Fox News commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano has found a novel approach to handling the whole drone surveillance dilemma that has Americans worried that the government will soon watch their every move from the sky.
Speaking out against the future of aerial eavesdropping in America, Judge Napolitano said on Fox on Tuesday, “The first American patriot that shoots down one of these drones that comes too close to his children in his backyard will be an American hero.”
Congress is currently working alongside defense contractors, the Federal Aviation Administration and local law enforcement agencies across the country, among others, to draft plans to put unmanned aerial aircraft into US sky in the near future. The FAA believes that, at this rate, 30,000 small, remote-controlled drones could be above the homes of every American.
Even just recently, higher ups within the US Air Force admitted that drones might collect imagery that “may incidentally include US persons or private property without consent.” Local law enforcement agencies already have drones at their disposal ready to be used as soon as Congress and the FAA can figure out how to use the crafts without disrupting air traffic.
Judge Napolitano warns that, even if it sounds like an impossible science fiction fantasy gone awry, Americans should be more than just a bit weary. If the past is any precedent, it wouldn’t be above Congress to have the crafts licensed and launched at any moment.
“The same Congress that let the president bomb Libya is going to let his Air Force spy in our backyards and like potted plants, they’ll look the other way.” Judge Napolitano said this week.
“The Third Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, the Fifth Amendment and the Ninth Amendment were written to guarantee us the right to be left alone … Suddenly the government, silently, from 30, 000 feet above is violating those amendments.”
In recent weeks, we’ve reported at RT on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and now CISPA — the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. In each one of these cases, the federal government has circumvented the American public’s concerns over civil liberties. Now while CISPA still awaits further congressional voting and perhaps an eventual approval from the president himself, another hotbed issue involving the civil liberties of each and every American is on the table. Even if the next major threat to civil liberties isn’t just on Capitol Hill — but thousands of feet off the ground — Judge Napolitano said this week any American that takes up arms to attack drones is an alright person in his book.
Those are the only people on the planet that should be worried, either. Aside from the continuous deployment of combat drones across the world, surveillance crafts are now making their way north of the border into Canada too.
"The very same drone that was staking out a nest of insurgents and possibly shooting them could be deployed in New York for surveillance,” Ryan Calo, a researcher at Stanford Law School, tells the Wall Street Journal.
Or, in the judge’s words, right in — or over — your backyard.