Houston, TX police didn’t know that KPRC television cameras were watching when they convened a group of law enforcement and Homeland Security officials to launch an unmanned drone spy plane. When they did realize the media was present, officials threatened to have the Federal Aviation Administration charge the KPRC helicopter pilot with violation of restricted air space. Unfortunately for the secrecy-seeking tyrant-wannabes, the FAA insisted there were no air space restrictions in the area.
How will local law enforcement use drone technology, which was developed for spying on and killing terrorists? Houston Police Department (HPD) spokesman Martha Montalvo admits that this technology makes covert police activity possible. “I’m not ruling anything out,” she notes at a hastily-convened press conference.
According to this report, HPD officials “will tackle privacy and illegal search issues later.” But this isn’t Afghanistan or Pakistan, it’s still the United States of America. We are governed by our Constitution, which guarantees freedom from unreasonable search and seizure in the Fourth Amendment: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…”
Shouldn’t privacy and illegal searches be among the first issues we consider?