February 3rd, 2012
08:09 PM ET

NYC street sign warns 'drone activity in progress.' Wait. What?

The red-and-white street sign posted near the Brooklyn Bridge–the one just below the NO STOPPING ANYTIME–looks legit until you stop and ponder its message: "Drone activity in progress." Wait. What?

OutFront digital producer Mark Joyella grabbed a photo of the sign and fired it off to the show team. Is this new? The NYPD's warning people of drones? When did this happen?

It didn't. The sign–one of a series of seemingly legit street signs posted around the city–is the work of a 28 year old Army veteran turned "radical art student" who told The New Yorker he worked with drones during two tours in Iraq, but was chilled by the idea of drones patrolling the skies here at home.

The sign got Erin Burnett thinking. "The strange thing is how easily we believed that sign about drone activity. Maybe we're conspiracy theorists. But it seemed to say something the world we live in. We were disturbed, but not, frankly, surprised that our government was watching us. Maybe we were just surprised they would tell us they were watching us."

Getting us–and you–thinking, of course, is what the provocative art project is all about:

Near each sign, they also stenciled a quote from a Founding Father, such as a warning from Ben Franklin that seems particularly apropos: “They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Erin put it this way in her commentary:

"The sign in Brooklyn made us confront how we'd feel if drones were watching us here at home. If the drones caught a terrorist, or a murderer, would we be okay with the drones then? Ten years after 9/11–and ten years after the Patriot Act–we're still debating how much of our freedom are we actually willing to give up to maintain American freedom."

Filed under: Crime • Erin's Essay • National Security
soundoff (126 Responses)
  1. ShermanT79

    Very good article! We will be linking to this great article on our site. Keep up the great writing.

    December 3, 2014 at 6:46 pm | Reply
  2. Amber

    I have been thinking about drones a lot lately. I think that it is a case of going too far. We have to ask ourselves, just because we can do something, that we have the technology to do so, is it the right thing to do? Overwhelmingly, I keep coming back to the answer that we need to be treating people as people, by people. Additionally, can we justify spending money on drone operation, when this may be replacing a human job and the real empathy that an individual would be responsible for enveloping before killing a human no matter the reason? Humans deserve to be treated with justice, and what I have heard so far about drones is that they are in-humane. Civilians have been killed by drones and they appear to me to be a product of desensitization. Even in instances of terrorism, murders, and other violent acts, we need to be looking at ways that we can prevent these events from occurring in the first place, rather than gearing up for the reaction after the fact.
    Immediately after and during the 9-11 event, there are so many stories of people helping people and they didn't even think twice about doing this. We need to ask ourselves how we can get society to trust each other again and encourage the "do good" human nature to proliferate. By developing drones and allowing their existence, we are focusing on the negative things and only seeing the bad in people. What about the good in each and every one of us and encouraging the bettering of even those of us who may be ill minded. Might this be the real root to our global economic crisis as well? It seems like we are creating a distrust downward spiral. We have a global economy now and no one ever gains by creating distrust, which it seems that we are doing by allowing drones to exist. This is despite the good that they may be able to offer, I realize, but if there is no way to guarantee that they are only for good natured tasks, I fear that they are not going to bring much good at all.
    If I was lost and a drone found me, would I accept the helpful hand it lends me, while saying, "Jump in, I will take care of you." I think not. It appears that drones have inherent negative connotation that they are fighting against evil instead of aiding for success of the greater good for all. I don't see them aiding in betterment of global societies, but fear that they will have quite the opposite effect instead. I think that the United Nations as well as all countries in the world should make a pact to stop the operations of drones, as they do not honor human rights by the nature that they are in-human and detached from human reality. They may be operated by humans somewhere, but they are not human.

    April 8, 2012 at 2:38 am | Reply
  3. Perk

    HR 3785 ! Go Ron Paul ! Repeals the old 1031 and they changed that too but keep it simple ! Go Ron Paul for President and thank-you for the HR 3785 as it relates to the NDAA !

    February 27, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Reply
  4. Perk

    5 billion drones +Service Public Education. No prank ! Repeal HR 1540 NDAA 2012 and see the language of your freedoms in 1031.Division D Funding Tables paid for by Free Americans. Road House Blues...Let it roll baby roll.....to our Bill Of Rights not eliminated by Obama,Levine and McCain.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Reply
  5. dsaint

    Drones over civilian’s cities, and towns – some would say this is sending a clear message to the terrorist
    “You have already won” – Others would say spy satellites in use already is enough. I would say along with the majority of Americans any politicians who would pass this bill will ending their careers – “period”

    February 16, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Reply
  6. Frank Amsden

    What's more, if the drone spotted a terrorist or murderer on the streets of NYC, would it be OK to "Take him out"?

    February 12, 2012 at 8:47 am | Reply
  7. Barbara

    Here is the link for "Drones Get O.K. Over U.S" –
    As I mentioned previously get use to it.

    February 11, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Reply


    February 7, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Reply
  9. Shirou Zhiwu

    Meh, I though the sign was talking about corporate drones. There are plenty of corporate drones running around and that doesn't bother anyone.

    Regardless, constant surveillance is what you get when you aren't willing to kill bad guys when you have the chance.

    February 7, 2012 at 9:12 am | Reply
    • Chai Neuhaus

      "Bad guys"? This isn't a cartoon. As long as you see the world in comic book fashion, you will continue to be surprised by reality. All your ideas of right and wrong are projections of a mind that sees the world in black and white. Until you can see that it is your own inner demon that you are fighting, you will be enslaved by your mind.

      February 7, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Reply
      • TW

        good post Chai

        February 11, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Reply
        • Shirou Zhiwu

          Ok, when your house gets broken into by a guy with a gun, you're held hostage as they make off with your stuff and sodomize your kids and shoots your mate and then sues you for his damages, just remember, the concept of bad guys is just simple minded comic book thinking.

          February 15, 2012 at 11:56 am | Reply
          • José

            Sounds like what our bad guys have been doing in the Middle East.

            February 22, 2012 at 11:56 am | Reply
  10. Mark J

    Reading the comments got me to thinking, do people even read the story or try to understand what its about?
    Ben Franklin was right in his quote from so long ago. I think its good to use these in limited numbers on the borders but,
    thats it. I live in the country and already have choppers that fly over so often and feel that I don't have much privacy because of it. These drones are military craft and thats what they should be used for, nothing more.

    February 6, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Reply
    • Ralf The Dog

      Anyone on the island of Manhattan who thinks they have the slightest bit of privacy needs to, "Just say no to drugs." If you pack that many people into that small of a space, anytime you are out of your apartment, it is best to think, someone is looking your direction.

      February 7, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Reply
      • TW

        I don't live in Manhattan, and in public if you want to watch me, to some degree that is ok, to constantly do it, no, it's not. That is me telling you to back off. This is still the USA, and one day people will say enough. That is happening now, and they are doing all they can to create an environment where they stay in power and do as they please. They do not want to hear your opinion, they want you to obey, laws known or otherwise, because the law is their God, and they aim to make it yours as well.

        February 11, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Reply
  11. Barbara

    Will CNN post my recent comment or take forever to post. Drones are the future get use to it.

    February 6, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Reply
    • Chai Neuhaus

      "Get used to it"? So, you have already surrendered? You think this
      Brave New World is inevitable? Don't be so certain of a future your mind imagines. What is eternally free does not believe the darkness of the mind, but rather seeks to illumine that darkness with light.

      February 7, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Reply
      • TW

        Chai, you seem to be someone who is interested in freedom. Glad to see not everyone is a sheep! Rock on cap'tn!

        February 11, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Reply
    • John Q.

      I guess the bigger question is, why do drones bother people so much with something satellites have been doing for years? Drones are simply their way of getting a better picture.

      February 14, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  12. DW

    I think the issue here is whether it is art or craziness to post a sign that isn't true. ARE there drones around? I hate censorship in all forms, but it is illegal to shout FIRE in a crowded theater; by the same token is it legal, or nice, to say Big Brother is watching you if it isn't true?
    If it IS true, then this artist is doing the community a great service, and CNN should keep reporting on it.

    February 6, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Reply
  13. hatefulhappy

    police helicopters can spy on you from miles away. This is rubbish

    February 6, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Reply
    • TW

      all kinds of things can watch you 24/7. That does not make it good.

      February 11, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  14. Barbara

    Tales from the New World Order –
    In the near future there will be large screens monitoring our every move with sensors on clothing. Food stores will have our food marked out for our height, weight and health conditions, we will just carry a medical card and plug into the system. Total control of our every move, cars will monitor our movements bodily and where we are going. That my friends is just a glimpse of the new world order in action. Many changes ahead in population control watch for it. We are the aliens everyone has been looking out for in 2012. New discoveries to make the above a reality it has been taking place for years. Spirituality will look like a bowl of old corn flakes. Science is the new religion. Not saying I agree with the above my friends. We do not need drones to watch us at home we already have that going for us through our computers, T.V. screens. 1984 happened a long time ago get use to it.

    February 6, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Reply
  15. Isaac Kuyriakin

    I -knew- this was happening but I could never prove it. They put me in a straight jacket but I TOLD them they were out there...watching us...and they must be STOPPED!

    February 6, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Reply
  16. Peter

    Funny, I saw this sign last weekend in the DUMBO area and didn't give it a second thought!

    February 6, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Reply
  17. Jack

    Yeah, ever since I switched dope dealers, I've really begun to object to any form of public surveillance. Just stay out of my deals, er, business.

    February 6, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Reply
  18. Rob

    I'm so excited that people really see what is happening. And expressing it. Police drones already exist. Look up Seattle Police Eye in the Sky on Youtube to see for yourself.

    February 6, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Reply
  19. Winston

    “But it was alright, everything was alright, the struggle was finished.
    He had won the victory over himself.
    He loved Big Brother.”
    ― George Orwell, 1984

    February 6, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Reply
  20. Laskerknight

    What freedom .Our rights have already been stripped .T he only way You combat this Socialist State is with bribery .Or clout . The Government does what it wants too . Wake up America tyranny is sleeping on Your door step..

    February 6, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Reply
  21. PlagueDoc

    Actually, there may be a bit of truth to the signs. The sales office for the condos in the new One57 multi-use tower in Midtown West has a system rigged up so prospective buyers can take a "virtual-tour" of units in the yet to be completed tower that includes photos taken by drones at various elevations that simulate the views from apartments on various floors. I'm not saying that this is necessarily a bad thing, if anything it sounds pretty bada$s, but I'm not sure how they manage to do this without endangering the occupants in adjacent buildings.

    February 6, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Reply
  22. James K

    If this doesn't bother you then you are absolutely crazy, have no spine, or have a very low IQ, and you need to read some history so that you understand what being American truly is.

    February 6, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Reply
    • TW

      thank you james

      February 11, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Reply
  23. ohboy

    this woman is a dumm mor0n. I dont say that about many people but the whole fallacy of security or freedom ends when you deal with the facts that terror attacks in NY are more like false flag ops. Gov involvement is undeniable. Building 7 for example and thermite found in the structure of world trade center. you people are dumm fk's for taking a provocative street art and turning it into your stupid political twist on the reality the US is becoming a police state.

    February 6, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Reply
    • Emigdio Alvarez

      where was thermite ever found?

      February 12, 2012 at 10:13 am | Reply
  24. ohboy

    She's an Idi0t, What dumb mor0n. I dont say that about many people but the whole fallacy of security or freedom ends when you deal with the facts that terror attacks in NY are more like false flag ops. Gov involvement is undeniable. Building 7 for example and thermite found in the structure of world trade center. you people are dumb fk's for taking a provocative street art and turning it into your stupid political twist on the reality the US is becoming a police state.

    February 6, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Reply
  25. Pastafaria

    Actually, there may be a bit of truth to the signs. The sales office for the condos in the new One57 multi-use tower in Midtown West has a system rigged up so prospective buyers can take a "virtual-tour" of units in the yet to be completed tower that includes photos taken by drones at various elevations that simulate the views from apartments on various floors. I'm not saying that this is necessarily a bad thing, if anything it sounds pretty badass, but I'm not sure how they manage to do this without endangering the occupants in adjacent buildings.

    February 6, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Reply
  26. VoicefrmLeft

    Am I against drones being used to patrol our own airspace? Yes. Do I believe the presumption that governments will to do harm to it's own people given the chance? Yes (Clearly, history points out, it can and does happen). Do I believe there are fanatics who go crazy over this stuff to the point that it's detrimental to their own mental health? Absolutely! Raising the question of liberties and surveillance is good, but let's be realistic when trying to link this to armageddon type fantasies. Fundamentally, we still have control of our own government, much to the chagrin to those who bawl when their own party is not in power, it's just how politics work. Hyper-paranoia isn't doing anybody any favors, and fundamental rights are being preserved for the broader sane public, also to the chagrin of political and religious extremists, who howl to the contrary. I want to enjoy life, and quaking in fear over this stuff is just a hindrance to my own pursuit of happiness.

    February 6, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Reply
    • TW

      Really? I think you suffer from delusions. You are NOT in control of your government, and the way elections are held, esp at the national level, are all about controlling who CAN seek power, much less obtain it. It is not paranoia, it is reality.

      February 11, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Reply
  27. drail

    from http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/2012/02/faa_drones.html

    A House-Senate conference report this week called on the Administration to accelerate the use of civilian unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or “drones,” in U.S. airspace.
    The pending authorization bill for the Federal Aviation Administration directs the Secretary of Transporation to develop within nine months “a comprehensive plan to safely accelerate the integration of civil unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system.”

    “The plan… shall provide for the safe integration of civil unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system as soon as practicable, but not later than September 30, 2015.”

    The conference bill, which still awaits final passage, also calls for establishment of UAS test ranges in cooperation with NASA and the Department of Defense, expanded use of UAS in the Arctic region, development of guidance for the operation of public unmanned aircraft systems, and new safety research to assess the risk of “catastrophic failure of the unmanned aircraft that would endanger other aircraft in the national airspace system.”

    The Department of Defense is pursuing its own domestic UAS activities for training purposes and “domestic operations,” according to a 2007 DoD-FAA memorandum of agreement. (“Army Foresees Expanded Use of Drones in U.S. Airspace,” Secrecy News, January 19, 2012.)

    Update: In the recently enacted FY2012 National Defense Authorization Act (section 1097), Congress mandated that “the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall establish a program to integrate unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system at six test ranges.” This new test range program is supposed to be established within 180 days.

    February 6, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Reply
  28. dude

    IS anyone here realizing that this is the work of an art student???? THe sheepiness is creepiness....

    February 6, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Reply
  29. Rob

    Drones are already being used NOW in American law enforcement. Not only along the borders but in regular cities! Those of you who said you would leave if this sort of thing happened, bye. In a recent Border Wars episode, the enforcement officer described how local police in North Dakota had recently "borrowed" a drone in a raid. This was a raid in an American city against Americans.

    February 6, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Reply
    • rosehips

      Yep, like I said, the US government is already using drones along both borders. North Dakota would only have to say the word and they can send one right over. That's what they are good for. But to use them over our homes to "protect" us is an infringement. I don't want that kind of protection.

      February 7, 2012 at 10:38 am | Reply
      • TW

        Amen Rosehips, but like a lot of other things they are/will do it. The real question is, if you get a chance will YOU do something about it, or, as this kind of op is meant to cause, cower in fear of your government?

        February 11, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Reply
  30. HerMtnMan

    They are watching you. http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/12/11/9360170-report-us-drones-helping-local-police-agencies

    February 6, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Reply
  31. jdoe

    A somewhat pointless discussion. Drones will be watching Americans at some point. Congress will make it a law, and as usual, most Americans will shrug and carry on. Soon security cameras will be installed all over, using facial recognition. Already police cruisers can scan thousands of license plates a minute and run checks on all of them. Satellite images keep getting better all the time. The point is, we can sort of talk about it, but it won't change anything.

    February 6, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Reply
  32. Sowhat

    Not much different than posting signs stating - true or not - that traffic speed is monitored by aircraft. What is one supposed to do? Run crying to Chicken Little?

    February 6, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Reply
  33. Name required

    Oh yeah? Well, I have friends who are also very highly placed in government and military and gun manufacturing, etc., and they all say (and they tell me the truth, I know for a fact...) that there is no such plan in place, not now, not ever.

    See how that works? You can write anything you want, even if it's complete bullsnit, and pretend it's true. My response to this is – oh noooooooooooo they're going to watch us... hey geniuses, they've been "watching" us since the inception of our country. One more high-tech tool will not erode our freedoms any more than the hiring of more beat-cops, you paranoid schizophrenics. Make sure you layer that tin foil around your head nice and thick to keep out CIA brain waves. 🙂

    People are all scared now because someone shouts "it's coming!" They don't even have to shout WHAT it is that is supposedly coming. One raving lunatic on this site suggested some shadowy group is buying gun and ammo companies, ultimately to keep guns out of the hands of civilians, in an end-run around the 2nd amendment. I guess whoever wrote that forgot two key things: you can start a new gun company, and make ammo, (ever heard of the laws of supply and demand? Unless you out law it, and then even if you do, if there isn't enough (like none) gun or ammo manufacturing, a new company will spring up and fill the void, just the way drugs are made and distributed. Note how they're not legal, and it's happening anyway?)

    The second key thing is that if you somehow managed to shutter EVERY SINGLE GUN manufacturer, there are about a billion plucking guns already in circulation. Snit, the doomsday morons ALONE have enough to fight world war three alone... (or would if WWIII didn't generally start out with the total annihilation of the surface of the Earth, as most people seem to expect).

    So drones scare all you puzziez? Oh no, a plane flying itself... that's different from all the police helicopters, and stationary, overt and hidden cameras already all over the place... no, the scariest thing about drones is that without a human inside with a conscience, if something goes wrong, and it crashes, a computer might not be able to differentiate between crashing in open land without anyone in it, and landing in the middle of a crowded population center.

    Many of you might even be scared that they might arm the drones, that they'll have flying terminators looking around for you. That's just plain stupid. They could already have police, SWAT, etc., out and about in patrol cars or helicopters, with guns or rockets, looking for you. That somehow less scary than a pilotless plane doing the same thing? The fear that a machine will be willing to ice you, where a flesh-and-blood cop wouldn't somehow forget you still need a flesh-and-blood human to program the drone to ice you, so there's still a human in the loop there, and there is no shortage of humans who are perfectly ready, willing, and able to do that job for a pittance.

    The only real scary thing here is that we keep electing power-hungry war mongering, fear-pedaling prioks who like the taste of having authority and writing their own paychecks drawn off our bank accounts, and feeling like they are in charge, and handing them political authority. That's like giving a coked-up thug a big rock of crack. It's a bad idea.

    February 6, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Reply
  34. MightyMoo

    "How much of our freedom are we willing to give up to maintain American freedom?"

    Uh... if American's are willing to give up their freedoms. What freedom will they have left to maintain?

    February 6, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Reply
  35. jjj

    Having satellites they hardly need drones. If they can see galaxy's away i would feel pretty confident that they can zoom in and count the hairs on the tops of our heads.

    February 6, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Reply
  36. sonofgadfly

    The war is over. The terrorists won.

    February 6, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Reply
    • TW

      Yup. Some of us will fight till death for real freedom though, so the war is not over.....

      February 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  37. KMAG

    If they want to watch me from a drone walking to my car from my house or mowing my lawn, what is the big deal?

    February 6, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Reply
  38. senor sanchez

    George Soros does NOT control Cerberus capital. Get your facts straight before you go on your feer mongering mission. Cerberus is controlled by Stephen Feinberg. You people go trying to spread fear and you quote snopes...are you kidding me. Get out in the fresh air and go see the real world. PE firms are buying these companies b/c they have good cash flow and have a built in customer base who will keep buying guns in America. Rick Francois what a joke...

    February 6, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Reply
  39. PeteArk

    "HELP HELP THE PARANOIDS ARE AFTER ME !!!!!!" geez , lighten up people....if y' ain't doin' bad [ ] what does it matter ?

    February 6, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Reply
  40. Bill

    Does this need to be moderated?

    February 6, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Reply
  41. Josh

    Does this need moderation?

    February 6, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Reply
  42. Jerry

    CNN, listen......you guys really need to change your editors.

    "But it seemed to say something the world we live in."--missing a preposition.
    "Maybe we were just surprised they would tell us they were watchin us."--missing a letter

    February 6, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Reply
  43. Michael Doyle

    There have been drones in New York City ever since 9/11 happened. There just weren't headlines about them. I witnessed them in broad daylight and at night above midtown Manhattan as long ago as February 2002.

    February 6, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  44. Me

    We have drones now, they ride around in these black and white things with flashing lights at the top. Just because something is flying and it's robotic it's somehow worse?

    February 6, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  45. dottypooh

    And you don't think we need Ron Paul for our President? think again and Vote for for him

    February 6, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Reply
    • Josh

      Only a fool would think that Ron Paul was the answer to anything.

      February 6, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Reply
    • Ken

      It's too late now. Mitt Romney will win the Republican nomination. Sorry.

      February 6, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Reply
    • Chuck

      Will he stop people from putting up silly signs?

      February 6, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Reply
    • seriously??!!

      and what makes you think ron paul won't do the same thing??

      February 6, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Reply
    • what?

      And you still can't figure out why Paul only got 14 electoral college votes last election? OK.

      February 6, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Reply
      • hatefulhappy

        Because people like you continue to listen to the same old song and dance, and actually go for it. Thats the definition of insanity, trying the same ol thing over and over again, and expecting different results. For me, I would personally like to see some one who makes less than 40,000 a year go to Washington.

        February 6, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Reply
      • Gaffeguy

        So who do you want to vote for that makes only $40,000 a year?
        As a US congressman since 1997, Ron Paul's annual salary is $174,000.

        February 7, 2012 at 7:02 am | Reply
    • Michael

      I would kill for a president with SOME of the foreign and domestic ideas of Ron Paul, but with the heart, soul and humanity of Obama. I wonder if we will ever get a president like that.

      February 6, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Reply
      • dj wazu NYC

        True that! that would be the perfect combination.

        February 6, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Reply
      • dwech

        A return to the gold standard is something you'd 'kill for'? Paul's main drawback is that he hasn't had an original idea in decades, and if he doesn't understand it, he rejects it. Oh, but please tell us all: what the heck does your comment have to do with the article? Agree with earlier posters, signs warning of things that aren't happening are one man's prediction, and another man's nutty fantasy.

        February 6, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Reply
  46. Julie Kramer

    Thank you for this article and video. This is something that we CAN be expecting in the next few years. I cannot provide any reasoning for knowing this...but it is all part of the plan. With the Posse Comitatus Bill being passed first, and then the NDAA next...we are slowly having our rights stripped away from us. Next will be the drones that will be strategically placed throughout the US to "monitor potential terrorist activities". What they really mean is that they now need to spy and keep track of its citizens, and if they feel they need to silence anyone...well now the NDAA is in place, allowing for the government to come and take ANY US CITIZEN without charge or trial to put wherever they feel is satisfactory. I have a number of elite professionals in the military who are giving us feedback that FEMA camps are under preparation, that food, medicine, and weapon stockpiling are taking place, as well as casket stockpiling..all within our government...right now...as we sit here. 90% of you will think this is just a conspiracy theory unfolding, and will be completely skeptic...but when the truth comes out...and its too late...those 90% will be left scratching their heads wondering what just happened. Its time to open your eyes to the truth. I am not here to say one way or the other...but via intel I have through active military personnel....preparations are taking place and our rights are slowly being stripped from us without us even batting an eyelash. Thanks again for the article!

    February 5, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Reply
    • Sarcasmo

      Or you could just move. If the U.S. stops being the land of the free, move to Norway.

      February 6, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Reply
    • Charlie

      Julie, I'm confused. The Posse Comitatus Act restricts the armed forces from operating within the US, and was passed into law in the late 1800s. And the NDAA is passed every year as it's the fiscal year budget for the armed forces. I'm not saying they're not up to something, but those two points seem to hurt your credibility on the rest.

      February 6, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Reply
      • Frank Amsden

        Iharlie, If the drones are operated by the NYPD and not the Army or Air Force then they do not violate any laws. Remember, the first use of helicopters were surplus from WWII and Korea by American PD's.

        February 12, 2012 at 8:55 am | Reply
    • Reality101

      Oh big whoop. As long as the drones are un-armed they are no different than helicopters. Do we raise a big stink over the hundreds of police helicopters flying over every major city in the U.S.? No. And I do not see drones shining spotlights into every nook and cranny like the police choppers – drones are a lot less intrusive, and they are safer to operate.

      February 6, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Reply
    • ConcernedNetizen

      Drone are slow. Most *modern* air defense systems can shoot them down without a hitch. That's kind of why we use them on third world countries and in the desert. Even the stealth drone was taken down in Iran, a few in mexico fell out of the sky, and i think Israel just recently had a drone crash.. Great idea those things. The only thing keeping politicians from waging endless wars with out money was the flow of bodybags back stateside. Now we can kill our enemies without losing our own men... nothing will stop them.

      February 6, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Reply
    • VoicefrmLeft

      I do disagree with you and your conspiracy, but entertain this idea for a moment: If fallout from whatever disaster you see coming is going to be as widespread as you're predicting, do you really believe "knowledge before the fact" is going to help you at all? Preparedness for any event is generally a good personality characteristic, but you've gone mental stringing together political posturing, rabid paranoia, and overall fear of government into a haze of fantasy. By all means, cling to whatever beliefs you hold dear, but don't think for a minute that anyone will ever come to you and say "you were right", in whatever event.

      February 6, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Reply
    • kevin

      Honestly I wouldn't worry, we don't have the budget for this anymore

      February 6, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Reply
    • nino

      Lets say what you are saying is true. What can citizens and residents do about it? Or what do you propose we do about it.

      February 6, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Reply
    • Mike in Bend

      I am apposed to using drones as a daily " Big Brother" tool but, we can use them on the US/Canada/Mexico borders day and night. Ready to go and no need to build a wall that could also possibly block natural wildlife migrations. And before you go off and start politicizing this issue with conspiracy theories, I would be worried as a pilot that your job will be replaced with a drone that does aerial photos for land owners, crop dusters for farmers, search and rescue teams, scientific information gathering for the Department of Fish and Wildlife, United States Forest Service, NOAA, etc. The commercial use of these drones WILL explode in the future saving a lot of fuel/energy/money. There is a good side to all this too.

      February 6, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Reply
    • ohboy

      Not id we wake up.

      February 6, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Reply
    • Cardiac50

      Well. Tim McVeigh was an active duty serviceman at one point as well. As was Gen William Boykin. Raising your right hand doesn't mean that you can't be a little crazy. I know that in my time in... I met my share.

      February 6, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Reply
    • Bud

      A drone flew over my house last night. I heard the sound of it firing its super boosters. I didn't get to see it, but my cat got a good look at it. He said it went "phBBBBBbbb Ppbth!"

      February 6, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Reply
      • Jay Crandall

        Oooh good one! Nice Wapsi Square insert there!

        February 7, 2012 at 2:37 am | Reply
    • Bobbert

      your tinfoil hat fell off 🙂

      February 6, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Reply
      • Acacia

        No, not really. Ears got cold because the drone blew off my mad-bomber...

        February 7, 2012 at 3:08 am | Reply
    • John Smith

      You're right – it's already happening. You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to see what's going on in this country. Big brother knows everything you do as well as when and where you do it. Oh sure, the technology is marketed for specific uses or played off in a certain way. "Traffic cameras" at every street light. Really? Traffic cameras in a residential neighborhood? GPS in lots of different devices, cameras built into your laptop that can be accessed, cell phones being tracked by GPS and which cell tower you hit, grocery stores tracking every item and brand you purchase. The only way to get out of the system is to unplug from technology and in turn, from society. All of your phone calls and email are screened for key words. Every website you go to is tracked. It's all around us folks – and it is brought to us in a nice gift wrapped package called "safety". "We just want to ensure the safety of the American people". New laws get passed based on how we react to fear. How long did it take the Patriot act to get passed after 9/11? If we keep giving up little pieces of our freedom, we no longer are free and that's where we've arrived. Oh sure – some will say "if you don't like America then get the hell out". I love America – the way our country was intended to be, not how it's been corrupted over the past few decades. Get your head out of your a$$ Americans. Pay attention to the new laws and policy being created. Our freedom is slipping away one law at a time.

      February 6, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Reply
      • TW

        thank you John, for your honest heart felt comment. I feel the same way. Of course we're just crazy they'll say (it's all GOOD they say, look how great everything is going......lol, rrrriiiggggghhhhhhhttttt), but we're not sheep.

        February 11, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Reply
  47. rosehips

    Erin, why didn't you research drone activity that is already going on along the borders? I live about 50 miles from Canada in Washington State and drones are used from Washington to Minnesota for surveillance along the border. Some people who live up near there are uncomfortable and the only thing they are probably finding are a few drug smugglers. I think they used a drone to look for some fugitives who were hiding out in the mountains of Northern Montana several months back. It doesn't seem right that those who are not engaged in criminal activity can be watched if they happen to be hiking, or hunting or recreating in the wilderness near the border. I wish you would look into this and also the gross amount of money that is being spent along the same border I speak of to upgrade border crossing that are rarely used and to build a big now border patrol station in my town. Thank you.

    February 5, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Reply
    • hatefulhappy

      Police helicopters can already spy on you from miles away. Come on people, this is nonsense.

      February 6, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Reply
  48. Chai Neuhaus

    The end result of drone surveillance will be a society populated by drones. If you take away a man's freedom, one right at a time, how long before he becomes a prisoner in his own world, no longer free to express himself?

    February 5, 2012 at 10:42 am | Reply
    • TW

      Chai, we are there!!! Enjoy! You are safe and free!!! Hahahaha!

      February 11, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Reply
  49. UtahProf

    "Those who would give up essential Liberties for a little temporary security deserve neither ... and will lose both" – Ben Franklin

    Our government in the US, and organizations like the UN, NATO, the IMF, The FED, and most other governments of sovereign nations around the world are simply out of control. Notice the "Arab Spring" – how it spreads, how it persistes ... it will soon spread to the US and "We the People" will take back our Republic that has been stolen from us by those put in positions of sacred trust. The tipping point has been reached and there is no stopping what is coming.

    February 5, 2012 at 2:05 am | Reply
    • servr4

      Just because an old fart in the 1700's says a sentence, does not make it particulary true...

      February 6, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Reply
      • dj wazu NYC

        That old fart will be remembered for ever, You on the other hand will never be known!

        February 6, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Reply
        • TW

          git 'em DJ!!

          February 11, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Reply
      • EarlGrayHot

        Oh yes it does. He knew exactly what the problem was and I agree.

        February 14, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Reply
  50. Tyler

    If this happened here I'd leave. Why would we our government to have such and so much power?

    February 4, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Reply
    • John Brown

      Some of us DID leave. But honestly, London is the most Surveiled city in the world.

      February 5, 2012 at 2:54 am | Reply
      • Ian

        Right you are – all the tinfoil hats here have no clue about that. England is to my mind the scariest sci-fi horror story come true, what with the cameras, the nanny state, privacy privileges run amok, half a generation out of work spawning Amy Winehouses and Russell Brands – Terry Gilliam was spot-on with 'Brazil', and that was 20 years ago.

        February 6, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Reply
  51. Rick Francois

    Interesting ...someone at CNN should do a story on this!

    they are going to kill us from inside our own country

    This is not amusing. It is downright scary that treachery has inserted itself into the very fabric of our commerce and society.

    Subject: Who is buying gun companies


    Who is buying companies, manufacturing guns ?????

    For the last several years a company called The Freedom Group has been buying up gun and ammunition manufacturers. Some of the companies are Bushmaster, Marlin, Remington, DPMS, Dakota Arms and H&R. Some people worry that this Freedom Group is going to control most of the firearms companies in the United States. If you control the manufacturers you can decide to stop selling to civilians. What a perfect way to control guns.

    Now if you do some digging you will see that The Freedom Group is owned by a company called Cerberus Capital Management. A very large privately owned LLP with assets of $13 billion. The company is named after the three headed dog that guards the gates to hell. [Nice touch?]

    Guess who controls Cerberus??? GEORGE SOROS !!!!!!!!! One of the most evil men on this planet who wants to restrict or ban all civilian guns.
    Please pass this on to all your freedom loving friends. This needs to come out. Why have we not heard about this in the "mainstream" media? I would think this would be BIG news. (Soros also owns Progressive Insurance).

    If you don't know who George Soros is, you need to do some research. He is a devoted Hungarian-American Communist who backed Obama with multi-millions of dollars and Obama is often characterized as a puppet on a string, controlled by Soros .

    Send this to every gun owner in America.

    You will find this URL in Snopes under " Who is buying gun companies"


    February 4, 2012 at 1:07 am | Reply
    • senor sanchez

      George Soros does NOT control Cerberus capital. Get your facts straight before you go on your feer mongering mission. Cerberus is controlled by Stephen Feinberg. You people go trying to spread fear and you quote snopes...are you kidding me. Get out in the fresh air and go see the real world. PE firms are buying these companies b/c they have good cash flow and have a built in customer base who will keep buying guns in America. Rick Francois what a joke...

      February 6, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Reply
    • Obamabus

      Interesting that you should bring up Snopes since they indicate this entire copy/paste job is false.

      February 6, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Reply
    • Chris Hampton

      If you are going to bother listing a "snopes" URL, you might want to check it out first to see if it supports your idea.....as it turns out, it completely debunks your posting......or perhaps you already knew that and didn't care?

      February 6, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Reply
    • David

      The link at the bottom of your rant specifically says that "The Freedom Group" you demonize here is not run by George Soros in any capacity. Congratulations, you provided proof that you have no idea what you're talking about.

      February 6, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Reply
    • smarterthanyou

      and snopes says...FALSE....

      Cerberus is a privately traded corp with dan Quayle on the board. I know tea partiers are idiots but you lower the IQ for the whole inbred group

      February 6, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Reply
    • josh101

      please fact check....

      Soros owns Cerberus. FALSE or at least highly improbable and unable to be confirmed.
      This ‘warning’ started as e-mail forwards in late 2009/early 2010 when Freedom Group attempted to go public with stock and they bought up Barnes Bullets. Cerberus was started and is owned by Stephen Feinberg. No reputable sources we have found (ie Wall Street Journal, Businessweek, etc. ) list Soros in any way connected to Cerberus.

      February 6, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Reply
    • buddy potfield

      Nice, paste a long rant about "George Soros is the boogieman" and then add a link you say is directly from snopes.com. Anyone who has ever used a web browser can tell it is not from snopes; if you really go to snopes it finds no truth to your rumor. In fact George Soros is not in any way involved in Freedom Group or Cerberus but guess who is? Former VP Dan Quayle and Former (Under G.W. Bush) Treasury Secretary John W. Snow. But that information may be suspect as well as it is from the NRA. I hate when the facts get in the way...

      February 6, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Reply
    • kapper 53

      I believe every person should have a gun. But that gun should be a musket, easily displayed, inaccurate, takes a long time to load and only fires once before reload. That way people would have time to think before shooting, and if you are a drunk, domestic violence offender, you would forget how the gun worked.

      February 6, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Reply
    • JonWNC

      Yup, it's on Snopes alright... as 'completely debunked.' Mr. Soros has absolutely no connection to The Freedom Group or Cerberus. And that's according to the NRA. Thanks for making me waste two minutes of my life to find this out. Nutjobs...

      February 6, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Reply
    • Rob

      Your comment is untruthful. Snopes says the opposite is true. Soros has no connection to The Freedom Group. Stop spreading lies.

      February 6, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Reply
    • Citizen223

      I did look it up on snopes.com and they said that the NRA investigated and found that The Freedom Group is made up of 2nd amendment supporters, and that George Soros has nothing to do with it. Here's your foil hat -> ___[^]___

      February 6, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Reply
    • Heywood Jabblome

      While you're spending all your free time looking into you may want to look into a thing called the "free market." It's something the right wingers are always blathering on about. If George takes his 13 billion and buys everygun mfg in the US that will stil leave approximately 1.2 guns in existance for every man, woman and child in this country now. If you want to buy more guns I'm guessing the Russians and the Chinese will be more than happy to oblige. Start taking your meds Rick.

      February 6, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Reply
    • dad67

      Apparently Rick doesn't do his homework. Snopes article clearly points out how ridiculous and false this rumor is. Good try though.

      February 6, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Reply
    • Pudendal Cleft

      I thoroughly enjoy seeing people like yourself lose their minds.

      February 6, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Reply
  52. Ken Regelman

    I don't tweet or facebook . Drones just the beginning ! I am tired of all the gloom and doom from and all the attempts to put fear into our hearts so that we will allow our freedom to be stolen . I am tired of the news media doing just the same . Doesn't the world understand we have lost the battle against terrorism , if we allow are freedoms to be taken away . The US was once a proud nation respected by the world . Now we allow strip searches to children and old ladies and full body scans to those we love dearly because we are afraid . If we continue to give in the terrorists they have already won and we have lost . I live my life in fear of no one or group of people but I am sick those who try to control me or any one else through the use of Fear . Lets get our back bone and our dignity back .

    February 4, 2012 at 12:59 am | Reply
  53. John Brown

    Have we forgotten this insightful thought from the 18th century? "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" –Ben Franklin

    February 4, 2012 at 12:05 am | Reply
    • Duh huh

      They should have mentioned that in the article.......in the second-to-last paragraph.........like they did.

      February 6, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Reply
  54. Jesse Summers

    It wouldn't bother me, as long they were there to protect us, not just there to make it Look like the Government is doing something to protect us

    February 4, 2012 at 12:02 am | Reply
    • markishere

      A dangerous way to live.

      February 6, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Reply
    • Wastrel

      Wrong. Think again. You are willing to give up freedom for safety.

      February 6, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Reply
    • BurstBubble

      That is interesting because that is exactly what , "....make it look like the Government is doing something to protect us.",is happening at every airport in the USA. It is smoke and mirrors. We have been doing this for 10 years. Freedoms are being eroded little bit by little bit. It is important that the US people hold their Senators and congressmen accountable for what they are doing. We need to be united on this front.

      February 6, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Reply
    • The All-knowing One

      Having a cop on every corner would keep us safe too. Of course, it would be a police state, but it sure would be safe.

      June 6, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  55. Chris McIntyre

    I think you're overstating the issue. This isn't another government intrusion into our private lives. Rather, I see this issue as nothing more than a private individual willingly giving up certain aspects of privacy by virtue of presenting him or herself in a public place. This is no different than being observed by a casual passer-by, and certainly no different than being observed by the myriad camera NYC has installed around the city...I think the biggest argument that can be derived is whether this is active or passive compliance by the public.

    February 3, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Reply

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