Press Esc to close
Friday 24 October 2014
News updated at 3:47 PM IST
Weather
Max: 0°C
Min : 0°C
In Bangalore
Sunny day

Drones used in US for surveillance: FBI chief

Washington, Jun 20, 2013 (PTI):
File image: Reuters

The FBI has for the first time acknowledged that it uses drone aircraft domestically for surveillance in a "very minimal way", even as the Obama administration grapples with the fallout from the public disclosure of its covert spying programmes.

FBI Director Robert Mueller said the law enforcement agency uses unmanned drones within the country for surveillance in certain difficult cases.

Mueller told the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday that drones are used by the FBI in a "very, very minimal way and very seldom."


He did not say how many unmanned surveillance vehicles (UAVs) the FBI has or how often they have been used.

But CNN quoted a law enforcement official as saying that the FBI has used them a little more than a dozen times but did not say when that started.

The official said drones are useful in hostage and barricade situations because they operate more quietly and are less visible than traditional aircraft such as helicopters.

The FBI said it used a UAV earlier this year to monitor the situation where a boy was held hostage in a bunker in Alabama.

FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said their use allows "us to learn critical information that otherwise would be difficult to obtain without introducing serious risk to law enforcement personnel."

Bresson said the aircraft can only be used to perform surveillance on stationary subjects and the FBI must first get approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly in a "very confined geographic area."

Mueller's comments come as the Obama administration is trying to wriggle out of the political fallout from the public disclosure of surveillance programmes, which has triggered new debate over reach of national security vs. privacy rights.

President Barack Obama has assured Americans the government is not listening to their phone conversations or reading their e-mail.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Hindu priest performs evening prayers called 'Aarti' on the banks of the river Yamuna...

Hindu priest performs evening prayers called 'Aarti' on the banks of the river Yamuna...

Dakshineswar Temple decorated with lights for the Kali Puja and Diwali at North 24 Pargana...

Dakshineswar Temple decorated with lights for the Kali Puja and Diwali at North 24 Pargana...

Firecrackers light up the sky as people celebrate Diwali festival in Mumbai...

Firecrackers light up the sky as people celebrate Diwali festival in Mumbai...

School students lighting earhen lamps at Tulsi Ghat in Varanasi...

School students lighting earhen lamps at Tulsi Ghat in Varanasi...

A view of decorated Madan Mohan Malviya Stadium with oil lamps during Deepwali festival...

A view of decorated Madan Mohan Malviya Stadium with oil lamps during Deepwali festival...

Illuminated Golden Temple on the eve of Diwali in Amritsar...

Illuminated Golden Temple on the eve of Diwali in Amritsar...

Children with special needs light firecrackers as they celebrate Diwali...

Children with special needs light firecrackers as they celebrate Diwali...

Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers enjoy Diwali celebrations on the eve of Diwali...

Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers enjoy Diwali celebrations on the eve of Diwali...

Hindu priests light oil lamps in a formation of the 'Swastika', a Hindu symbol of peace...

Hindu priests light oil lamps in a formation of the 'Swastika', a Hindu symbol of peace...

A Border Security Force (BSF) soldier lights sparklers on the eve of Diwali...

A Border Security Force (BSF) soldier lights sparklers on the eve of Diwali...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523