Excerpted below are the first two paragraphs of Peter Aldhous and Charles Seife's 4-6-16 BuzzFeed article entitled "Spies in the Skies":
"Each weekday, dozens of U.S. government aircraft take to the
skies and slowly circle over American cities. Piloted by agents of the
FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the planes are fitted
with high-resolution video cameras, often working with 'augmented
reality' software that can superimpose onto the video images everything
from street and business names to the owners of individual homes. At
least a few planes have carried devices that can track the cell phones
of people below. Most of the aircraft are small, flying a mile or so
above ground, and many use exhaust mufflers to mute their engines —
making them hard to detect by the people they’re spying on.
government’s airborne surveillance has received little public scrutiny —
until now. BuzzFeed News has assembled an unprecedented picture of the
operation’s scale and sweep by analyzing aircraft location data
collected by the flight-tracking website Flightradar24
from mid-August to the end of December last year, identifying about 200
federal aircraft. Day after day, dozens of these planes circled above
cities across the nation."
To read Aldhous and Seife's entire article, click HERE.