The FBI’s Secret Spy Air Force Revealed

by Warner Todd Huston | June 2, 2015 10:59 am

Today’s big news in government surveillance finds us discovering that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has its own secret air force that it has been flying over trouble spots like Baltimore and others.

Apparently the FBI owns these planes[1] behind shell corporations so that airports, other pilots and the like didn’t find out that the planes were being flown by the government. Also the planes are surveilling without any order from a judge.

The FBI is operating a small air force with scores of low-flying planes across the country carrying video and, at times, cellphone surveillance technology — all hidden behind fictitious companies that are fronts for the government, The Associated Press has learned.

The planes’ surveillance equipment is generally used without a judge’s approval, and the FBI said the flights are used for specific, ongoing investigations. In a recent 30-day period, the agency flew above more than 30 cities in 11 states across the country, an AP review found.

Aerial surveillance represents a changing frontier for law enforcement, providing what the government maintains is an important tool in criminal, terrorism or intelligence probes. But the program raises questions about whether there should be updated policies protecting civil liberties as new technologies pose intrusive opportunities for government spying.

The government again found to be operating like tyrants.

  1. the FBI owns these planes:

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