Mueller: FBI Uses Drones For Surveillance - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Mueller: FBI Uses Drones For Surveillance

Posted: Updated:
Washington, D.C. -

(FOX 11 / AP) The FBI uses drones for surveillance of stationary subjects, and the privacy implications of such operations are "worthy of debate," FBI Director Robert Mueller said Wednesday.

He said the law enforcement agency very seldom uses drones now, but is developing guidelines that will shape how unmanned aerial vehicles are to be used.

There will be a number of issues regarding drones "as they become more omnipresent, not the least of which is the drones in airspace and also the threat on privacy," Mueller said in an appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"We already have, to a certain extent, a body of law that relates to aerial surveillance and privacy relating to helicopters and small aircraft ... which could well be adapted to the use of drones," Mueller said. "It's still in its nascent stages ... but it's worthy of debate and perhaps legislation down the road."

A member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., expressed concern that "the FBI is deploying drone technology while only being in the `initial stages' of developing guidelines."

Drones allows the FBI to learn critical information that otherwise would be difficult to obtain without introducing serious risk to law enforcement personnel, the law enforcement agency said in a statement following Mueller's comments at the Senate hearing.

The FBI used drones at night during a six-day hostage standoff in Alabama earlier this year. The standoff ended when members of an FBI rescue team stormed an underground bunker, killing gunman Jimmy Lee Dykes before he could harm a 5-year-old boy held hostage.

The FBI said its unmanned aerial vehicles are used only to conduct surveillance operations on stationary subjects. In each instance, the FBI first must obtain the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration to use the aircraft in a very confined geographic area.

The aerospace industry forecasts a worldwide deployment of almost 30,000 drones by 2018, with the United States accounting for half of them.

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • Aid Flows Into Iraq Shiite Town After Siege Broken, Airstrikes

    Aid Flows Into Iraq Shiite Town After Siege Broken, Airstrikes

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:11 AM EDT2014-09-01 15:11:17 GMT
    Iraq's outgoing prime minister travelled to a small northern Shiite town Monday, praising its residents for fending off attacks by Sunni militants who had besieged them for more than two months until security forces backed by Iran-allied Shiite militias and U.S. airstrikes broke the siege a day earlier.
    Iraq's outgoing prime minister travelled to a small northern Shiite town Monday, praising its residents for fending off attacks by Sunni militants who had besieged them for more than two months until security forces backed by Iran-allied Shiite militias and U.S. airstrikes broke the siege a day earlier.
  • Britain Raises Threat Level, Promises Tough Action To Fight Militants

    Britain Raises Threat Level, Promises Tough Action To Fight Militants

    Friday, August 29 2014 11:11 AM EDT2014-08-29 15:11:19 GMT
    Prime Minister David Cameron says he'll introduce new laws to combat terror suspects, pledging to seize passports to fight what he described as an extremist threat more dangerous than any previously seen.Cameron's remarks came just after authorities on Friday raised the terror threat level to severe, the second highest level.
    Prime Minister David Cameron says he'll introduce new laws to combat terror suspects, pledging to seize passports to fight what he described as an extremist threat more dangerous than any previously seen.Cameron's remarks came just after authorities on Friday raised the terror threat level to severe, the second highest level.
  • Obama Cautions Against Using Force To Solve Crises In Ukraine, Middle East

    Obama Cautions Against Using Force To Solve Crises In Ukraine, Middle East

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:45 AM EDT2014-08-29 14:45:40 GMT
    Faced with deepening crises in the Middle East and Ukraine, President Barack Obama is putting the brakes on the notion that American military power can solve either conflict.
    Faced with deepening crises in the Middle East and Ukraine, President Barack Obama is putting the brakes on the notion that American military power can solve either conflict.
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices