Police drones, and Supreme Court web cases

In the skies above Chula Vista, California, where the police department operates a drone program 10 hours a day, seven days a week, it’s common to see an unmanned aerial car running in the sky.

Chula Vista is one of a dozen U.S. departments operating so-called drone-as-first-responder programs, in which drones are dispatched by pilots, listen to live 911 calls, and often arrive first at the scenes of accidents, emergencies, and crimes, cameras in tow.

But many argue that the adoption of drones by police forces is too fast. The use of drones as surveillance tools and first responders is a fundamental policy shift, one without well-informed public debate about privacy regulations, tactics, and limitations. There is also little evidence available on its effectiveness, with little evidence that drone policing reduces crime.

Now Chula Vista is being sued to release the drone footage, which illustrates how privacy and civil liberties groups are increasingly concerned that the technology could expand surveillance capabilities and lead to more police interactions with people. demographics that have historically suffered from over-rotation. Read the full story.

—Patrick Sisson

Four ways the Supreme Court will reshape the web

All eyes were on the US Supreme Court last week as it weighed arguments for two cases related to recommendation algorithms and content moderation, both key areas when how the internet works. While we haven’t received a verdict in any of the cases in a few months, if we do, it could be a Big Deal.

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