Miami Police Buy Spy Drone

Some residents have privacy concerns
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2011 11:15 AM CST

(Newser) – Soon, America’s fearsome spy drones will prowl the sky in Kandahar, Waziristan, and … South Beach? The Miami-Dade Police Department has struck a deal to buy a drone, WSN-TV reports. Many residents aren’t particularly happy about this, but police are eager to have “an eye up there,” the police director said. “Not a spying eye,” he added. “A surveilling eye to help us do the things we need to do, honestly, to keep people safe.”

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The Florida ACLU says it’s okay with the 20-pound drone, which can fly for 40 minutes at heights of up to 10,500 feet, as long as there are strict rules governing its usage. “Every new technology also has within it the capacity to threaten people’s privacy,” the executive director said. Honeywell, the firm selling the drone, has applied to the FAA for clearance to fly the drone in urban areas, something that’s never been allowed before. (Read more spy drones stories.)

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