DOUGLAS, Ariz. – Intended to protect the borders from illegal crossings and the import of illegal drugs, ten drones flown by U.S. Customs and Border Protection have also sparked a controversy over privacy.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection calls the pencil-like aircrafts unmanned aerial vehicles – or “UAV.” It is better known, however, as a drone.
The Predator drone is pushed through the air by a propeller on the rear of the slender aircraft. It is equipped with a collection of cameras, allowing agents to see in any light condition from an altitude of up to five miles.
The plane are piloted remotely and their images are reviewed in real time by agents at Fort Huachuca in Sierra Vista, Arizona. The data is used to help direct agents on the ground or in a helicopter to make a bust.
“The fact we can turn the lights off, we are almost stealth,” said director of Air Operations Dave Gasho.
And that, critics say, that is the problem.
Drones patrolling U.S. borders spark controversy over privacy