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Welcome to The Seattle Times' online letters to the editor, a sampling of readers' opinions. Join the conversation by commenting on these letters or send your own letter of up to 200 words

February 11, 2013 at 4:00 PM

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Surveillance technology requires public scrutiny

Drones, cameras help protect public spaces

I am puzzled by the recent outcry against the use of police drones and the installation of surveillance cameras, as reported in several recent Seattle Times articles, including Danny Westneat’s piece in Sunday’s Times [“Spy gear needs public scrutiny first, NWSunday, Feb. 10].

While I’m not surprised that scofflaws will be heard to object, I wonder what law-abiding citizens are worried about? If your public behavior does not violate the law or impinge on the freedom of others, then what’s the worry?

These surveillance systems are in the public places we all share, not in our homes. Most of us would like those public places to be safe. If everyone followed the law, there would be no need for these devices, but since some of us don’t (as evidenced by the incidence of speeding in schools zones caught on camera, I think this is a positive step.

I support the use of drones by law-enforcement officials and the installation of surveillance cameras. I believe it’s a good thing if a bad guy gets caught on camera.

--Paul Heins, Redmond

Limiting drones is not modern thinking

In an age of exploding robotic technology, Rep. David Taylor’s proposed new bill limiting the use of “drones” in Washington state would be one giant leap backward for mankind and label us as modern-day troglodytes completely out of step with modern society [“Bill to put restrictions on drones statewide introduced in Olympia,” NWSaturday, Feb. 9].

Consistent with his mindset, perhaps he could also prohibit flying machines and horseless carriages.

--Merle Hanley, Seattle

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To those who support drones my retort is a quote from Benjamin Franklin "They who... MORE
Paul, your response is the reason they use to advocate for more control. What happens... MORE

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