Police Drones and the Supreme Court Web Cases End-shutdown

In the skies over Chula Vista, California, where the police department runs a drone program 10 hours a day, seven days a week, it’s not uncommon to see an unmanned aerial vehicle taking to the skies.

Chula Vista is one of a dozen departments in the US that operate what are called first responder drone programs, where pilots send out the drones, which listen to live 911 calls and often arrive first. to the accident scenes. Emergencies and crimes, cameras in tow.

But many argue that the adoption of drones by law enforcement is happening too fast. The use of drones as surveillance tools and first responders is a fundamental change in surveillance, without an informed public debate about regulations, tactics and privacy limits. There is also little evidence available of its effectiveness, with scant evidence that drone surveillance reduces crime.

Now Chula Vista is being sued for publishing drone footage, illustrating how privacy and civil liberties groups are increasingly concerned that the technology will dramatically expand surveillance capabilities and lead to even more police interactions with demographics that have historically suffered from excessive surveillance. Read the full story.

—Patricio Sisson

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All eyes were on the US Supreme Court last week as it weighed arguments in two cases involving recommendation algorithms and content moderation, both fundamental parts of how the Internet works. While we won’t get a decision on either case for a few months, when we do, it could be a big deal.

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