Drones flying over the UK

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by RhodieBKK, Jan 25, 2010.

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  1. CCTV in the sky: police plan to use military-style spy drones,
    from the Grauniad on Saturday - so maybe not everyone saw this.

    Is this yet a step further into the Big Brother state,
    or, a useful security tool?
  2. If you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear..........
  3. Maybe its public spirited.. freeing up helicopters for use elsewhere. I know they would be buggerall use, but in the wacky Brownian world we are cursed to live in that wont matter. Its a helicopter
  4. Yes indeed.

  5. Good point CQMS. In general I support the 'If you've done nothing wrong.......' line, but I am getting a bit fed up of the Govt watching everything I do. Soon they will be watching you crap to make sure that yor turds are the right size for the sewer.
  6. The problem being that the definition of "wrong" seems to change every day.

    I install CCTV for a living and am usually a supporter but even I think that this is a step too far.

    During the Olympics when there may a specific target or to monitor coastlines, high risk targets etc then yes, but as part of the daily CCTV operations? Noooo.

    At least with static CCTV you can see it, know where it is (although may be surprised at just how far they can see) and at least have a clue as to which cameras may have recorded you should you need to ask for footage, but a military drone operating at 20,000 feet totally invisible to the naked eye is just too much.

    Interesting to see how they will get around the RIPA regs, how are they going to specify a target when the equipment has the ability to look at whatever and whoever it wants wherever it wants.

    I can see it now, armed response turning up because you are plinking in the back garden with an air rifle, Domestic Violence Units turning up because your kids are play fighting, Council Stasi fining you for chucking grass cuttings into that skip at the end of the road.

    Fixed cameras get abused by their operators far too often, this would have the capability to really take the p1ss.
  7. old_fat_and_hairy

    old_fat_and_hairy LE Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    Initially I thought this was yet another thread about government cronies and free flights.

    However, although I can understand the 'if you have done nothing wrong.............) school of thought, with the preponderance of new and ever more ridiculous laws that this government, and the EU have inflicted on us, how does one know if one has done anything wrong? There could be some new piece of legislation on rubbish ( or domestic recycling) that the relevant councils have not seen fit to make public, yet are content to use anti-terror legislation to enforce.
    The KGB and STASI would be so envious of this country. We are more spyed on and monitored than any previously communist or fascistic state. Just about every thought, word and deed is monotored, recorded and stored. And I do not think that is a healthy way to run a democracy!
  8. Good comment on the Link


    I hope they fly them low enough for me to take potshots at them with my air rifle or potato cannon.
  9. personally I'd love it it they replaced the police helicopter with a decent drone be a dam sight less nosiy :D
    but something like a predator would be needed probably out of the budget.
    I know little about drones but I doubt something that can stay reliably up for several hours and fly around sussex taking decent pics is cheap enough to be an option yet
  10. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    I think it will never happen. UK airspace is very busy and un-manned drones are an accident waiting to happen.
  11. Operating UAVs in UK airspace is a very complicated subject; anyone who tells you different usually has some variety of snake oil they wish you to invest in. The problems are not technical, rather they are legislative, legal and financial.

    It all revolves around liability. If a manned ac stuffs in then responsibilities, liabilities and so on are very clear and backed up with a century or so of experience. The tendency to date has been to demand "equivalence" from uninhabited systems, and this can eliminate any potential cost savings. For instance, if your light ac sized camera platform needs a pilot to sit in a cabin on the ground it is often cheaper to just put him in a light ac. See "optionally manned" platforms for an emerging trend.

    Note that the equation changes in, say, AFG. If we dump a drone on someone's head then who cares, no-one gets into trouble. Do exactly the same in the UK and you'll be in court.

    So whether or not plod can use these things will depend on convincing EASA (not just the CAA), legal counsel and the insurance industry that they are just as safe as manned ac. It's been 5 years away for a long, long time.
  12. Picture the scene:-

    It's December 2010. We still haven't had the election due to the 'state of emergency' caused by toffs and bankers.

    You're driving to the shops on a Sunday morning to buy the papers - Morning Star, Gay News and Marxism Today is all that's available since Gordon was hospitalised and Harriet became PM.

    You're having a fly fag in clear contravention of the smoking ban that has been extended to all enclosed spaces.

    Suddenly, an indicator lights up on the dashboard. It's an outline of a car with a large 'X' through it. You've never seen this indicator before so you rummage in the glove compartment for the owners manual and look it up.

    'Hellfire air-to-ground missile radar lock warning'.

    'WTF?' you exclaim as you see a flash in your rear view mirror ........
  13. Well if it's fired by our Apaches they'll either miss or hit the wrong target!
  14. The next person to claim that if I have nothing to hid I'll have nothing to fear can start fearing my reaction.

    It's that kind of unthinking, uncritical nonsense which has lead this country to sleep walk into a world where people are arrested for peacefully protesting outside Parliament, the police think it's legitimate to stop people taking photographs on the streets of London, it's seriously suggested that the Government should record the DNA of everyone who lives here, and somehow that we should keep people in prison for up to 42 days without charge.

    I cannot begin to describe how angry I feel that people in this country, whose ancestors fought to overthrow the rule of an absolutist monarch, who fought for the fundamentals of liberty like habeas corpus, jury trial and no taxation without representation (we did it before the Yanks) are content to piss these things away so long as they continue to have flat screen TVs, Sky Plus and all the Cheryl Cole you can watch.