Judge, Jury, and Executioner

Imagine Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – commonly called drones – patrolling the skies over your neighborhood, giving the state unfettered access to everything you do.

Drones equipped with high-tech cameras can scan entire cities or zoom in and read your computer screen or paperwork sitting on your kitchen table.

And there are thousands of them in the skies over America today.

Now imagine those drones are armed with weapons, handing the operator on the ground – if there is one - the ability to act as judge, jury, and executioner.

Terminator. Robocop. Judge Dredd. These dystopian films about the future of law enforcement are very entertaining to some, but they were never meant to become a reality.

Unfortunately, S.B. 971 was recently introduced in the Pennsylvania Legislature, and it authorizes the arming of police drones with weapons

This is unacceptable in a free society - it's a recipe for disaster with tragic consequences in real life.

It’s critical you contact State Senator Folmer at 717-787-5708 today and demand he strike the language in S.B. 971 that allows for armed drones in Pennsylvania.

Currently, there is no law stopping law enforcement from arming drones or using them for around-the-clock surveillance without a warrant.

S.B. 971 purports to place a “moratorium” on state drone use except in specific circumstances, such as “major” disasters or to assist law enforcement search for missing persons when the Amber Alert system is activated.

That part of the bill is worth saving.

But there is an exception that codifies into law the “weaponizing” of law enforcement drones “with a warrant.”

Armed police drones – under any circumstances – should be banned in Pennsylvania.

The harm that could ensue as a result of human error is almost unimaginable – just think of the potential “collateral damage” from an armed drone firing at a suspect in a crowded place...

But it gets worse.

Technology is currently being developed that would leave the decision of targets to search and destroy to Artificial Intelligence (AI), according to University of California at Berkeley Professor Stuart Russell.

With these powers, the detection of an “alleged” wanted person could someday lead to termination by a drone - without any human interaction at all.

And according to Professor Russell, this technology will be ready in “years – not decades.”

With this technology, the state would never have to prove a suspect’s guilt to a jury before executing him.

No judge. No jury. No burden of proof.

That may sound far-fetched, but then, armed drones over your neighborhood peering into your windows seemed outlandish not so long ago.

Killer drones over America’s parks and bedroom communities do not serve the public interest. Local and state law enforcement are sworn to protect and serve citizens, not to equip for war against them.

That’s why it’s critical you contact State Senator Folmer at 717-787-5708 today and demand he strike the language in S.B. 971 that allows for armed drones in Pennsylvania.

Tell State Senator Folmer to terminate state use of killer drones before it’s too late.

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