Pentagon is Testing Mass Surveillance Using Balloons
When you imagine the government spying on you, you imagine spy cameras, super-technological spy satellites, and similar secret stuff. What you don’t expect is balloons. That’s exactly what the US military is using, as it tests high-altitude balloons as a cheap monitoring platform across six Midwest states.
The military are launching up to 25 solar-powered balloons from Dakota, which will drift across portions of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Missouri, before finishing their journey in Central Illinois.
“Travelling in the stratosphere at altitudes of up to 65,000ft, the balloons are intended to “provide a persistent surveillance system to locate and deter narcotic trafficking and homeland security threats”, according to a filing made on behalf of the Sierra Nevada Corporation, an aerospace and defence company.
The balloons are carrying hi-tech radars designed to simultaneously track many individual vehicles day or night, through any kind of weather. The tests, which have not previously been reported, received an FCC license to operate from mid-July until September, following similar flights licensed last year.” (The Guardian)
The idea is to monitor large quantities of land, being able to monitor events and also offering the user the ability to rewind events to see what occurred and how, as well as rewinding further to track the origins of such events.
For example, a criminal robbing a bank; able to rewind, the government could track where the getaway vehicle originated from, meaning they could trace the criminal to their home address, or at least follow a strong lead. It’s a clever idea for monitoring activities, and at least in my opinion, offers strong surveillance opportunities without the risk of a major invasion of privacy.
Do you agree? Disagree? If you have thoughts on this story, share them in the comments below!