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Drones will stay in the air for weeks, track whole populations – Snowden
Solar-powered drones will stay in the air for weeks tracking the movements not just of individuals, but whole populations, Edward Snowden, NSA whistleblower, wrote in an article published Tuesday.
Making drones more persistent is a capability which the US has “been pursuing forever,” Snowden wrote in The Intercept.
“The goal is to deploy solar-powered drones that can loiter in the air for weeks without coming down. Once you can do that, and you put any typical signals collection device on the bottom of it to monitor, unblinkingly, the emanations of, for example, the different network addresses of every laptop, smartphone, and iPod, you know not just where a particular device is in what city, but you know what apartment each device lives in, where it goes at any particular time, and by what route,” he explained.
When such surveillance extends to at least several cities the security agencies harness the ability to track “the movements not just of individuals but of whole populations,” the whistleblower, who revealed the mass surveillance practices of National Security Agency (NSA) back in 2013 and has since remained in exile in Russia.
“By preying on the modern necessity to stay connected, governments can reduce our dignity to something like that of tagged animals, the primary difference being that we paid for the tags and they’re in our pockets,” he added.
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