Terrifying New Weapons Police Are Using To Crush Protests

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The future of police technology has arrived, and it’s stranger and more terrifying than we could’ve possibly imagined.

Conspiracy theorists’ worst fears were confirmed last month when the New York Post reported that the NYPD now maintains an undisclosed number of unmarked, military-grade vans with X-ray radiation, capable of scanning the public and looking through building and vehicle walls.

This technology, called the “Z Backscatter” van, was used by the military in Afghanistan and costs somewhere between $729,000 and $825,000.
However, there’s no way we can know for sure what these futuristic vans are capable of, including potential health impacts due to radiation exposure, because the NYPD refuses to talk about them. The NYPD’s insistence on complete, blanketing secrecy is part of a growing trend within the surveillance state that civil rights advocates have been fighting for decades.

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The Backscatter vans are only the beginning. Police departments around the nation have deployed a whole host of new devices, from laser light guns to facial recognition scanners. Here’s what’s being used by police right now:

Pain Ray Cannon (Active Denial System)

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What began in the early days of the Bush Administration as a way to quell Iraq war-era uprisings could soon end up at local police departments.
The pain ray cannon, or “Active Denial System,” (ADS) as the police call it, is the latest form of military-grade crowd control. The weapon uses microwave beams to heat up the water and fat molecules in a person’s skin, effectively heating the person up until they run away.

Though “less-than-lethal,” its effects are anything but enjoyable. According to people who have had the pain ray tested on them, “it feels like someone opened an invisible door to a blast furnace in front of them, or that their skin was being scorched all over instantly. During protest situations, an ADS could be swept across large groups of people at a closer range than originally intended. The systems could be used to deter a crowd from a single area or to incapacitate drivers. If left unchecked, the pain ray cannon could allow for some pretty repulsive human rights violations.

LRAD Sound Cannons

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Instead of tear gas and batons, departments have taken to using Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRADs), to transmit a super-loud high-pitched scream into crowds. The sound is literally too painful to be around and is intended to “shape the behavior of potential threats”
Police Departments from New York City to Toronto to Ferguson, Missouri are using LRADs indiscriminately on protesters, causing excruciating pain to anyone within range.

This is not a precision tool,” said Gideon Oliver, a lawyers who wrote to NYPD Commissioner Bratton. “This is an area-of-effect weapon. When the police use it, it’s not as if they’re just targeting one person. It’s indiscriminate like teargas.”

Facial Recognition Software

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With secrecy and deception clouding any conversation about the militarized surveillance state, we can only assume that we are being recorded almost all the time, at least in urban areas. The market has more than tripled since 2008, with cameras being used more invasively every day.

Just last year the Boston Police Department was caught testing out its facial recognition technology on attendees of Boston Calling music festival without their knowledge. Data on each individual’s build, clothes and skin color was captured on thousands of people.

The ACLU claims police departments are also attempting to gain access to private security cameras in order to expand their surveillance reach without having to install new cameras of their own.

HD Camera Drones

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Even more aggressive than thousands of surveillance cameras on every street corner is police reconnaissance from the sky. Several police departments have deployed aircrafts with high-resolution cameras and software that can identify and track people over long distances. FBI versions of these planes include technology that may be able to capture private data from cellphones as they track someone, according to the Associated Press.

Concerns have been raised regarding use of this technology for police surveillance, including protection from “unreasonable search and seizure.” The U.S. Department of Justice released its own guidelines on the matter in May, barring federal law enforcement agencies from using drones to “monitor activity protected by the First Amendment”, such as peaceful protests.

Original Article: CS Globe

Pentagon Admission: It’s Been Deploying Military Drones to Spy on Americans

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Under a FOIA request, a Pentagon inspector general made public a report admitting to the use of drones to spy on U.S. citizens.The missions were non-military in nature, meaning they were used for domestic spying purposes. Naturally, the Pentagon is claiming it broke no laws in the deployment of said drones and contends that the flights were rare.

The idea of US military drones flying over the heads of US citizens and monitoring them is ominous, which explains why the Pentagon has kept it secret — despite the contention of breaking no laws.While the report on domestic drone use was completed in March of 2015, it was only quietly released last week.

According to USA Today’s report:

Shortly before the inspector general report was completed a year ago, the Pentagon issued a new policy governing the use of spy drones. It requires the defense secretary to approve all domestic spy drone operations. It says that unless permitted by law and approved by the secretary, drones “may not conduct surveillance on U.S. persons.” It also bans the use of armed drones over the United States for anything other training and testing.

The units who have been operating the drones stated to the inspector general they want to fly more missions domestically. “Multiple units told us that as forces using the UAS capabilities continue to draw down overseas, opportunities for UAS realistic training and use have decreased,”
However, drone usage overseas has not been reduced, and, in fact, their use has skyrocketed under the current administration. Just last year, the Pentagon announced that they had plans to sharply expand the number of U.S. drone flights over the next four years, giving military commanders access to more intelligence and greater firepower to keep up with a sprouting number of global hot spots.

Now, all the military has to do to fly weaponized drones over US citizens is say they are training.
The use of military gear on US citizens has sharply increased over the last decade as police departments have become heavily militarized with weapons once used on the battlefield. Now, instead of giving these weapons to police departments, the military seems to be conducting their own missions against US citizens.

Via TheRunDown Live

Police Start Pushing to Weaponize Domestic Drones

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Police are now voicing their concerns about domestic drone use — specifically, they want the option to be able to employ weaponized drones in the future, should the need arise.
As if police brutality and aggression weren’t already an epidemic in the United States, police departments in Connecticut oppose a bill to outlaw the weaponization of drones. The bill also addresses unmanned aerial vehicles fitted with cameras, and their potential to violate the privacy rights of individuals. But law enforcement departments in the state appear far more concerned with being deprived of the possibility of arming them with weapons, rather than cameras.

In 2015, North Dakota passed a law granting police the right to arm drones with “less than lethal” weaponry. Quietly slipping under the radar of the public and the media, the bill as originally written by its sponsor, Representative Rick Becker, banned all weapons on police drones — until a powerful police lobby had its way with the original draft. ‘less than lethal’ is quite a misnomer. Besides maiming and seriously injuring people, many of those options can also be fatal — particularly Tasers.

Police made the argument that armed drones in law enforcement could be an effective weapon for public safety.
We’ve had a report that somebody’s going to fly a drone into an airplane, into an engine, or it’s a weaponized drone,” Farmington Police Chief Paul Melanson said. “We’re concerned and we don’t have those answers yet.”

Joining the battle to prevent police spying by drone, the ACLU was slated to testify about the Connecticut bill on Tuesday. ACLU of Connecticut testified against allowing police to arm drones, saying it could open the door even more to excessive use of force.

Original Story: Here

Drone Laws to Require Owners To Buy Insurance, Get License Plates – Constant GPS Tracking

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*Seizing upon the opportunities of new technologies, It’s time for the government to restrict your use and access, While they have the ability to arm the same technology with weapons and riot control functions and use it against you.

Assemblyman Mike Gatto a California lawmaker introduced legislation this week that would require owners of drones to get insurance and license plates, similar to the requirements for motor vehicles. The bill is called the Drone Registration/Omnibus Negligence-prevention Enactment (DRONE) Act of 2016 and would tighten the restrictions on personal drones even further than they have been already. The bill has technical requirements as well and would require all personal drones to be tracked by GPS and an automatic shut off to prevent them from crossing paths with airplanes.

the FAA has recently begun to require owners of private drones to register with the government and pay a registration fee. To make matters worse, their personal information will be exposed in the process.

The privacy concerns surrounding drone registration has grown with the FAA’s admission that the registration information would be available to anyone with an Internet connection. This means that addresses and other sensitive personal information of drone owners would be publicly listed, creating an obvious safety hazard. The FAA says that the names and addresses would not be searchable; however, if you have the number to someone’s drone, you can easily pull up their address and other personal information.

The registration move was just the beginning of a slippery slope that will quickly bring far-reaching, local, state and federal restrictions on drone operators.

Via Activist Post

First US State Legalizes Weaponized Police Drones

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*One more victory for the Technocratic Police State that is developing and enveloping all around us. How long until this creeps into the “domestic Terrorism” surveillance realm? any bets?

Thanks to a last-minute push by a pro-police lobbyist, it is now legal for law enforcement in North Dakota to fly drones armed with ‘less lethal’ weapons such as rubber bullets, tear gas, tasers, sound cannons and pepper spray. State Rep. Rick Becker introduced H.B. 1328, the law both banned weaponized drones and established a procedure for law enforcement to seek a warrant before using drones in searches. Only the warrant requirement survived.

After the state officially signed Becker’s original bill into law back in April, the state house committee then allowed North Dakota Peace Officer’s Association lobbyist Bruce Burkett to amend HB 1328. Burkett’s amendment reversed the original bill’s course on outlawing the weaponization of drones, instead changing the bill’s language to allow drones to carry “less than lethal” weapons.

The American Civil Liberties Union argues that police drones are a new kind of threat to that compromise between security and liberty. The group supports laws to restrict law enforcement’s use of them, and makes a compelling case that absent such restraints the technology is fundamentally at odds with the Bill of Rights.

Law enforcement and their union lobbyists are assuring lawmakers that drones would only be used in non-criminal situations, like a missing person case or for photographing crime scenes. This begs the question of why they would need such ominous legislation if they say they’ll never use it?

“Less lethal weapons” can kill. At least 39 people have been killed by police Tasers in 2015 so far, according to The Guardian. Bean bags, rubber bullets, and flying tear gas canisters have also killed and maimed people in the U.S. and abroad.

Original Story Here

US Govt Wants to Increase Global Drone Flights to 30,000 by 2019

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The Pentagon announced plans this week to dramatically ramp up global drone operations over the next four years.
Daily drone flights will increase by 50% during this time, and will include lethal air strikes and surveillance missions to deal with the increase in global hot spots and crises, according to an unnamed (and unverified) senior defense official, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Capacity for lethal airstrikes — despite the U.S.’ existent infamous reputation in its massive current program — will increase still further through a joint effort by the Air Force, Army, and Special Operations Command. Ironically, this news comes on the heels of a report that — because of what amounts to sibling rivalry — around $500 million has been wasted in attempts to bring the Air Force and Army into a combined drone purchasing program of the same Predator drones whose flights are now to be increased.

According to the unnamed official, intelligence surveillance and collection will be broadened in Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, North Africa, and the South China Sea, among other locations.
Overall, daily drone flights have exponentially increased over the past decade — from about five in 2004 to 61 today, and a goal of around 90 by 2019. That would amount to 32,850 a year if the goal is met. The latest expansion is the largest since 2011.

Part of the reason for expansion is the current use of military drone flights on behalf of the CIA — as many as 22 of the 61 daily flights are committed to CIA surveillance missions. Using military personnel, the agency essentially directs the missions and benefits from the surveillance, and though the military can use the agency’s information, it isn’t in command of those flights and thus loses that capacity while they are deployed that way.

Nearly 5,500 people have been killed in U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Afghanistan, alone — of which nearly 1,100 were civilian casualties, including over 200 children, according to the Bureau for Investigative Journalism. Now, there is no way to avoid an increase in the number of civilians who pay with their lives for being in the wrong place when the U.S. feels the need to carry out more strikes.

Via The AntiMedia