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FBI Chief: We Use Surveillance Drones in US
But Robert Mueller insists the agency does so rarely
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2013 3:22 PM CDT
FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – FBI chief Robert Mueller's testimony on Capitol Hill today is drawing headlines mostly for his acknowledgement that the agency uses drones for surveillance on US soil. Mueller, however, emphasized that the practice is rare, reports the Hill. "Our footprint is very small," he told senators. "We have very few." Notably, he got pressed on related privacy concerns by Dianne Feinstein, who recently defended the government's data mining practices, reports the Huffington Post.

"I think the greatest threat to the privacy of Americans is the drone, and the use of the drone and the very few regulations that are on it today, and the booming industry of commercial drones," she said. So what's the FBI doing to safeguard privacy? "We are in the initial stages of doing that," responded Mueller, who said the use of drones was "narrowly focused on particular cases and needs," reports USA Today. The Wall Street Journal has a concrete example of one such use: The FBI used drones to scope out the area during a hostage standoff in Alabama earlier this year.

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Showing 3 of 54 comments
KDickley
Jun 25, 2013 1:12 PM CDT
And we can believe the well informed FBI Chief Mueller. He testified he doesn't know who is in charge of leading the investigation of the IRS abuse,etc. He basically wasn't informed about anything and he's leading the FBI? Scary. It seems nobody in Oblabla's administration knows any facts that might damage their reputation.
KennyLLC
Jun 21, 2013 8:56 PM CDT
Yet another intelligence leak. Boy, the Justice Dept' is gonna have a lot of spies to kill off before this thing is all over.
Wrongdirection
Jun 20, 2013 3:01 PM CDT
"BREAKING NEWS" This Just In.. Evidences of the FBI threating families of the FAA to Conspire or else! Investigations of the FAA were fausified on several private aircraft crashes in 2012-13, The downings were the result of the armed and unarmed Drones belonging to the FBI and or NSA. Search your web for "Private small aircraft crashes for 2012-13 in the US and offshore!"