Posts Tagged ‘ACLU’

Several months ago, and again this past weekend, I engaged in discussions about drones, how they’re being used, what the potential for abuse might be, and how we go forward from here. The perspectives run the gamut from those who say “no drones, no way,” to those who say “drones okay, but unarmed only,” to others who feel that literally the sky’s the limit.

If you haven’t read it yet, Daniel Suarez’s book, Kill Decision, is not only an excellent story, it’s also a fascinating look at the potential future of drone technology.  The book tends toward the dystopian, but it may not be too far off in terms of its predictions about how drones are ultimately used in the future.

Daniel Suarez’s TED Talk from June 2013 on the topic of lethal autonomous drones

I personally have a complex position on drones. I love technology and feel that drones hold significant promise for so many fields, policing being just one. At the same time, however, the technology is outstripping society’s ability to understand and regulate its use. This would be especially true of the lethal autonomous drones that Suarez warns about in his novel and TED Talk.

The ACLU has also raised concerns related to the privacy implications of drone use by the police. For this reason, some communities, such as Seattle, have declared a moratorium on drone use by police, pending further research. Other jurisdictions are going full steam ahead despite reservations.

But, police aren’t the only ones using drones. The group, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) announced they’ll begin using drones to monitor hunters. And, there are any number of individuals and hobbyists who enjoy using (and abusing) drones for their personal enjoyment.

So, what’s your opinion on drones? Technological marvel or sinister tool of Big Brother? Vote in this week’s poll!

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Happy Friday, everyone. Thanks for the comments, likes, shares, follows and e-mails this week. I really appreciated each and every one!

This week’s vids feature a piece of police tech that’s frequently in the news these days – tasers.  In one recent case, for example, an employee of a tax preparation company – who was dressed as the Statute of Liberty – was reportedly tased by officers after he allegedly resisted arrest.

The irony of that particular incident is almost too much to take, but tasers have definitely become a staple of police work in many departments. According to some industry-sponsored research, this has resulted in reduced legal liability, fewer officer and suspect injuries, as well as fewer worker’s comp claims. A counter-argument by the ACLU, however, has been that tasers are not less-than-lethal, as manufacturers and supporters claim, and instead are responsible for a number of deaths nationwide.

Controversy aside, the proliferation of tasers among law enforcement and security agencies has resulted in a variety of training standards, many of which require that officers experience being tased before actually carrying and using the weapon.

And, that gets us to the vids themselves. Enjoy!

In this first video, one officer’s “friends” decide to play a game of “tase the unsuspecting assistant.”


This second vid wins the “loudest scream” award.


And, here’s how the training pays off during an actual incident.


Have a great weekend!