The prospect of thousands of drones patrolling U.S. skies by the end of this decade is spawning anxiety across the political spectrum that Americans' privacy may be at risk.
The level of apprehension is especially high in the conservative
blogosphere, where headlines blare "30,000 Armed Drones to be Used Against Americans" and "Government Drones Set to Spy on Farms in the United States."
The concern has spilled over into Congress, where there are
bipartisan efforts by lawmakers to address the civil liberties issues raised by drones.
The backlash has drone makers worried. The drone market is
expected to almost double over the next 10 years, from current
worldwide expenditures of nearly $6 billion annually.
The issue is likely to come up at a Senate hearing this week.