Monday, May 13, 2013

Alabama police look to drones to monitor college campus

From:  RT 

COMMENT -Let's as a question as we consider the article reposted from RT about using drones on campuses which throughout America are now struggling to survive financially.  

As cited, Alabama is passing legislation which would make the use of drones, as envisioned by the representative from Huntsville, illegal.  The technology is expensive.  Far cheaper to issue guns to students or faculty if concern over a mass killing event is real.  

The rhetoric used by the representative, Gary Maddux, the lead research director of Systems Management and Productions Center,sounds like he spent some quality time talking to a sales rep from a drone contractor, perhaps someone like Jack Douglas, a Senior Vice President of Green Hills Software, or even Craig Franklin or David Chandler.  

It is all about sales for them when other considerations should be paramount.  We were once people who understood our personal, individual obligation to do no harm.  

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International  has an About Us page, which I helpfully reproduced, in toto, below.  Reading it through takes only a moment.  

Do you notice anything here about ensuring the technology is not being used in ways which violates people's rights?  As they so eagerly, actually like rabbits stuck in breeding mode, roll their lower cost tools for fascist control out into the world, do they exhibit even a smidgin of concern about how their stock and trade is being used already?  

No, you don't.  An eerie silence fills that moral void.  There is also no mechanism for policing themselves because they see no point to any such consideration.  Empowered by the idea they, and their members, are invulnerable because of their so very corporate bulwarks and officious 'association,' they are filled with a sense of, how shall we say this?  Invulnerability, as if the specious concept of 'state sovereignty' also covered their sorry asses. So 'not true' it should send shivers up their kilts. 

If they took time to reference the original Nuremberg Trials, they would know  this.  

They clearly intend to provide the tools to survey us and police every part of our lives, while retaining the ability to blow inconvenient individuals, and those standing near them, to smithereens in the belief they are too, too, impervious to be touched. 

For them, more places to use drones is better because it burnishes their bottom line.  No other consideration matters.  Caught up in the oblivion of greed, they simply continue to feed. 

They live in a world where the assumption was people do not have to be told it is wrong to blow other people up.  We are learning this is not the case, in some part through understanding the neurobiology of the disordered. 

At the same time, their handy, dandy technology is now cojoined as an enforcement tool with the interest group with has proven, over and over again, their numbers include highly psychopathic individuals who think blowing up  innocent civilians is a good idea, as long as the money keeps flowing.  

Retribution can be slow, but it is none the less, sure. 

From the website of The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International

About Us

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International is the world's largest non-profit organization devoted exclusively to advancing the unmanned systems and robotics community. Serving more than 7,500 members from government organizations, industry and academia, AUVSI is committed to fostering, developing, and promoting unmanned systems and robotic technologies. AUVSI members support defense, civil and commercial sectors. 
Mission Statement
Advancing the unmanned systems and robotics community through education, advocacy and leadership.
Vision Statement
To improve humanity by enabling the global use of robotic technology in everyday lives.
AUVSI's Strategic Goals
  1. Inclusive Community – AUVSI will be an inclusive and accessible global organization encompassing the robotics/unmanned systems community.
  2. Global Focus – AUVSI will be the essential partner in the growth and reach of the global robotics/unmanned systems community.
  3. Education and Outreach - AUVSI will facilitate the expansion of robotics/unmanned systems knowledge and will promote educational opportunities.
  4. Knowledge Source – AUVSI will be the preferred robotics/unmanned systems knowledge source.
  5. Advocacy and Influence – There will be recognition of AUVSI by governments, industry and academia as a powerful advocate for robotics/unmanned systems.
  6. Member Services – AUVSI will provide value-added services to its current and potential membership.
as⋅so⋅ci⋅a⋅tion [uh-soh-see-ey-shuhn]

1. an organization of people with a common purpose and having a formal structure.
2. the act of associating or state of being associated.
3. friendship; companionship.
4. connection or combination.

And, finally,  our Article
 University of Alabama at Hunstville

Officials at an Alabama university have divulged a new plan to use unmanned aerial devices to help police monitor, and supposedly protect, students on campus.
Law enforcement officials unveiled the plan Wednesday at a press conference at the University of Alabama Huntsville, telling the Huntsville Times the aircraft would provide an “eye in the sky” that could help stop a mass shooting on campus. 
Gary Maddux, the lead research director of Systems Management and Productions Center, said that because the remote-controlled surveillance devices fly at a lower altitude than drones, they are totally unlike the controversial military aircraft. 
We just want to be able to make a difference and we want to make a difference quickly and come up with something to help law enforcement,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about – improving our response times so maybe we could mitigate the next tragedy that could occur.”
Maddux did not specify how the surveillance technology will prevent criminal activity or improve campus police response time. He did add, however, that the drones will “be incredibly useful and offer a wide range of possible applications.” 
The UAVs used over the University of Alabama Huntsville will be capable of using small spotlights or infrared cameras, along with video cameras. But being fitted with the extra technological perks doesn’t mean the police will use them, Maddux claimed. 
Obviously, we’re going to be very cognizant of any privacy issues for students,” he continued. “You can’t be flying your drone and look inside a dorm window. But you couldn’t do that if you were stationary or over in this building and had a line of sight to look in a dorm window. It’s the same basic rules.” 
He bristled when pressed on how the technology employed by the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) differs from the military drones that regularly complete secret bombing missions around the world. 
Obviously, the military has UAVs that fly longer, higher and farther,” he said. “Since we are research and the military has set of rules. If you are domestic and falling under what Federal Aviation Administration guidelines, you have to stay under 400 feet. As far as drone technology versus what we’re doing, I think it’s more syntax than anything.”
The plan seems to be in direct violation of a bill steadily making its way through the Alabama state legislature. The bill, proposed by a Huntsville lawmaker, would make it necessary for law enforcement to obtain a warrant in order to use a drone in order to prevent, in the words of one state senator, “unmanned drones just flying around looking for stuff.”

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