Domestic Drones in North Dakota

Friday, July 27, 2012


In Afghanistan and Yemen, armed drones have become an effective military tool. In the US, unarmed drones have become a tool of domestic law enforcement. Brooke speaks with Star Tribune military affairs reporter Mark Brunswick about the use of an unarmed drone to help end a dispute over six missing cows in North Dakota.


Mark Brunswick

Hosted by:

Brooke Gladstone

Comments [3]

Cindy Mathieu from Montgomery County, TX

Brook Gladstone asked herself why she should be worried since GPS and cel phones already enable quite a bit of surveillance. This is true, they do. However, one can opt out of cel phones and GPS. How does one opt out of having a drone fly over your head???

Jul. 30 2012 10:31 AM
Doug Peterson from Houston Texas

I am really enjoying finding out about additional information programs on NPR after the Houston station went digital and suddenly we get much more than classic music and some NPR news.

BUT, I've been quite surprised several times by what seemed inadequacies to me. For instance several weeks ago the NPR ombudsman's response to NPR's routine use of a small busines activist/leader who posed as a common small businessman was weak. Of course in such a case, if you do use such a biased interviewee, his clear bias and positions HAVE to be mentioned to maintain your credibility.

On today's show, the segment about drone usage in the US suggested the North Dakota usage was a first or at the most an extremely unusual happening. Y'all needed to do a bit of research. The Houston Chronicle has run multiple articles in recent month - along with other papers, I'm sure - where it described huge rush across the country by local and state governments to get drones bought and in the air to investigate all kinds of things. Even congress is getting first up to protect privacy from drones above. Take a look at just one paragraph: The FAA has given at least 106 federal, state and local agencies nationwide permission to operate 207 drones – a number expected to increase rapidly as the FAA fully phases low-flying drones weighing less than 55 pounds into the U.S. aviation system by 2015.

Your story made light of the names of drones and suggested this was not anything to be worried about. Even Houston's Chronicle, a conservative paper, is all over this...

Jul. 29 2012 10:18 PM
Jeff Pappas from Dumbo

Thanks overall for your great Journalism;

Regarding your story on Drones in the American west. Story leaves some major 5 W,s unanswered....

WHY. 6 cows....were the reason for the initial Drone spying ? WHAT was the farmer doing that called attention to these 6 cows? You got the WHO , WHERE and WHEN but the others are the most important. Beware of the Fox news trap !

I am an independent Photojournalist/ Film maker , Writer and Editor,
who is also looking for work.

I Am most baffled by your lack of basic coverage in this story.
Flickr jeffphotopappas


Jeff Pappas

Jul. 29 2012 02:00 PM

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