Federal subsidies undermine the budget constraint on local government, which often cuts the public out of the discussion; acquisition is an administrative decision with little budgetary impact. Moreover, the general public may not be told about local surveillance technology until very late in the process; the Seattle City Council itself learned of the police drone program only after a reporter saw the department’s F.A.A. authorization on a list obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013
New York Times