Politics

Chula Vista Citizens Are Being Watched by Drones Made by China and Surveillance was Coordinated With Help From DHS

Everyone talks about how the government is Big Brother, but sometimes those comments are tongue-in-cheek. But recent reporting shows that one city in San Diego County was being watched by the DHS with help from the Chinese government. The Orwellian nightmare has come true.

Chula Vista (unfortunately) became the first city in the United States to be monitored by spy drones. This wasn’t done out of thin air, it has been talked about for a long time. The Department of Homeland Security had been coordinating with the Chinese government and tech companies connected to the CCP such as drone manufacturers back in 2018. The city announced back in 2018, “ The City of San Diego’s Homeland Security Department is collaborating with more than 20 regional organizations to implement the IPP. In addition to EDC, partners include: City of Chula Vista, Cape, AirMap, Qualcomm, AT&T, California Governor’s Military Council, California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GoBiz), Uber, UC San Diego Health, Intel, GE Ventures, and others”. 2020 only complicated things even more as many people began to feel tracked by their government as the nation was going through the COVID pandemic and felt that the government was violating their privacy. We all saw what China did with drone technology by watching its citizens and ordering them to return home. The Chula Vista Police Department admits to having considered that, “The department is considering one strategy to use drone-mounted speakers to communicate and reach vulnerable populations in inaccessible areas of the city, like large urban canyons with homeless encampments” the department said in a press release. 

According to Brian Hofer, executive director of Secure Justice an Oakland-based privacy advocate group, “ On a per capita basis, they’re probably the most or one of the most surveilled cities in the country” Hofer said about Chula Vista, “Pretty much the minute you walk outside your front door and move about your daily life, you’re going to be tagged and tracked by some law enforcement agency, even though you’ve likely never been suspected of any wrongdoing.” Don’t believe this is Orwellian, the company that manufactured the drones admits it, “It seems a little Orwellian, but this could save lives” said Spencer Gore, CEO of Impossible Aerospace. 

But why spy on American citizens? Why choose Chula Vista? Chula Vista is the second-largest city within San Diego County and is a heavily Latino and minority city. Was it to spy on citizens merely stepping outside or for a more nefarious purpose? One of the most ridiculous parts of this program is that the federal government doesn’t trust these drones, citing security concerns. The Department of Defense said in 2017 that the drones are, “providing U.S. critical infrastructure and law enforcement data to the Chinese government.” The blame falls on the Democrat-led City Council and Mayor of Chula Vista who are allowing this unlawful surveillance of its citizens to take place. The people have a right to privacy, and they should not be being watched by an enforcement agency, let alone having that information be sold to a hostile government like China. 

Photo Cred: Third Avenue Village Association/ ABC 10