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DOTD: pocket-sized drones


Document of the day: Army researchers develop Cargo Pocket ISR, By Jeffrey Sisto, Natick Soldier RD&E Center, Public Affairs (July 21, 2014).

Researchers at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center are developing a pocket-sized aerial surveillance device for Soldiers and small units operating in challenging ground environments.

Check out the @RadReference anti-surveillance zine

Hey, check out the new, hot-off-the-presses Radical Reference anti-surveillance zine! It’s chock full of information to keep individuals and libraries safe in our ubiquitous surveillance world. It’s under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA license so feel free to print and hand them out in your library.

Ever since the events of September 11th, something has been happening to our privacy rights. The aftermath of this national tragedy has been an unprecedented expansion of mass surveillance in the name of “national security.” Technological progress has enabled surveillance to be both ubiquitous and ultra-pervasive, seeping into all aspects of the public and private spheres. Recent revelations about dragnet surveillance prove that we are having our data collected, stored and analyzed, even if we’ve been charged with no crime. In this world of mass surveillance, we are all suspects.

Librarians have always been fierce defenders of privacy. As a profession, we’ve opposed undemocratic and illegal threats to 1st and 4th amendment rights from McCarthyism to the USA PATRIOT Act. It’s unsurprising that these issues are of paramount importance to us; as information professionals, we know that privacy is fundamental to freedom. Even more importantly, privacy is vital to human dignity, recognized by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Our freedoms of association, speech, and thought all depend on our privacy.

That’s why we’ve created this anti-surveillance, pro-privacy publication. Information and action is critical to the fight against surveillance. We hope that this publication will help.


Your anti-surveillance Radical Reference Librarians

Air Force scrubs Drone airstrike statistics from their site

According to the Air Force Times, the Air Force has reversed their policy of sharing monthly statistics on the number of airstrikes launched from drones (aka remotely piloted aircraft (RPA)). In the interest of access and transparency, we’ve posted the original statistics from December ’12, January ’13, and February ’13.

As scrutiny and debate over the use of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) by the American military increased last month, the Air Force reversed a policy of sharing the number of airstrikes launched from RPAs in Afghanistan and quietly scrubbed those statistics from previous releases kept on their website.

Last October, Air Force Central Command started tallying weapons releases from RPAs, broken down into monthly updates. At the time, AFCENT spokeswoman Capt. Kim Bender said the numbers would be put out every month as part of a service effort to “provide more detailed information on RPA ops in Afghanistan.”

The Air Force maintained that policy for the statistics reports for November, December and January. But the February numbers, released March 7, contained empty space where the box of RPA statistics had previously been.

Additionally, monthly reports hosted on the Air Force website have had the RPA data removed — and recently.

Those files still contained the RPA data as of Feb. 16, according to archived web pages accessed via Archive.org. Metadata included in the new, RPA-less versions of the reports show the files were all created Feb. 22.