Michael Bloomberg: expect domestic drones real soon now

Multi-billionaire mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, quietly admitted in a radio interview that he expects surveillance drones to come to New York and that there’s no turning back the tide for American domestic use.

As the Verge reports, Bloomberg compared aerial drones to CCTV cameras in Manhattan. Although CCTV is not a proven prevantative measure against crime, he asked what the difference was between drones being “up in the air or on the building”. “We’re going into a different world, uncharted… you can’t keep the tide from coming in,” he ominously stated.

He also acknowledged that privacy will further be stripped from Americans in the future. Bloomberg suggested facial recognition will be incorporated into drones, later pondering if an aerial drone hovering above is more invasive than someone standing outside your front door (hint: it is). Intellectually, Bloomberg said, he would have trouble making a distinction.

“We’re gonna have more visibility and less privacy, I don’t see how you can stop that,” Bloomberg said. “It’s not a question of good or bad, I just don’t see how you can stop that, because we’re gonna have them”.

He mentioned that because of peeping tom legislation the problem has been addressed a little, but it’s going to be “much more serious”. You can do it “from further away, you can see more, you can do it continuously, you can do it undetected in a way you couldn’t before”.

“Al Qaeda can do it too,” Bloomberg said, although for many Americans – judging from the online buzz – more are worried about the use of drones for domestic applications.

Bloomberg conceded that everybody wants their privacy but he is not sure how that can be maintained. It’s “something society really has to think about” – not by writing “a quick piece of legislation”, but as long term serious problems, and whether the world has the discipline to approach these problems correctly.