Baltimore: No drone zone?

August 07, 2012

Any American who believes putting drones into the hands of the police is a good idea must be out of their minds ("Drones tested for increased domestic use," Aug. 6). Before a municipality buys its first drone, citizens need to take a long, hard look at privacy and safety issues.

Of course, the Department of Homeland Security is pushing this technology, and aerospace manufacturers salivate in anticipation of a fabulous new market. Unfortunately, Congress has recently passed a law requiring the FAA to show leniency for drones — clearly a decision bereft of concern for our privacy and safety.

It might interest folks to learn that Buffalo, N.Y., has gone on record as being the first American city attempting to ban drones. I'd like to see Baltimore become the second. Here is a cause Occupy Baltimore should sink its teeth into.

The goody-two-shoes of Homeland Security can praise the equipment, but I don't think the American people will be gullible. Sadly, this technology has taken off (no pun intended) with little or no fanfare. We frequently find out about drone killings in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere, but U.S. citizens are blithely uninformed on ways it could be used against us here at home.

It's about time Americans take notice. I don't want to spend my future watching the skies, nor should anyone else. Let's declare America's cities "no drone zones!"

Roz Heid, Baltimore

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