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12. Re: Morning Legal Briefs Feb 15, 2013, 11:14 Creston
These aren't military drones controlled from 3000 miles away that can fly for 500 miles. These are tiny little things with a super-small control radius that can fly for a short period of time before recharging. They're really not much better than the kind of RC helicopter you can buy at Amazon.

The tiny drone, which was displayed at the hearing and fits disassembled into a small suitcase, can fly for up to 24 minutes at a height of 400 feet and only has a maximum radius of a quarter-mile from the operator. Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahearn argued that the drones will be used primarily for search and rescue operations.

If the Sheriff's dept (or whomever, really) wants to blanket an area with this, they basically need to put a trained police officer with equipment every quarter mile. A careful estimate I made without really doing any math whatsoever means that if they wanted to use this for general surveillance across the US, it means they need approximately 945 trillion trained operators. And every one of them needs about 12 drones in order to be able to keep a drone in the air at all times.

If this were used for specific purposes, such as to hunt someone down, or to monitor specific issues, I wouldn't really have a huge issue with it. I'd rather they fly a drone in the air than a helicopter. But of course, it's the government, so they'd find some kind of bullshit to do with it in no time flat.

Ted Poe has been trying to block this, apparently, but seems to get little traction with the dipshits representatives in Washington.

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