The Drones are Coming!

| Sat Jan. 23, 2010 12:06 AM EST

One of the innovations on the current season of 24 is that CTU now apparently uses a fleet of drones to keep watch over New York City. Creepy. But it turns out that art is merely imitating life:

Police in the UK are planning to use unmanned spy drones, controversially deployed in Afghanistan, for the ­"routine" monitoring of antisocial motorists, ­protesters, agricultural thieves and fly-tippers,1 in a significant expansion of covert state surveillance.

The arms manufacturer BAE Systems, which produces a range of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for war zones, is adapting the military-style planes for a consortium of government agencies led by Kent police.

....Five other police forces have signed up to the scheme, which is considered a pilot preceding the countrywide adoption of the technology for "surveillance, monitoring and evidence gathering". The partnership's stated mission is to introduce drones "into the routine work of the police, border authorities and other government agencies" across the UK.

I can hardly wait for these things to show up over my neighborhood. I'll feel so much safer.

1British slang for people who illegally dump trash anywhere other than an authorized landfill.