In another step towards a Big Brother state, the Victorian Government will roll out police drones to monitor crowds at major Melbourne events.
Following the launch of the state’s first-ever specialist drone unit, the unmanned aircraft will hover over locations deemed “high risk”. These include locations such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Police Inspector Craig Shephard said the unit would manage
- emergency situations,
- public order,
- assist search and rescue,
- and situational awareness.
Like Mysterio’s drone army in the new Spider Man: Far From Home movie, the Victorian Police are said to acquire as many as 50 drones that run 24/7 and use night vision.
Police drones becoming ubiquitous
Although it is promised police drones will focus on major events, the operation of the remotely-piloted aircraft may slowly become ubiquitous. New South Wales and South Australia currently use drones to allow police to monitor dangerous situations, as well as conduct covert operations and rescue missions.
Police drones potentially violating civil rights and liberties
But, under the veil of protection and safety against terrorism threats and sieges, police drones can easily violate our civil rights and liberties. Unlike CCTV cameras, which are static and useful for obtaining evidence, these high-tech aircrafts are an intrusive mode of surveillance. They have the capacity to spy into our balconies and our backyards.
VicRoads may soon monitor every movement through some intersections
Still, the serious threat and abuse to our privacy continues to surge on. It was recently reported VicRoads granted $2 million to a company titled ‘Omni-Aware’ to set up automated vehicle perception technology to detect all movements through intersections, including vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. This trend of treating everyone as a suspect of crime must stop immediately, before we find ourselves being watched every minute of our lives.
The drone unit is expected to be in full operation by the end of August.