Xeni Jardin at Boing Boing tells us about a new surveillance technology Los Angeles police are using. The aerial drones, which share a strong resemblance with model airplanes, have been used extensively by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan. L.A. police are among the first non-military groups to put the drones to the test.

Completely unmanned and coming at a price of 30 grand a drone, they certainly provide an efficient alternative to manned helicopters. And, honestly, flying drones are pretty damn cool. (Don't believe me, check out the Flickr for the NPR/Boing Boing story.) But the presence of these drones should raise some concerns about privacy. Hm. An army of flying drones. Operated by the government. Wait a minute–

As B.F. Skinner once said, "The question is not if machines think, but if men do."

Daniel Corbett