Border Patrol Set to Weaponize Drones
When Customs and Border Protection (CPB) first got its drones, the rationale for the acquisition was that the unmanned aircraft would help improve monitoring and surveillance along the U.S.-Mexico border.
But now, CPB may be thinking about arming its Predator drones with “non-lethal weapons.”
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) obtained a report produced by CPB in 2010 that shows the agency has considered equipping its Predators with “non-lethal weapons designed to immobilize” targets of interest. Given the date of the report, it is possible that the weaponization has already taken place.
Predators were first developed for the U.S. military in the 1990s, and are designed to fire missiles, such as the Hellfire. It is unclear at this time what kind of weaponization CPB has in mind for the drones.
Whatever their plans are, “CBP needs to assure the public that it will not equip its Predators with any weapons—lethal or otherwise,” wrote EFF’s Jennifer Lynch. If it doesn’t, Congress should halt the expansion of CBP’s Predator drone program, EFF argues.
To Learn More:
The Border Patrol Wants to Arm Drones (by Philip Bump, Atlantic Wire)
Customs & Border Protection Considered Weaponizing Drones (by Jennifer Lynch, Electronic Frontier Foundation)
Customs & Border Protection Logged Eight-Fold Increase in Drone Surveillance for Other Agencies (by Jennifer Lynch, Electronic Frontier Foundation)
Border Patrol Using Drones to Battle Marijuana Trade (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
- Top Stories
- Unusual News
- Where is the Money Going?
- U.S. and the World
- Appointments and Resignations
- Latest News
- Antiquated Computers Run U.S. Government, Including Emergency Nuclear Force Messaging on 1970s-Era Floppy Discs
- Federal Judge Issues Unusual Ruling Calling for Probation Instead of Prison in Drug Case, Citing Post-Conviction Consequences
- Big Oil Shareholders Reveal Support for Environmental Proposals, Even as They Reject Them
- Female CEOs Earn more than Males, but Make Up Only 5% of Executive Leaders
- Senate Bill Would Require Presidential Candidates to Release Tax Returns