages."
    In other words, the NSA claims the authority to listen to any call or read any email based on the whims of an analyst, not a court order based on probable cause.
    This is precisely the power Edward Snowden, as an analyst working for the private NSA contract Booz Allen Hamilton, claimed to have in his interview with The Guardian.
    All of these recent revelations seem to confirm the worst fears of civil liberties groups. The American government is indeed listening to our phone calls and reading our emails without a warrant and little to no oversight to how this information is accessed or used.
    What's even worse, they're building dossiers on all Americans to be tapped whenever one of the hundreds of thousands of analysts decides to, and all of it occurs in secret.
    This is perhaps the most egregious breach of the public's trust in the history of the United States. The government operates with complete secrecy while knowing all private information about its citizens.
    Weren't we supposed to have a transparent government with individual privacy for citizens?

    June 19, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Reply
    • VEW2012

      Don't you think that is a little over the top paranoid on your part, and a little too boring for theirs?

      June 19, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  42. Bob, NY

    News Flash: THERE IS NO MORE SOVIET UNION!

    June 19, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Reply
  43. ronjayaz

    I've come to believe for a long, long time that the FBI has been watching us & wasting a lot of time on persons like me who love to make the FBI itchy abt me. Frankly, I feel like I'm being trailed by Inspector Clouseau.

    June 19, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Reply
  44. wildbill

    Like I said over and over again,we need a revolutin to stop all of this. The next thing you know they will give police the rigth to enter your home anytime they want to.also you will have take a drug test when they say so.the only way to stop it is to start a revolution,but every american as to stick together,it can not be started by one man.

    June 19, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Reply
    • Bob, NY

      Pay no attention to the black Plymouth Fury parked down the street from your house!

      June 19, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  45. Tlrobb

    What the difference between a police helicopter and an unmanned drone?

    Drones are cheaper and safer.

    June 19, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Reply
    • clarese portofino

      wrong answer! Helicopters may cost more, but there is considerable less room for abuse by law enforcement agencies, and there is little or no oversight for drones. You sound like someone who is willing to sacrifice liberty for security, and as such you are not worthy of freedom. With that being said, i value my freedom, and will fight to the bitter end to maintain it.

      June 19, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Reply
    • CCCombo Breaker

      This is no different than using a chopper or satellites. Move along...

      This about the media exploiting the connotation with the word "drone", one automatically assumes weapon-carrying, cold red computer eye. Must say, it works. Really though, this is no different than a helicopter.

      June 19, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Reply
      • Vader

        A helicopter used for transporting passengers from point A to point B is one thing. A helicopter "observing" you without cause is something entirely different and intrusive. A drone, aimlessly wandering and recording everything is even worse.

        June 19, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
  46. Willy

    I feel like this must be Bizarro World. When Bush surveillanced people the democrats freaked out and the republicans said "No big deal" Now that Obama is doing something similar, the republicans are unhappy and the democrats are saying "No big deal".

    June 19, 2013 at 5:06 pm | Reply
    • Tlrobb

      More democrats are upset over this than republicans.

      June 19, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Reply
  47. rodbuilder321

    Why the hell don't we just change our flag to a hammer and sickle and be done with it?

    June 19, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Reply
    • Arshagarbon

      Don't disgrace the Soviet Union like that. They are far more respectable than our current government.

      June 19, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Reply
      • Not

        Oh please -that is an absolute lie and you know it.

        June 19, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
      • Dan

        You do not understand tyranny. If you think we are experiencing it now, you are cluless and petty.

        June 19, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
  48. JOdy

    Why are we having this discussion? Drones, bomb robots etc are used to save lives not spy on people. A drone is a flying robot, nothing more. We hear drone we thing there are guns on them.
    Also drone strikes are so bad but when Bush was blindly bombing schools and hospitals to get the "terrorists" it was for the great er good but Obama uses drones that minimize the damage to innocent people everyone gets in a tiff. I don't agree with either one as I think war is fought by the poor for the entertainment of the rich.

    June 19, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  49. John

    I don't believe them for one second that they use it in a minimal way. Face it America they are eroding our rights away one by one and we are all just sitting around letting it happen. You can't drive across the US without getting stopped and questioned about your citizenship. If a cop pulls you over and wants to search your car you let hit happen or get charged with obstruction. The USA is at war anywhere we can get a foothold or build a pipeline with no signs of slowing down. We are all under surveillance. Boston proved now with any attack all of a sudden the DHS can roll through your streets search and throw you out of your home without a warrant. Welcome to the Surveillance States of America.

    June 19, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Reply
    • ken

      Help me understand. What right are you giving up if the US is using unmanned airplanes?

      June 19, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Reply
      • Tlrobb

        none

        June 19, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
      • tenshi78

        you will understand the day you have to install a surveillance camera in your home.

        June 19, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
      • VEW2012

        I have a surveillance camera in my home it is called a security system.

        June 19, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
  50. Dale

    Obama administration: "We don't spy on Americans phone call or internet activity, no I am sorry we do but through the NSA" "We don't fly drones over Americans to spy on them, no I am sorry we do through the FBI." "We don't selectively harass certain conservative groups for tax exempt status, no I am sorry we do that through the IRS." "We don't let Americans die overseas while we sit back and watch, no I am sorry we did that in Benghazi." etc, etc, etc....

    June 19, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Reply
    • Tlrobb

      When you use quotation marks your supposed to be quoting someone not making stuff up.

      June 19, 2013 at 5:14 pm | Reply
  51. 2112Starman.temple@pbsenv.com

    We've had satellites in space for what 50+ years now?

    June 19, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Reply
  52. rodbuilder321

    Hey Robert Mueller – lick my hairy white_ass!!!!!!

    June 19, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Reply
    • johnharry

      chocolate star fish was a good album

      June 19, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Reply
    • JimiJoni

      We have your IP address and will be seeing you soon.

      June 19, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  53. rodbuilder321

    .........and unless you're as dumb as a frikkin' rock you also know that they have the capability to see you and hear you in your own house through your new giovernment-mandated cable/satellite HD television!!!! Why else wold GOVERNMENT require everyone to have a TV that plugs into a cable?

    Big duhhhhh?

    June 19, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Reply
    • sybaris

      Uh, cable is not required. You can get HDTV with an antenna or..................... not watch TV at all.

      June 19, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Reply
      • rodbuilder321

        Yeah? So send me a list of everyone yopu know who watches broadcast tv. REALLY – post the number on here so we can see the big fat "0". Put up or shut up!

        June 19, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
      • JOdy

        Me Roddyboy, I only have an antenna because I use the internet for all my Cable TV use. Netflix, Hulu and torrents make TV watching easy. SO that is 1. and more people do this than you'd think.

        June 19, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • JOdy

      running low on tinfoil are ya? listening through our tv's? are you nuts? oh, yeah you are. no one is required to have a box to get cable, (antenna, direct cable still works just not in HD) stop listening to Alex Jones.
      If they were listening at all you'd think it would be through the microphone on your laptop or phone first.

      June 19, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Reply
      • rodbuilder321

        I KNEW someone would actually; say what you did!! Now go back and read read the first 9 words of my post!!!!

        June 19, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
      • rodbuilder321

        .......and for your information (ask any electronics specialist) ANY speaker can be used as a microphone. I guess you must have the only tv on planet Earth that doesn't have speaker – huh???

        OH – and have you seen how small they're making cameras now? Look at the one on your cell phone!!!!!

        June 19, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
      • JOdy

        I did, and you'd have to be a complete moron to believe they are doing this. If that is what you are trying to say then you said it wrong. There is no way they are doing that, don't be a moron

        June 19, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Bob, NY

      They got the technology from "Marvin, the Martian" in 1942 in Roswell, New Mexico! The Chinese took notes and cloned it so they could spy on the Acid Years.

      June 19, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Reply
    • Bob Burke

      Glen beck loves you...don't forget your tin foil hat.

      June 19, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Reply
  54. Rick Springfield

    What is the difference between using a Cessna with a FLIR camera that flies over an ongoing crime scene for 120 hours or a drone? In the David Koresh incident near Waco, the FBI flew over them 24/7 with a Cessna that had multiple FLIR cameras. It was used by the prosecution and defense in the suits and crimina trials that came afterwards. Los Angeles is planning to use drones over East LA. They will be equipped with the new 19 Gigapixel cameras capable of recording everything that goes on down to quarter size resolution in a 25 square mile area. They will mainly be used to solve drive by shootings, abductions, armed robberies, and all the bad stuff that happens in places like Watts on a daily basis.

    June 19, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Reply
  55. aaron

    This is what the beginning of a futuristic police state looks like.

    June 19, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Reply
    • sly

      Yes, this type of police state where authorities spy on civilians is just beginning.

      It started with spies around 1935, evolved to James Bond, then tiny cameras, satellites.

      Heck, today millions of people are invading our privacy each day, since they walk around with tiny camera's.

      Next thing you know, someone will invent a web site where they actually post photo's of streets, and gasp ... your house! (Nah .. just kidding – THAT would never happen in America).

      June 19, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Reply
      • mary

        aaron is a bit naive and uninformed.

        June 19, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • Rick Springfield

      They prefer to call it a force multiplier. In an armed robbery situation, it is much safer for a helicopter to follow a suspect than 15 police cars. It is always safer to allow the suspect to be comfortable that they got away but are in fact being tracked from air units. They slow down, stop a red ligts, and eventually go home, where the cops want them. Drones will be a game changer in that we can see a drastic reduction in deadly high speed chases.

      June 19, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Reply
    • rodbuilder321

      BEGINNING? That's funny!!!

      June 19, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Reply
    • mary

      Newsflash: People have always been watched in this country, just more covertly so with spy planes and satellites.

      Nothing new here.

      June 19, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Reply
  56. bt

    Infra-red Bedroom Police will correct your bad habits.

    June 19, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  57. GI Joe

    Exploding paranoid heads all over the place. LOL

    I have a remote controlled airplane that I can use to do the same thing, if I modify it with a small camera. No biggie. Maybe I'll run It by a few republican windows and really freak them out. It has about a 2 feet wingspan. ha ha ha ha

    June 19, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Reply
    • Jerry

      Paranoid? right..... so the NSA isn't collecting you phone call info? It isn't collecting your internet and email activity? Drones haven't been used to kill innocent people overseas, including American citizens? (like Anwar Alwaki's son). The IRS isn't harassing people over their political leanings? The government didn't lie multiple times to get us into war? The US didn't make the same claim that Syria is using WOMD to get us into the Syrian conflict which we have no money to support such adventures and our right are only increasing, right? yeah.... paranoid.... everything is fine move along

      June 19, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Reply
  58. Billy

    Unless it can be proven they are useing them to spy on Political Oponents, Aka Internal revenue service scandal, I see no problem with them. However I hope they are taking into account aircraft and possibly crashing into someone or their property, whatever goes up comes down one way or another.

    June 19, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Reply
    • Jerry

      We have no problem with it? You are exactly what is wrong with this country today, and why we are fast approaching the Orwellian police state.

      June 19, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Reply
  59. Hugh Jass

    As long as we are ready to hold their feet to the fire for stuff like this, they will use it the right way. Stop saying it's ok to give up freedoms for safety, because it's not. But stop saying that this means drones are peeking in your window, because it doesn't.
    Last month it was thirty-eight years since a friend of mine who was a cop jumped through a window into a house where a sniper was shooting people from upstairs. The shooter killed him before he could get to his feet, and is still alive in the prison system whining for better food. If we'd had a drone, Alex would be alive instead of having a street named for him. There are always pros and cons.

    June 19, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Reply
  60. ken

    Quit the uproar people. What really is the differnce if a plane is manned or not? A plane is a plane. Their goal is your safety.

    June 19, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Reply
    • rosehouse

      ditto

      June 19, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Reply
    • Florida Tipo

      Exactly!!!

      June 19, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Reply
    • Egg Sandwich

      Are you seriously so naive that you think they care about our safety?

      June 19, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Reply
    • Jerry

      I wouldn't want a plane with a person in it spying on me or shooting at me either. That's the purpose of a drone, isn't it? It's not a passenger plane.

      June 19, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Reply
      • ken

        Airplanes (drones) can be used for many things not only wartime activities. A manned plane is no differnt than an unmanned plane and there are hundreds already in the sky so why the paranioa?

        June 19, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
  61. ookla the mok

    It won't be long before it is armed drones. No more trials will be needed. Nothing to see here, move along.

    June 19, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Reply
    • fedupwithamericanpolitics

      Well Put, here here.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Reply
    • ken

      All airplanes in the future are going to be manned by artifial intelligence. And the planes today do have weapons on board already. A plane is a plane. No freedoms are given up just because the airplane (drone) doesn't have a human pilot. You are sounding like the Afghans and the Pakistinians with your statement.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Reply
      • Jerry

        That is an absolutely ridiculous statement. Is a 747 the same as an F-18? The purpose of a drone is for surveillance and destruction. They're also cheaper so their can be more of them in our skies, spying on us American citizens. It's not like they're carrying passengers from point A to point B. The complacency on this board is sickening.

        June 19, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
      • VEW2012

        Self-driving cars are on the way. Waiting for all the Chicken Little crew to have a meltdown over that.

        June 19, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
  62. thelastindependent

    "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."
    I respectfully disagree. The biggest threat to the privacy of Americans is people, who can be anyone, who thinks he or she is above the law and has the right to know everything.

    June 19, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  63. Gail in CA

    Like I posted earlier, there's much I believe that has been condoned and used by the US Govt against its citizens using satellites also.

    June 19, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  64. Wade

    The fourth is DEAD!

    June 19, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  65. longmyre

    I had a drone fly by my bedroom window last night! I shot my laser beam at it right out of the tip of my d ick!

    June 19, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  66. noName*

    Lol

    June 19, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  67. nonyabidnes2

    "We use it sparingly in dangerous situations where the risk to agents lives are at stake,"
    How about when others are in harms way?

    June 19, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  68. damusdamus

    Pay for your crimes against the innocent, tyrants.

    June 19, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  69. Bob, NY

    the scary part? Someday, we will refer to these as "the good ol days"!

    June 19, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Reply
    • Bob, NY

      Obey all our rules and you have nothing to fear Comrade....oh yeah, turn in a neighbor once in a while for extra points!

      June 19, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Reply
      • odiasuda

        You sound old, Bob. Are you?

        June 19, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
  70. Sharon Mahart

    So according to the FBI's top official, they've deployed drones BEFORE the rules to govern their use have even been written (let alone been made available to oversight bodies)? Since when is the US a country "by the government and for the government"? I smell a serious uprising coming if these guys don't start falling on their swords (and quickly)!

    June 19, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Reply
    • ken

      Would you be happier if they put a person on the plane (drone)? Same thing. They are protecting the US citizens so why the uproar?

      June 19, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Reply
      • Jerry

        To answer the absurd logic of your questions, no we would not want a plane with a person in it spying and shooting at us. Next.

        June 19, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
  71. 2plus2

    So much for freedom! Only the Ones that have control on drones are truly free.

    June 19, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  72. Jo Black

    Best thing since finger prints, DNA and sliced bread.

    June 19, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  73. Hugh Jass

    OK, deep breaths everybody! The FBI has a couple of military drones, and they use them in armed confrontations because drones like that are big and loud. Do they have the little ones that can follow you and spy if there's not much wind? Probably, but they aren't saying. Are they following everybody around with huge military drones? Heck no, because it would cost them a million every time some prepper shot one down. This is the FBI we're talking about. The American Federal Bureau of Investigation, not the Iranian one. They are on our side.

    June 19, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Reply
    • VEW2012

      Common sense so refreshing. Lord you would think these moaners never had their picture taken by a security camera.

      June 19, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  74. so

    in Canada they spy on citizens with something called Stats Canada, compulsory to give them information....and drones flying up in Vancouver BC for at least 1 year

    June 19, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Reply
  75. Tlrobb

    So they use a radio controlled helicopter instead of a real one. Seems like that's an improvement. The drone will use far less fuel and if it crashes its much less likely to injure anyone on the ground.

    June 19, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Reply
    • Maxor

      Good point. Why aren't people complaining about robots entering dangerous situations and dismantling bombs instead of having live people do it? Same thing isn't it?

      I'd be more concerned about the loss of jobs created by drones, robots and even those little Roomba vacuums!

      June 19, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  76. ari

    god, people on CNN comment boards are so paranoid and/or dumb. a drone in this instance is literally the same exact thing as a self-piloting helicopter. these aren't things equipped with heat-seeking missiles. calm the f down.

    June 19, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Reply
    • Tlrobb

      I'm so glad there's at least one voice of reason left other than me.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Reply
    • tracer76

      Yes its called the Global Hawk this is unarmed drone. And that is all they are allowed to use as for now anyway. I am not worried about the "Drones" when most are patrolling boarders, and some high target areas.

      The ones that are worried about it are the ones that are uneducated about the subject in general.

      June 19, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Reply
  77. Mr. Worried

    "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,"

    Really?!? Drones?? Not like any of these have a greater impact (I say sarcastically): Google Earth, Google Street View, home/business surveillance cameras, dashboard cameras, cell phone cameras, cable companies doing ad insertion to your web pages based upon your browsing history or contracts they may have, etc. If they are hanging their hats on drones vs all of the commercial-based privacy concerns, then so be it.

    I guess I'll have to be the one concerned about the (ab)use of information by big companies like Time Warner, Verizon, Google, Comcast, etc in a more subversive way.

    A drone can see over my house, maybe even get heat signatures of things in my house, but the internet is already in there, poking about with information about what I am doing in my house.

    June 19, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Reply
    • yeomanonymous

      Well, wait a minute. What's the purpose of a drone in the first place? To launch a tactical attack that could not be done otherwise by ground forces. Surveillance is easily done from satellites and on the ground - so your point is not valid. Say hello to Mr. Feinstein for me.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  78. allenwoll

    .
    Notwithstanding all the whining, PRIVACY IS NOT AUTOMATIC ! ! . It must be established and maintained - For example, by the envelope around your First Class mail or by the opaque roof over your head or by your window blinds ! ! . OR by the encryption of your electronic communications ! !
    .
    Is this not OBVIOUS to the most casual observer ? ?
    .

    June 19, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Reply
    • yeomanonymous

      I love how abhorred Mrs Feintsein is over these drones but when it comes to NSA she totally supports it. Geez lady, pick one side and stick with it – worse than my wife.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Reply
      • Yakobi

        She's also against people having the right to carry concealed weapons...herself excluded. Yet another left wing hypocrite who thinks there's two kinds of laws: one for the elite and one for the little people.

        June 19, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
  79. Dustin Goldsen

    Anyone who thinks there is any difference between being observed by a drone and being observed by a manned aircraft is a conspiracy nut.

    The only reason we use drones against foreign adversaries is to prevent hostage / POW situations. Do you really think there is a danger that US Air Force Pilots might be held captive by some group in West Virginia running a still or a meth lab?

    June 19, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Reply
    • TNPatriot

      Dustin... I don't think they would worry as much about being taken hostage as much as they would worry about being shot down. If you don't think some criminals have access to that kind of firepower, you are very naive.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  80. Rick

    That's rediculous "We use it sparingly in dangerous situations where the risk to agents lives are at stake". It can be argued, and I'm sure that it has whenever the subject of pay comes up, that agents lives are at stake 24-7 whether they are on duty or not. It's just more over reaching by government being pushed by the military industrial complex. I'm sure the manufacturers of the drones would love nothing more than to see their products used in a commonplace fashion. we are so screwed!

    June 19, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Reply
    • yeomanonymous

      National Security and Officer Safety. Use those two excuses and you will always have a bona fide excuse for doing what is immoral or illegal.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Reply
  81. Jr

    They told us this while looking for Christopher Dorner..

    June 19, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Reply
    • sly

      Yeah ... those big bad FBI agents who cooked that nice fat mass murderer Dorner.

      Yeah ... those must be the bad guys. Why would anyone want to hurt a nice little mass murderer?

      I also feel really badly for those 2 Boston bombers. Can you believe that our police agents actually hurt those 2 nice guys?

      June 19, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Reply
  82. don wilson

    PULL!!.........

    June 19, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  83. Bob, NY

    We have technology that will allow agents to pick sounds off of glass (windows) and amplify it to a car parked on the street. Thermal imaging can tell where you are in many houses. Cameras can be mounted on the nearest telephone pole. GPS units can be hidden on your car...or your cell phone has one built in. When they want YOU, they WILL get you.

    June 19, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  84. Yakobi

    The funny thing is, if all these latest scandals and revelations had happened on Bush's watch, the mainstream media would be losing its collective (albeit small) mind.

    June 19, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Reply
    • Bob, NY

      Much of this crap was made kinda legal under Bush's watch.... Where were your gripes then? Oh yeah, the Obama thing ...it's all his fault!

      June 19, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Reply
      • Yakobi

        First of all, "much of this crap was made kinda legal" by congress. Probably by a democrat-controlled congress, at that.
        Second, I've got no problem with the FBI using drones, so don't count me in with the tinfoil hat crowd.
        Third, this isn't the only scandal or revelation that makes people mistrust the current administration. Ever hear of Fast & Furious, Benghazi, State Dept. misconduct under Hillary, etc?

        The point is the mainstream media give this president a pass. Oh, and that anyone who criticized Bush without criticizing Obama is a complete hypocrite and has ZERO credibility.

        June 19, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • Bob, NY

      We criticize Obama for very different reasons than the right wing nuts who have tried to slam him for bogus reasons made up by Rush and Sean. He did not invade another country for invented lies...yet. The thugs left this president with one hell of a mess to straighten out ...and then have done everything in their power to keep him from succeeding. I have yet to vote for the best candidate ...only the lesser of two evils.

      June 19, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Reply
  85. Mike

    It better be for a small purpose

    June 19, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Reply
  86. memyselfI

    As if anyone one believes anything coming out of an "officials" mouth anymore.

    June 19, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Reply
  87. Mike

    So in a nutshell? We enter all our personal data into some web site to buy something and that's ok? Right? You just do it. For music, movies, clothes and anything else you got a great deal for. You put in your name, address, credit card number plus the three digit code on the back because the site says secure. You sign up for health and any other benefits and type or tell your Ssn without a wink. You look on google maps for directions our a photo to help your needs. So you have given your life to some web site and you are worried about the NSA. Come on.... Most of those site are outsourced that don't even have to abide by US law. Get over it.

    June 19, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Reply
  88. Steve

    Feinstein feigning interest in our privacy rights....isn't that cute?

    June 19, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Reply
    • yeomanonymous

      Isn't that ironic. Broom Hilda Feinstein was all gung-ho for the NSA to tap into our emails, online accounts, and phone calls but when it comes to drones all of the sudden her opinion changes. What a witchie-poo!

      June 19, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  89. retrostar1000

    By "very, very minimal way and very seldom" they mean they use it alot and often.

    June 19, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Reply
  90. capnmike

    What on earth difference does it make if it is a "drone" (remote controlled aircraft) or a manned plane or helicopter? If law enforcement needs air surveillance and they call out a helicopter or a spotter plane, nobody complains. They do it all the time. The only difference here is that they are not risking a pilot's life. So all of you complainers please shut up. The first time some terrorist blows something up near you, you will all be shouting "Why didn't the government DO something about it?" and "Why didn't they KNOW about it" and all that tripe!

    June 19, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Reply
    • Carol

      Well said!!

      June 19, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  91. T. Jefferson

    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.

    This is the same Weinstein who thinks it's OK for the NSA to collect information on all of us. I think old feiny is one of the greatest threats to our privacy and security.

    June 19, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Reply
    • Langor

      Amen. See if you can round up Thomas Paine, this country really needs some common sense.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Reply
      • VEW2012

        I really think Thomas would have approved of the technology. .He was one smart man even though Teddy Roosevelt called him that "dirty little atheist". He spelled out exactly why we shouldn't wait to go to war with England. If we waited the British would have harvested all the good and easily accessible boat building timber, and we would be fighting their even better navy without the means to acquire the best boat building timber. However, conservatives of his day (capitalist) hated him. (i.e. Teddy Roosevelt) because in truth Paine was a populist left-leaning democratic- socialist, a fact which really intrigues me, because it is so humorous.

        June 19, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • yeomanonymous

      Such a twist of irony. She's okay with people we can't hold accountable for spying on us, but if it's something tangible like a drone flying overhead that can be spotted, then all of the sudden she's abhorred. If she's like the many million who idiotically state "I got nothing to hide" then she must be hiding something in her backyard if she's against drones–I would suggest the FBI check her backyard for Jimmy Hoffa.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  92. Texas Pete

    Really? Drones in the US? No! Why should we be treated any different than the rest of the world. The next thing you know they will put cameras at stop lights and on roads to catch law breakers, oh wait they do...Grow up people.

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

      So Mr. Texas Pete, let's put a camera in your bedroom and bathroom next. What have you got to hide?

      June 19, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Reply
    • Langor

      Grow up, how about you grow a pair and be concerned about erosion of freedom. I do believe that quartering troops in houses was a big gripe at one time, that had to do with privacy you know. Constant surveillance is the enemy of a free society.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Reply
      • VEW2012

        Don't go to the bank they have cameras.

        June 19, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
      • Je

        But your argument assumes that a completely free society is the correct way to live. You need to get over that false belief. Thankfully the FBI already has, which is why they're going to great lengths to protect us despite stubborn people like you.

        June 19, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • yeomanonymous

      That is different. It's in plain view and the public is aware of it, plus there's no expectation of privacy. However, a drone that is peering into your house using thermal imaging, etc. without probable cause and due process-now that's a big problem!!!! Personally I wouldn't care if some hot FBI blonde chick was looking at me standing nekked in my kitchen or laying out in my backyward, the only problem is the FBI is full of man-chicks and they're all ugly.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Reply
      • VEW2012

        Gee I've seen some that were pretty hot!

        June 19, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
  93. t3chsupport

    You guys know that something being a 'drone' pretty much just means it's a fancy radio controlled helicopter, right?

    June 19, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  94. Gail in CA

    Just wait till they start revealing what satellites are actually doing!

    June 19, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Reply
    • yeomanonymous

      Quiet Gail! Ancient Chinese Secret!

      June 19, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  95. GetReal

    So...You're being spied on, listened to, emails read and droned.....anything we missed?

    June 19, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Reply
    • Wom

      You were being spied on during the Bush administration, now you want to complain. Get over yourself! Repubs need to get over this news. Acting all uppity and indignant, when there was no peep from them when Bush was in charge. Why cares that Obama does it now? Why do Repubs care about this and Guantanamo bay now when they didn't care in 2001? Hypocrisy at it's best!

      June 19, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Reply
  96. Sheshie

    “The Obama administration is dedicated to increasing terrorism,” he went on. “In fact, it’s doing it all over the world. Obama, first of all, is running the biggest terrorist operation that exists, maybe in history. The drone assassination campaigns, which are just part of it… All of these operations, they are terror operations.”

    Chomsky continued: “People have a reaction, they don’t say, ‘Fine, I don’t care if my cousin was murdered.’ And they become what we call terrorists. This is completely understood from the highest level, that as you carry out these operations you’re generating terrorism.”- Noam Chomsky
    Oops,looks like the far left is turning on Obama. Yesterday, Bill Ayers, today Chomsky!!

    June 19, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Reply
    • Dustin Goldsen

      Oops is right. This surveillance problem is 100% bipartisan. You gave yourself away with your anti Obama slam, but then you far right wing nuts just can't contain yourselves.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Reply
      • Sheshie

        It is so funny to watch liberals, like you, squirm to find someone to blame for the mess we are in. At least some on the far left are willing to admit that this is not the ,"CHANGE," you all voted for!! Oh well, if you can't beat a conservative..just call him/her a "right wing nut case"!! Haha

        June 19, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
  97. Bob

    Elected? The politicians of this country seem to have totally forgotten who they represent. Must be the drone and gadget companies, it can't be the people. There isn't one that should be re-elected after all this nonsense. Throw the bums out of office, and cut off their fat pensions too.

    June 19, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Reply
  98. bolobouncer

    Six months later...

    "Use of unmanned drones is prevalent in the U.S. but we only keep the images necessary to investigate certain cases."

    One year later...

    "Unmanned drone strikes occur in the U.S. only when absolutely necessary."

    Five years from now...

    "Drone strikes are a necessary component of domestic law enforcement. Regular surveillance of citizens helps us ascertain who is and isn't a threat and we use that information to eliminate targets well before they can commit crimes, thus alleviating the burden on the judicial system."

    June 19, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Reply
    • Yolo

      Didn't I see a Tom Cruise movie like this once? or five times?

      June 19, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Reply
    • Mike Kelley

      HOW TRUE! Give an inch and they'll take a foot.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Reply
      • PJB

        Governments, being the greatest threat that "the people" will ever have, always will use the latest and greatest technology available in their pursuit of control. It is the "nature of the beast". Governments at best are a necessary evil; at worst they are pure evil. Can't recall who said that...but, it is true.

        June 19, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • OldSchool

      Well, that is certainly a compelling work of fiction...

      June 19, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Reply
      • T. Jefferson

        For now. People like you are what makes them think it's okay to do.

        June 19, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
      • Langor

        Yep, so was 1984, but it doesn't seem so much like fiction now.

        June 19, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • PGrim

      Unfortunately I believe what you see to be true in the coming future, revolution anyone?

      June 19, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Reply
      • VEW2012

        No...I think once we get over the current idiocy we are going to enjoy it. I really need a good drone to wash my second story windows.

        June 19, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • Moi

      And you are one of the few people with enough sense to understand this. Glad there's at least a few of us.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Reply
    • Hugh Jass

      Paranoid schizophrenia is a sad thing, Get help.

      June 19, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Reply
    • VEW2012

      Really don't you expect the technology to advance in 5 -10 years, when a drone will deliver your mail, pizza, and clean your exterior windows?

      June 19, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Reply
  99. Brian in DC

    Well that's comforting.

    June 19, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Reply
  100. ME

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

    Give it time. Give it time....

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

      Probably not much time!

      June 19, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Reply
    • yeomanonymous

      These agency heads and politicians are starting to sound like rapists. I didn't go in all the way, just very minimal entry, it was just a little encroachment, not full penetration. Give it time indeed but they are already raping our privacy to the nth degree.....

      June 19, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Reply
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