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4. Re: Morning Legal Briefs Feb 15, 2013, 10:20 Beamer
I have no problem with sending a thermal drone into the mountains to find an armed and dangerous fugitive that has already killed.

Permanent drones flying over our homes? Don't see it happening:
1) What's the real advantage here? You'd have to have someone manning them, as it would be decades before we had AI smart enough to actually identify a crime. Decades, maybe centuries. So the amount of manpower needed is astronomical

2) On top of that, you can't use much of the technology. Cops have tried all kinds of crazy methods to see into homes. While courts have repeatedly said that cops can use helicopters without a warrant, as it isn't terribly different than sitting in a car, courts have also repeatedly said cops can't enhance their senses without a warrant. They've tried using thermal imaging and sensing devices to check the heat in homes before. The lamps used to grow marijuana are hot, so it's easy to see if a home is using them. Courts wouldn't allow it. They wouldn't allow drones to do anything similar

3) The false hit rate would probably also be astronomical, also increasing costs

So at best you have an expensive device with a man sitting somewhere using it for hours on end. And you still need cops patrolling on the ground because even if this device spots something it can't do anything about it.
I don't see a huge advantage for cops. Yeah, overzealous Sheriff's officers think it would make their lives easier, but in practice I doubt that's all that true.

Of course, it not being practical, efficient, or overly feasible won't stop people from trying. That's what courts are for.
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