August 25, 2003

An Unblinking Eye, or the Eye of Sauron?

(The Eye of the Homeland, coming to a neighborhood near you...) The military has promised us that the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in a "battlespace" gives friendly forces an unblinking eye with which to constantly survey events on the ground and gater intelligence. Of course there's no reason that the same technology can't be hovering above U.S. airpace as well, is there? Well...the only reason is that the FAA, up until now, has been worried about dozens of UAVs in the air colliding with civillian aircraft that ARE manned, sometimes with hundreds of people. But this articles from the New Scientist reports that, "The US Air Force's Global Hawk became the first pilotless aeroplane to be given permission to fly routinely in civilian airspace on Thursday. The article continues, "The US Federal Aviation Administration issued the USAF and Northrop Grumman, who make the jet plane, a certificate of authorisation (COA) allowing the RQ-4 Global Hawk to enter national airspace with almost as much ease as a piloted plane." More on this story with my full report on UAVs and the transformation of the American military. The key point, of course, is that this is not just a development with military implications. It represents the militarization of American society. The War on Terror is constant, as it's been sold to the public. And thus, our vigilance must be constant. Welcome to the surveillance society.


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