Friday, September 28, 2012

Almost Half Of All Americans Support Domestic Surveillance Drones

Close to half of Americans say they are in favour of police departments deploying surveillance drones domestically.

According to a survey conducted by The Associated Press and The National Constitution Center, 44 percent support the idea of police using unmanned aerial vehicles to track suspects and carry out investigations.

Only 36 percent said that they “strongly oppose” or “somewhat oppose” police use of drones, according to the survey.

The poll also found that only one third of Americans say they are significantly concerned about their privacy being eroded by the adoption of drones by police forces throughout the country.

Thrity-five percent of respondents said they were “extremely concerned” or “very concerned” when asked if they believed that police departments’ use of drones for surveillance would impact their privacy.

Almost exactly the same number, 36 percent, noted that they were “not too concerned” or “not concerned at all”, while twenty-four percent were neutral on the issue, saying they were only “somewhat concerned” about a potential loss of privacy.

David Eisner, president and CEO of the constitution center in Philadelphia, told the AP that he was somewhat baffled by the response to the poll:

“I had assumed that the idea that American police would be using the same technology that our military is using in Afghanistan would garner an almost hysterical response,” Eisner said. Support for drone use “shows that people are feeling less physically secure than they’d like to because they are willing to accept fairly extreme police action to improve that security.” more