Civil Libertarians Alarmed About Sheriff Arpaio’s Plans to Obtain Drones


Maricopa County, Az., Sheriff Joe Arpaio could have an unmanned drone within a year, says the Arizona Republic. The news has caused a flurry around the world. “A place in Russia said I have a fleet of drones,” said Arpaio. “A fleet. I don't even have one yet.” As more police agencies across the U.S. toy with the idea of using the remote-controlled planes and helicopters outfitted with cameras, the public can help define how the technology will be used in the future.

The idea does not sit well with privacy advocates, who point out that Arpaio's office has already have been found to have violated constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. Trusting Arpaio's agency to operate the unmanned aircraft legally after a federal court ruling that found his deputies discriminated against Latino residents while attempting to enforce immigration laws can be a scary proposition, said Dan Pochoda of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona.

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