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When we think of unmanned Predator Drones, we think of their extensive use overseas, especially in the Middle East. What we don't think about is a Predator Drone flying over North Dakota, aiding in an investigation of some stolen cows. Yet that's exactly what happened in the town of Lakota, where police used a drone to make sure an area was safe before going in to make an arrest of Rodney Brossart, who's being accused of stealing six cows.

Brossart is the first American citizen to be arrested in a case involving drone assistance, something his attorney Bruce Quick finds alarming, calling it "outrageous government conduct." Police insist that it was perfectly legal, and that the drone wasn't used to gather evidence and was only called in after a warrant for Brossart's arrest had already been issued. Still, Quick is uneasy with the idea of using drones in civilian arrests, saying "I think we need to think long and hard before we proceed down this path."

In this particular instance, I don't take issue with the police using the drone for safety reasons. Brossart's family were armed with rifles and threatening to shoot anyone who approached, so I understand the need for remote surveillance. In general, however, I think Quick is absolutely right. We're headed down an Orwellian path and just because the drone wasn't used to gather evidence this time doesn't mean that that time isn't coming.

via The Verge