Discussion 2 A+
You are expected to create your own original thread, at least 100 words, referencing the article and showing a connection to the textbook readings. You must also respond to at least two other student threads. Each response must be original, at least 100 words, and must clearly tie into your peer’s original post, stating whether you agree or disagree, and explain why using the textbook readings and discussion article as evidence.
Each forum is graded using a rubric. Find out how to view the rubric for a graded discussion. C-)
Discussion Question: This week’s topic is civil liberties. Please read this article from CNN below about New York City’s use of drones to monitor citizen behavior. Do you agree with the increasing use of drones by police departments as a tool for enhanced policing? Why or why not? What do critics say is a violation of civil liberties? Discuss the concept of preventing illegal search and seizure found in the 4th Amendment and how drones may or may not apply. What about a right to privacy? Please refer to the article and Chapter 4 on Civil Liberties in all of your posts.
Article Link: https://www.cnn.com/2023/09/02/us/nypd-drone-surveillance-labor-day/index.html
The article details plans by the New York Police Department (NYPD) to deploy drones over the Labor Day weekend to monitor gatherings and complaints associated with the annual West Indian American Day celebrations. While the NYPD and Mayor Adams argue this is to better deploy resources and crisis teams, critics argue it amounts to pervasive surveillance that can infringe on privacy and disproportionately target Black and brown communities.
When considering this issue through the lens of civil liberties, specifically the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, the increasing use of drones by law enforcement does raise valid concerns. As the ACLU representative cited notes, drone surveillance allows monitoring from afar in a continuous, indiscriminate manner that traditional policing does not permit (Stanley, 2022). This could allow circumventing the legal standards of obtaining warrants based on reasonable suspicion of criminal activity in specific locations.
Scholars also argue that current laws and policies have not kept up with technological advances, leaving room for potential misuse and abuse of surveillance powers (Murphy and Jenkins-Smith, 2018). Furthermore, the historical context of over-policing of minority communities in New York means these tactics could undermine civil rights and privacy expectations if not properly regulated and overseen (Glaser, 2018).
In balancing public safety with civil liberties, it is reasonable for law enforcement to have limited, targeted use of drones for critical incidents as an alternative to risky physical police presence. However, using them for routine monitoring of lawful public gatherings requires much stricter limitations and transparency to prevent Fourth Amendment violations. Overall, as technology outpaces policy, communities must engage policymakers to ensure core constitutional rights are protected from function creep or disparate impacts of new surveillance programs.
Glaser, J. (2018). Policing in America: Understanding Public Attitudes Toward the Police. Criminal Justice Review, 43(2), 123–144. https://doi.org/10.1177/0734016817752400
Murphy, E., & Jenkins-Smith, H. (2018). Technology Creep: Experiential, Vicarious, and Persuasive Learning about Domestic Police Drone Surveillance. Politics & Policy, 46(4), 636–667. https://doi.org/10.1111/polp.12241
Stanley, J. (2022). Drone Surveillance: Updating Surveillance Law for the Drone Age. American Civil Liberties Union. https://www.aclu.org/report/drone-surveillance