Human Rights

Mayor Bloomberg Doesn’t See Difference Between Drones Flying Over NYC and Security Cameras

“It's scary, but what's the difference? Intellectually, I have trouble making a distinction,” he said.

Photo Credit: Deng

The drones are coming to spy on NYC residents — and apparently there’s no stopping them, according to Mayor Bloomberg.

In a radio interview with WOR 710 on Friday, Bloomberg said he estimated that in five years domestic drone use will be highly prevalent, using face-recognition software.

Asked if it’s a good idea for the NYPD to use drones, Bloomberg told the station, “We're going to have more visibility and less privacy. I don't see how you stop that. It's not a question of whether I think it's good or bad — I don't see how you stop that.”

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Hmm… maybe by not accepting the idea in the first place? But, in reality, the mayor does admit he thinks they are kind of good.After all, he said he doesn’t see the different between drones and security cameras.

Bloomberg said on-air:

“It's scary, but what's the difference if the drone is up in the air or on the building? … Intellectually, I have trouble making a distinction.”

Really? Well, while they are both forms of surveillance, which infringes on our privacy, there’s always a spectrum of infringement. Drones will literally be able to fly over us in the air, eerily reminding us of the same drones used to murder people overseas. The police state will then be able to record our every move and ultimately be able to punish us for anything we do that doesn’t fit their idea of how citizens should act.

Big Brother much?

Well, get over it said Bloomberg:

The argument against using automation, it's this craziness-- oh, it's big brother. Get used to it. When there's a murder, a shooting, a robbery of something the first thing the police do is go to every single building in the neighborhood and say let's see your security camera.

Yes, while it’s great that cameras or drones may help solve a crime or two, is it worth investing in spy machines instead of putting the money toward ailing the root causes of violence, like poverty, racism, poor education, etc.? And one can only wonder what the police will do with footage capturing police brutality. 

But at least Bloomberg said there will be “Peeping Tom legislation,” so drones can’t fly over backyards and peer into bedroom windows.

How thoughtful.

Alyssa Figueroa is an associate editor at AlterNet.