– “Seattle police plan to deploy spy drones”
“The rainy skies of Seattle are likely to soon be a whole lot drearier. The FAA has approved the local police department to start using surveillance drones for law enforcement, but protesters are making it clear that they’re willing to put up a fight.
The Seattle Police Department displayed a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on Thursday [Oct. 25, 2012] that they intend on using soon to monitor criminal activity across the city, but opponents of drone use came out in droves to protest the proposed plans.
The SPD is one of only law enforcement agencies given the go-ahead by the Federal Administration Agency to show officers the ins-and-outs of UAVs, and the department hopes that soon they will be able to save lives and make the city more secure by actually deploying drones across town,” quoting Reuters.
Ed. Note: With surveillance cameras now in Yelm, can this city be far behind the neighbor to the north?
– “Black boxes in cars raise privacy concerns”
“Many motorists don’t know it, but it’s likely that every time they get behind the wheel, there’s a snitch along for the ride.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Friday proposed long-delayed regulations requiring auto manufacturers to include event data recordersbetter known as “black boxes”in all new cars and light trucks beginning Sept. 1, 2014. But the agency is behind the curve. Automakers have been quietly tucking the devices, which automatically record the actions of drivers and the responses of their vehicles in a continuous information loop, into most new cars for years.
When a car is involved in a crash or when its airbags deploy, inputs from the vehicle’s sensors during the 5 to 10 seconds before impact are automatically preserved. That’s usually enough to record things like how fast the car was traveling and whether the driver applied the brake, was steering erratically or had a seat belt on.
The idea is to gather information that can help investigators determine the causes of accidents and lead to safer vehicles. But privacy advocates say government regulators and automakers are spreading an intrusive technology without first putting in place policies to prevent misuse of the information collected.
Data collected by the recorders is increasingly showing up in lawsuits, criminal cases and high-profile accidents,” quoting Joan Lowy for the Associated Press.