2013-08-29 / Front Page

Predator drone flights continuing over fire

A Predator drone will continue to loiter over the Rim Fire, "providing realtime visual and infrared intelligence." Click here to weigh in on the debate over using the military system over homes, businesses and ranchland in the U.S. 

In 2008, the U.S. Forest Service disclosed that hard-to-detect, glider-like drones were being used to locate marijuana grows on Forest Service land.

Earlier this year, a UC Merced researcher told the San Francisco Chronicle about his drone flights over California's Central Valley and Sierra foothills.

"This is for professionals," professor Yang Quan Chen said in the interview. "For well-trained people... with full awareness of privacy concerns."

While law-enforcement and other advocates say drones make citizens safer, some have raised privacy concerns about the aircrafts' use.

What do you think? Weigh in on the debate by adding a comment below. 

Predator drones have flown at least two, 20-plus hour missions over the Yosemite region since 2006. The use of the reconaissance and weapon system over civilian areas of the U.S. has drawn some criticism from privacy advocates. Photo: U.S. Air Force/Lt. Col. Leslie PrattPredator drones have flown at least two, 20-plus hour missions over the Yosemite region since 2006. The use of the reconaissance and weapon system over civilian areas of the U.S. has drawn some criticism from privacy advocates. Photo: U.S. Air Force/Lt. Col. Leslie Pratt

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I don't care, I have nothing

I don't care, I have nothing to hide, they can use what ever they want.

Using the drones for this

Using the drones for this life/property saving venture is well within the law and does not have any privacy concerns for us. It is the same as having an aircraft fly over the area except the drone does not endanger anyone's life during the flight. The drone also provides a HIGH degree of technical advantage over a person's 'eyeballs'.

Just as the Government

Just as the Government promised that Social security number will never be used as ID, just as the Government said gathering phone information, recording conversations, and recording Internet use would only be done with a warrant, and the list can go on.....it is not if they will abuse it, it is when they will abuse it. Mark my words that day will come.

More of our freedoms eroding

More of our freedoms eroding away. If it were only benevolent I would not have a problem. Just don't trust the government.

As with any technology it can

As with any technology it can and will be used for illicit purposes but that should not limit the beneficial uses as a result. Monitoring the rim fire and busting illegal pot grows is a good application of this technology. I have no problem with using the drones in this capacity.

If your not doing anything

If your not doing anything wrong what's the problem.

Good use of this wonderful

Good use of this wonderful new tool. I think that the purposes of the uses mentioned is very appropriate. Fire suppression and law enforcement are two areas that need public support and focus.

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