Tuesday, December 10, 2013

All Hail the Police State, University Edition

It's been a while since I've posted about how this country is trending towards a police state, but by no means does that indicate it's not still going on.  Today I'll be discussing how the movement of militarizing police has even spread to higher education.

Colleges and universities often have their own police departments.  They do this to handle student problems without having to get the local police department involved, but often also to insulate the town they are associated with from having higher crime rates.  Crimes like vandalism, drug possession and assault (including sexual assault) are often more common in the typical student population than the nearby sleepy town.

But none of this is news, it's been going on for some time.  What is news is how police and security departments associated with higher education are fully embracing new tools that increase their surveillance capability and armories.

Armories?  Isn't that a bit of an exaggeration?  I really wish it was, but we are seeing Universities acquiring armored vehicles.  It's poetic that this article speaks about a university in Ohio.  If a few soldiers with bolt action rifles were able to carry out the Kent State Massacre, just imagine what some troops with machine guns and tanks can do.

As well, we see educational institutions have been commonly applying with the FAA to deploy drones, along with police departments.  Will these drones simply be used to spy on students?  Will they be restricted to the airspace over the university property?  Or will they extend out?  Most college campuses are already blanketed with stationary cameras, so it's curious as to what the intent is for drone use.

Welcome to the future, where even educational institutions are getting militarized and buying high tech spying gear!

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