Border Patrol Set to Weaponize Drones

Sunday, July 07, 2013
CBP Predator Drone (photo: John Moore, Getty)

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.

-Noel Brinkerhoff

 

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)

Comments

Now The Truth 1 year ago
Well, get ready for them to use your cellphone's signal as a homing signal so, the drone will have pinpoint accuracy! When they track you. Everyone that carries a cellphone is carrying a big bulls eye on themselves! Verizon is more than willing to make sure they can't miss you!
Annoyed 1 year ago
"Given the date of the report, it is possible that the weaponization has already taken place." A whole article on an article written in 2010 and not a shred of concrete evidence. WOW!!!

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