I read with interest the July 22 story "Spies in the sky signal new age of surveillance." I noted the quote from Douglas McDonald of Unmanned Applications Institute International: "If you're concerned about it, maybe there's a reason we should be flying over you, right?"
Assuming the reported quote is accurate, I'm hoping that McDonald regrets making this statement. However, if it accurately reflects his views, I wish to point out the obvious -- that in America people are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The Bill of Rights guarantees due process, protects Americans against illegal search and seizure, and protects our rights to free speech. McDonald's statement suggests he believes all of these rights are subordinate to the government's power -- not just to enforce the law, but also to investigate people who wish to preserve their civil liberties.
Such attitudes subvert our basic freedoms. Once the government gains power over the people, it will never willingly relinquish that power. With this in mind, perhaps people who agree with McDonald can begin to understand the concerns of American citizens -- and not just those who engage in illegal and dangerous activities -- about growing government surveillance power.
MICHAEL BURR, LITTLE FALLS, MINN.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.