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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

VIDEO: GOP Mayoral Hopefuls Support The Use Of Surveillance Drones Over NYC

As the use of drones in the united States was brought up weeks ago by Republican Senator Rand Paul, and in wake of the Boston bombing and the day long search for the 2nd suspect, the use of drones came up again as a public safety matter. Rand Paul surprised many of his supporters Monday, as he came out in favor of using drones if there was “an imminent threat.”

“I never argued against any technology being used when you have an imminent threat, an active crime going on. If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and $50 in cash, I don’t care if a drone kills him or policeman kills him,” Paul said on Fox Business Network, in reference to the Boston Marathon bombings. “But it is different if they want to come fly over your hot tub or your yard just because they want to do surveillance on everyone, and they want to watch your activity.”

At a Republican mayoral candidates forum last night, the mayoral hopefuls were questioned whether they support the use of drones over New York City.  "I’m absolutely for it," said Joe Lhota. "Drones to be used from a surveillance point of view, so long as it understands people’s privacy rights."

"They’re not to be used in a military fashion, in the way we use them in the Middle East," Lhota added. "But from collecting intelligence, from following what’s going on, a drone is no different than having a camera on the street corner watching what you’re doing in a public place. And we now know how important cameras are to how quickly law enforcement was able to get to people in Boston.” 

George McDonald agreed that the use of drones as a technology surveillance tool may be inevitable, as long as it's balanced in a way that protects privacy. “Cameras are going to be a part of our life, whether we like it or not. Obviously I don't want a drone lookin’ in my bedroom," he said. "And I think that all of us have to stay vigilant about the line where our individual freedoms and our collective responsibilities begin." 

To which John Catsimatidis vowed to do anything in his power to keep the city safe. "I think we have to use 21st Century technology like we talked about to help keep New Yorkers safe, and I'm fully committed to anything that exists to keep New Yorkers safe. I will press that button and make sure it happens," Mr. Catsimatidis said.

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