(Tea Party 247) – Law enforcement agencies all across the country have been trying out new technologies in pre-crime efforts and in an attempt to curb crime in general. Essentially they are laying the groundwork for a police state to be ushered in. Now, police in Massachusetts are officially using robot dogs.
Summit News reports:
Massachusetts State Police have become the first law enforcement agency in the US to use robotic dogs, in a first that has critics warning that the machines could be weaponized in the future.
WBUR News reports that the metal dogs, made by Boston Dynamics, have been leased to the police and used on multiple occasions in active law enforcement incidents since August.
The robots, named ‘SPOT’, have been used as ‘mobile remote observation devices’ according to records obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.
Details on their use are scant, but the documents suggest that the dogs were used to provide troopers with images of suspicious devices or reveal where suspects were hiding.
Video of MA State Police testing the dogs shows one of the robots opening a door, mirroring footage released previously by Boston Dynamics.
State police spokeman David Procopio said to reporters, “Robot technology is a valuable tool for law enforcement because of its ability to provide situational awareness of potentially dangerous environments.”
Boston Dynamics Vice President for business development, Michael Perry, said the robots were leased to the police department with the condition that they “not be used in a way that would ‘physically harm or intimidate people.’”
“Part of our early evaluation process with customers is making sure that we’re on the same page for the usage of the robot,” Perry said, adding “So upfront, we’re very clear with our customers that we don’t want the robot being used in a way that can physically harm somebody.”
Given the fact that the AI on the dogs is open, making them completely customizable, and that they can be fitted with weapons, has some technology experts worried. Kade Crockford, the director of the technology for liberty program at the ACLU, is one of those people.
“We just really don’t know enough about how the state police are using this,” Crockford said. “And the technology that can be used in concert with a robotic system like this is almost limitless in terms of what kinds of surveillance and potentially even weaponization operations may be allowed.”
“We really need some law and some regulation to establish a floor of protection to ensure that these systems can’t be misused or abused in the government’s hands,” he said before stating, “And no, a terms of service agreement is just insufficient.”
While using robot dogs in certain situations could be a good thing for law enforcement, potentially reducing police officer safety risks, there are just too many possibilities to ignore that these robot dogs could be potentially dangerous for the general public.
Imagine one day weaponized robot dogs roaming the streets. What could possibly go wrong?