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Hr 658: FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011, Use of drones on US Citizens

In Farmers, Government on February 14, 2012 at 8:08 AM

Voting for HR 658 in Tennessee

Aye TN-1 Roe, Phil [R]
Aye TN-2 Duncan, John [R]
Aye TN-3 Fleischmann, Chuck [R]
Aye TN-4 DesJarlais, Scott [R]
No TN-5 Cooper, Jim [D]
Aye TN-6 Black, Diane [R]
Aye TN-7 Blackburn, Marsha [R]
Aye TN-8 Fincher, Stephen [R]
No TN-9 Cohen, Steve [D]

Every single Republican in congress in our state has voted “yes” to this horrendous bill! HR 658! Giving the US the authority to fly 30,000 drones around the US!

They will be able to monitor every level of activity you will ever perform! 50 states and 30,000 drones that is 600 per state! Big states not as much coverage, small states that’s a drone just about for every 1 to 2 counties! Are you kidding me? 2 drones per county in states like Tennessee?

Think of the surveillance one of those suckers could reign down on the average citizen! The average flight time of one of them is around 50 hours! 2 days straight! 600 hundred drones per state, 50 hours per flight! That’s 30,000 hours of surveillance every two days, almost 600 surveillance hours per hour!

Why? Why must Our government be able to survey your private property 600 hours every hour that you exist? What information is so valuable that we must be watched this much! That little outhouse or storage building that you didn’t get that permit for? That garden that didn’t get the ok to sell those veggies at the end of your drive? For Gods sake this is what we used to kill Osama Bin Laden! Are we going to have them used against us when the stuff hits the fan?

Why did Comgressman Fleischmann and Dejarlais vote for this bill that will complement NDAA? What? Huh? NDAA? Yes! Perhaps this bill just passed while you were sleeping has a higher motive? Do we quietly stand by as our Congressmen lie to us once again and tell you this is a good thing? Do we turn our heads as we are once again held to someone else’s standard of what it means to be American? Do I wait for the rest of the world to say that we voted partisan to better protect you?

In Europe, the drones flying just got the ok to asssist the regulatory agencies to monitor farmers and their crops from abuses such as having hay stored openly on their property to feed the cattle and to keep track of the cattle! You know the US says now you must have your hay stored in bins to cut down on methane exposure!

Why must we watch as our government plots out your property with multiple thousands of hours of surveillance a day? What is it that is so interesting that must be recorded!! What is so divisive that HR 658 split right down party lines? I know some people will say, why are you getting so worked up over a little drone flying around your house? It is only the beginning folks, it’s one more freedom, one more liberty given away! It’s one more thing the government must do to a free society that takes it one step closer to not being a free society! I’m looking down the road a bit! That’s why it bugs me and if America continues to sleep and remain passive on these things, the America we know now in a few years we will not be able to recognize her! That’s why!

The deeper reason is the further eroding of your property rights! The continuous watching of big brother over your property to make sure you comply! A sad day indeed!

God forbid we continue to accept this behavior from our elected officials!


The FAA is also required under the bill to provide military, commercial and privately-owned drones with expanded access to U.S. airspace currently reserved for manned aircraft by Sept. 30, 2015. That means permitting unmanned drones controlled by remote operators on the ground to fly in the same airspace as airliners, cargo planes, business jets and private aircraft.

Currently, the FAA restricts drone use primarily to segregated blocks of military airspace, border patrols and about 300 public agencies and their private partners. Those public agencies are mainly restricted to flying small unmanned aircraft at low altitudes away from airports and urban centers.

Within nine months of the bill’s passage, the FAA is required to submit a plan on how to safely provide drones with expanded access.

If you decide to get a little sideways give your elected officials a respectful call and say very calmly! STOP THE MADNESS!!!


In Farmers on February 12, 2012 at 1:23 PM

In what started as a tool of war, drones are now being authorized to be used on US Citizens and monitor your daily activity!

Congress just approved the use of drones to fly high above the clouds, unmanned, undetected and simply taking pictures and video of you and your activity!

Where is the outrage? This is happening so rapidly that now we are becoming accepting of this type activity because I feel we are resigned to the fact that it will happen regardless!

This is a very dangerous way to deal with this behavior. Being passive in light of our liberties being stripped away will definitely assure our liberties will be taken from us without a fight!

Source: The Blaze

While the U.S. Congress approved a bill this week that would open airspace to drones, the European Union is already a few steps ahead and considering the use of these unmanned aerial vehicles to enforce its own regulations.

(Related: Report: Predator drones being used on U.S. citizens in America)

Popular Science reports that officials in the EU are looking to drones to police the skies over agricultural land to ensure farms aren’t cheating subsidies or violating rules within the Common Agriculture Policy:

Farm subsidies in the EU cost taxpayers billions of euros each year, and so it’s naturally in the best interests of regulators to maintain tight oversight over who gets how much. For years now, regulators have relied on satellite imagery to help them keep an eye on those claiming subsidies, photographing farmland from above and looking for the telltale signs of subsidy cheats or breaches of environmental rules. But satellite images are unreliable. In some places, mountainous terrain makes for long shadows that obscure features on the ground. In places like Scotland, it’s overcast all the time.
BBC has more details on the issue with satellites that make drones an attractive option:

Many things in the countryside are constantly changing and when the satellite passes over, “the animals may be in a field or in a barn — you can’t count the numbers very well”, says Roland Randall, an English farmer and environmental researcher in Cambridgeshire.
“When planners looked at the aerial photo records of our farm they thought we had an additional building without permission, but it was actually a haystack,” he told the BBC.

There have been few prosecutions in the UK based on satellite evidence, says Ray Purdy, a senior law researcher at University College London (UCL) specialising in satellite monitoring.
One case in the UK was dropped in 2001 because a farmer proved that he had planted a linseed crop, even though the satellite image appeared to show bare earth. The sparse young plants had failed to show up against the bright reflection off chalk downland.

With drones, many of these issues would be cast aside. Drones can fly below cloud level and can capture more detailed pictures to be coupled with satellite images. BBC reports that use of the drones for this purpose is currently in its trial stage in France and Italy.

The EU isn’t just considering drones for farmland monitoring though. Other proposed uses, according to BBC, include map making, transportation of goods, border monitoring and more.

As Popular Science notes, it is becoming continually apparent that UAVs aren’t just for warfare anymore. The U.S. is already using or considering to use drones for things like border patrol and surveillance in New York City. In one case, a civilian powered drone recently spotted a violation from a meat packing plant dumping animal products into a Texas river.

Just this week Congress approved a bill that would not only speed up the adoption of GPS technology over radar systems in U.S. aircraft, but also will require the Federal Aviation Administration to open up the sky to military, commercial and privately-owned drones within the next four years. U.S. airspace is currently reserved for manned aircraft. There is an exception for drone use in segregated blocks of military airspace, border patrols and for about 300 public agencies and their private partners. Those public agencies are mainly restricted to flying small unmanned aircraft at low altitudes away from airports and urban centers.

Within nine months of the bill’s passage, the FAA is required to submit a plan on how to safely provide drones with expanded access.

Privacy advocacy groups in the U.S. and Europe have concerns over the use of drones as a policing method, when they were once only used in war zones. BBC reports that some are calling for more discussion on the privacy implications whereas others are rather accepting of the technology:

Ben Hayes of the campaign group Statewatch worries that Europe is rushing into the use of drones without sufficient public discussion.
“We would accept the argument that there are lots of things they can be useful for, but … the questions about what is acceptable and how people feel about drones hovering over their farmland or their demonstration — these debates are not taking place,” he says.

Rob Allan, a farmer in Warwickshire, said “it’s modern life really — I don‘t think there’s anything you can do about it”.
In the U.S., groups like the American Civil Liberties Union have voiced concerns over the Congress-approved bill for drone use, asking the government to consider the privacy issues more closely. The ACLU wrote in a statement: “We don’t want to wonder, every time we step out our front door, whether some eye in the sky is watching our every move.”

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