Police drones and Supreme Court web cases


In the skies above Chula Vista, California, where the police department operates drones 10 hours a day, seven days a week, it’s common to see an unmanned aerial vehicle circling the skies.

Chula Vista is one of a dozen departments in the U.S. that have so-called drone-like first responder programs, where drones are sent by airplanes, listen directly to 911 calls and are often the first to arrive at the scene of an accident. Emergencies, and crimes, tow cameras.

But many would argue that the adoption of drones by police forces is happening too quickly. The use of drones as surveillance tools and first responders is a fundamental shift in policing that lacks well-informed public debate around privacy regulations, strategies and limitations. There is little evidence that drone policing reduces crime, so there is little evidence of its effectiveness.

Now Chula Vista has been sued for releasing drone footage, which privacy and civil liberties groups say show the technology will greatly expand surveillance capabilities and allow more police interaction with demographics that have historically been overreached by police. Read the full story.

– Patrick Sisson

Four ways the Supreme Court will shape the web

All eyes were on last week as the US Supreme Court weighed arguments related to comment algorithms and content moderation, both core parts of how the internet works. While we won’t get a verdict on either case for a few months yet, when we do, it could be a pretty big deal.


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