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The drone program has exploded since Barack Obama assumed office in 2008, and now there’s so much surveillance footage streaming into the Department of defence that the military is looking for help handling load.It seems like Sports broadcasting network ESPN is the most likely candidate, reported former Marine and author Jim Michaels for USA Today.
Jim Michaels writes:
Here at Langley, Air Force analysts sit for hours at a stretch in a vast room that is illuminated only by bank after bank of monitors. The drones are piloted elsewhere, often at a base in Nevada, but the video arrives here. The video is analysed and fused with other types of intelligence, such as still photos or communications intercepts.
Military analysts work hand in hand with the Central Intelligence Agency (also based out of Langley) to develop leads on potential targets. The problem is that current personnel can’t keep up with incoming information.
Air Force officials told Michaels that though they met with ESPN, no “major technological breakthroughs occurred.” It was more about exchanging expertise, they said.
This isn’t the first time the military has reached out to the sports world. The U.S. Army has recently reached out to the NFL in order to pool resources and information in terms of Traumatic Brain Injuries.
It’s also not the first, nor the last time one would imagine, that military surveillance programs have bled into the domestic side of life. On Monday, Trevor Hughes of the Colorodoan reported that a local county Sheriff had used National Guard helicopters to surveill regional marijuana growers in an attempt to gather intelligence on potential law breakers.
There was also the actions of the NYPD which linked the CIA to controversial domestic spying on the Muslim population.
With so many drones and surveillance techniques used in so many private and military applications, the bleeding of military intelligence into every day civilian life seems like it may be inevitable.