Drones are not a public health solution—but authorities are using COVID-19 to expand drone surveillance
Local authorities are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to push for more remote surveillance technology using drones:
— The Chula Vista Police Department in California recently used DJI drones with speakers to blast information to a homeless camp about where to find resources, likely terrifying a population already suspicious of government and police aid
— A Chinese company named DJI has provided 100 drones to agencies in 22 states, and suggested that thermal cameras be attached to drones to read body temperature and spray disinfectant
While drone surveillance programs are often marketed as a means of improving public health and safety, these programs endanger us by subjecting us to over-policing and invasive surveillance, while taking attention away from real public health solutions. Homeless people do not need to be monitored, chased, and arrested with drones; they need housing, resources, and support from trained staff. People in public spaces do not need drones to track their location; they need COVID-19 testing and outreach.
Whether they are being used to covertly monitor an entire city, or to terrorize homeless people, drones are not for public health – they are for public spying. We cannot allow surveillance to expand under the guise of helping with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Don’t let law enforcement use COVID-19 as an excuse to expand drone surveillance; sign the petition to DROP DRONES!
The petition reads:
“Drones are not for public health and safety; they are tools for surveillance, and violations of our basic rights. I am calling on local officials to stop using COVID-19 as an excuse to expand dangerous drone surveillance programs that threaten our freedom and public health."
From: [Your Name]
Drones are not for public health and safety; they are tools for surveillance, and violations of our basic rights. I am calling on local officials to stop using COVID-19 as an excuse to expand dangerous drone surveillance programs that threaten our freedom and public health.