Tuesday, September 04, 2012

" near-constant aerial surveillance"

Lancaster City Council voted unanimously last week to begin near-constant aerial surveillance of its city on May 1. City leaders say the program will allow police to respond almost instantaneously to crime when it happens; opponents say constant surveillance by the government infringes on the the privacy rights of citizens who have done nothing wrong.

As KTLA reports, the surveillance will be done by a piloted Cessna 172 fixed-wing aircraft for 10 hours a day and will cost the city $300 an hour, or about $90,000 a month. The technology, developed by the Lancaster-based Spiral Technology, Inc., includes the use of infrared imaging. "The camera could spot a home invasion robbery or track unsuspecting criminals. It could note car accidents so patrol cars could get there more quickly," city officials told the Los Angeles Times. Lancaster will be the first city in the nation to use the technology, which has previously only been used by the military, NASA and a few other federal agencies, according to KTLA.

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