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News stories tagged with "rights"

Student crews work on the MQ-9 Reaper at the Hancock field Air National Guard base near Syracuse, NY. Photo: David Sommerstein.
Student crews work on the MQ-9 Reaper at the Hancock field Air National Guard base near Syracuse, NY. Photo: David Sommerstein.

Drones train above North Country Adirondacks

There's been a lot of news lately about the Obama Administration's use of drones, or unmanned military aircraft, to kill alleged terrorists. Critics have said the attacks violate international law and have also killed many civilians. Drones will likely be a major topic in confirmation hearings for John Brennan to be the next head of the CIA.

The drones that fly over Afghanistan are often piloted by people sitting in suburban Syracuse, NY. Those pilots train by flying high over the North Country and the Adirondacks.

They may watch bridges or buildings, even follow cars, without anyone knowing they're being watched. And for some, there's a very fuzzy line between military preparation and a creepy eye in the sky.  Go to full article
Gregory McNeal
Gregory McNeal

Writing the rules for domestic drone use

Drones are smaller, cheaper, and easier to use than ever, and their cameras are more powerful than ever.

In the near future, drones may be used to find criminals, track wildlife, or find a lost hiker in a remote canyon. They could also be used to look in places where we're not used to prying eyes.

Law professor Gregory McNeal studies the legalities of drone use at Pepperdine University in California. McNeal believes local government, not the courts, should lead the way in writing the rules in the drone era.

He says our notions of privacy may differ from what the law says. McNeal told David Sommerstein the Supreme Court has upheld the right of law enforcement to look for wrongdoing from a helicopter or plane.  Go to full article

Balancing Private & Public in Canada

Unlike in the United States, the Canadian constitution, drafted in 1982, puts the rights of the group over the rights of the individual. Robert Thacker is a professor of Canadian Studies at St. Lawrence University. He told David Sommerstein in Canada, there's been an assumption that people cede some of their personal rights for the good of the community.  Go to full article

Lawyers Join NY Critics of Patriot Act

St. Lawrence County lawyers have joined lawmakers in Potsdam and Albany in voicing opposition to parts of the USA Patriot Act. They say the law violates some civil liberties. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Burlington Resolves Against USA Patriot Act

Last month the city of Burlington, Vermont joined two dozen cities across the country to pass resolutions against parts of the USA Patriot Act, saying it violates civil liberties. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

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