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17690317_sIsrael has been operating unmanned air systems (UAS) for over 40 years. The fact that these are operated by the Israeli defense forces (IDF) may have postponed a debate that is now heating up in the u.s

A u.s department of Homeland Security (DHS)  says it plans to review the privacy implications of using drones to monitor U.S. citizens.

According to the homeland security news wire website ,the department’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties has created a working group that will “clarify any misunderstandings that exist” about DHS’s drone program, as well as make an effort to “mitigate and address any outstanding” privacy concerns.

It isn’t clear how rigorous the review will be. The department’s privacy office lacks key investigative powers, and last fall it blessed the controversial practice of monitoring social media as perfectly acceptable. In 2006, however, it did slap down the Transportation Security Agency for “privacy missteps” when collecting details on millions of air travelers.

Domestic police use of drones to monitor U.S. citizens raises privacy concerns because unmanned air systems (UAS), are far cheaper than manned helicopters or fixed-wing planes and can stay aloft far longer. That means law enforcement could monitor Americans in their backyards, cars, or at political gatherings in ways that would not have been possible before.

According to the homeland security new wire website , while there are no federal regulations in place limiting how police agencies may use UAS  there are voices that call for their use only with warrants .

A bill that President Obama signed into law a year ago accelerated their use by requiring the Federal Aviation Administration to “safely accelerate” the deployment of drones.

The u. federal aviation administration (FAA) said last week that it will “address privacy-related data collection” by drone operators