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Tag: drones

Homeland Security Gets Bombarded with Proposals to Build Drones for the Border

drone-1142182_960_720By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security shouldn’t worry about finding sophisticated drones for the border.

The agency received so many bids to provide compact drones that the federal government ended the submission process two months early, NBC News reports

“As this was a pilot program, we were hoping to see a robust response from industry, but did not have a specific target [number of bids] in mind,” said Ari Shuler, director of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Commercial Technology Innovation Program. “Our team’s expectations were exceeded as we received more than three dozen proposals.”

These aren’t just any drones. They are designed to identify people from the air using facial recognition technology, and the drones are capable of tracking people for at least 3 miles.

Border Patrol has used drones since 2005, but the technology is nowhere near as sophisticated as it is today.

Smugglers Increasingly Using Drones to Drop Drugs over U.S.-Mexico Border

DroneBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Smugglers are increasingly using drones to drop drugs over the U.S-Mexico border.

Border Patrol is using six blimps that can detect low-flying aircraft using specialized radar, CBS News reports.  The drones are monitored by Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS), which can cover the entire boarder.

“Our law enforcement operators that see that on the radar and get the drugs, get the bad guys that are waiting for the drugs,” said Rob Brown the TARS program manager 

To fly below the radar, smugglers often fly dangerously low.

“They’ll hug the mountains really close just to try and break up their profile,” said Brent J. Smart, an Air and Marine Interdiction Agent. 

The TARS technology helps agents find drugs that are dropped from the sky.

Homeland Security Searches for Drones Capable of Facial Recognition

FBI-facial-recognitionBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security is looking to Silicon Valley for specially designed drones.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that officials met last week with technology entrepreneurs in search of small, light-weight drones that are easy to fly and can cover vast stretches of desert.

The drones also need to be able to provide images good enough to scan faces against a database for prior criminal history.

“There can be questions about how accurate that is and legitimate questions about how someone’s picture got into a database,” said John Simpson, director of Consumer Watchdog’s privacy project.

Border Patrol currently uses drones, but the technology isn’t up to snuff, officials said.

FBI Released Aerial Video Footage of Baltimore Protests

FBI surveillance video from the Freddie Gray protests in Baltimore.

FBI surveillance video from the Freddie Gray protests in Baltimore.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI captured more than 18 hours of aerial surveillance video from the Baltimore protests following the death of Freddie Gray in 2015.

The video was shot from traditional piloted aircraft, not drones.

The videos were released as part of a Freedom of Information Act request by the ACLU.

The raw video is available at the FBI’s website.

The FBI has been using surveillance planes since the 1970s.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Investigation of Hillary Clinton Focused on Emails about Secret Drone Strikes

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The investigation of Hillary Clinton is reportedly centered around e-mail exchanges about CIA drone strikes.

Citing “congressional and law-enforcement officials briefed on the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe,” The Wall Street Journal reports that classified information was shared in a series of emails about drone strikes in Pakistan.

The 2011 and 2012 e-mails involved a secret arrangement that allowed the State Department to oppose specific drone strikes.

Some of the email exchanges were made on less-secure networks, also known as the “low side.”

The Wall Street Journal wrote:

The CIA drone campaign, though widely reported in Pakistan, is treated as secret by the U.S. government. Under strict U.S. classification rules, U.S. officials have been barred from discussing strikes publicly and even privately outside of secure communications systems. The State Department said in January that 22 emails on Mrs. Clinton’s personal server at her home have been judged to contain top-secret information and aren’t being publicly released. Many of them dealt with whether diplomats concurred or not with the CIA drone strikes, congressional and law-enforcement officials said.

FAA Tests New Drone-Detecting System Designed by FBI to Ward Off Dangers

drone-1142182_960_720By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FAA is testing a new drone-detecting system designed by the FBI.

The device is intended to take down rogue drones and those flying in sensitive areas, the Verge reports. 

The testing is taking place at JFK airport in New York.

FAA was searching for technology that can “passively detect, identify, and track” drone operations.

The FAA tested “five different rotorcraft and fixed wing” drones.

Arizona Republic: Border Walls Are for Suckers, Donald Trump

By Lndia Valdez
Arizona Republica

The news brings us two recent examples of why border walls don’t work. Can someone alert Donald Trump?

Exhibit A comes from the Border Patrol, which issued a press release April 6 asking people to be on the lookout for drones.

“The Yuma Sector Border Patrol has recently encountered small remote controlled aircraft, commonly referred to as drones, being used to smuggle drugs into the United States. The drones vary in size, but are commonly between 2 to 4 feet wide,” it says.

“Drones have been observed primarily in the San Luis area,” the press release continues. “They are known to carry illegal contraband into the U.S. where it is dropped and picked up by smugglers north of the border.”

They included a picture of a drone so everyone would know what to look for. No word on whether the drone in the picture was one captured at the border.

Here’s the rub: The Yuma Sector is the go-to place when border-hawk politicians want to point to a place where fencing has led to “operational control.”

Guess what? The smugglers figured out a way over.

Exhibit B in this tutorial on why walls don’t work comes from a widely viewed video showing would-be smugglers easily scaling a border fence – in full view of Border Patrol agents – then skedaddling back into Mexico when they realize they were being filmed, according to the Associated Press.

Border Patrol spokesman Mark Landess told AP it’s not uncommon for smugglers to scale the steel fence, especially around Nogales, which is a busy drug-smuggling corridor.

To read more click here. 

Mexican Drug Traffickers Are Hacking Border Patrol Drones to Trick Agents

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Drug traffickers are hacking Border Patrol drones along the U.S.-Mexico border to confuse federal investigators, Hackread.com reports. 

Drones used by law enforcement are not as expensive and hack-proof like the ones flown by the U.S. military.

As Hackread.com explains it, “standard drone modules need to be deleted including the one that ensures the security of the drone in the case of GPS spoofing.”

What happens is, attackers send fake GPS data to receivers on the drone, making it difficult to track would-be traffickers.

Due to fake coordinates, federal agents are tricked into believing the drone is over one area when in fact it’s over an entirely different area.