U.S. Congress debates spy in the sky drones

July 21, 2012 - 16:2
The U.S. Congress has started a debate over the proposal to send thousands of surveillance drones into the sky in the United States.
Republican and Democratic congressmen told the House of Representatives on Thursday and Friday that that they're concerned about potential privacy and security threats as the use of unmanned aircraft becomes extensive.
The Federal Aviation Administration has estimated that about 10,000 civilian drones will be flying in the United States for surveillance purposes by 2017.
“When we see a drone in the air, it should be no surprise to us. Now is the time to start, not 2015,” Congressman Ted Poe, a Texas Republican and former judge, said on Friday.
“With the increased technology of surveillance, Congress [must] be proactive in limiting drone use to law enforcement, and also protecting civilians from the private use of drones,” he added.
The chairman of a House Homeland Security subcommittee, Republican Michael McCaul, said on Thursday that no federal agency was ready to deal with the issue of drones and privacy.
He told the House that Department of Homeland Security officials declined a request to testify at the hearings, saying regulating civilian use of unmanned aerial vehicles wasn't the department's responsibility.
"This is an evolving field and we have thousands of these things that could be deployed in the sky," McCaul said.
"I think it's incumbent on the Department of Homeland Security to come up with a policy… Local law enforcement does need that guidance," he stated.
(Source: Press TV)