Border drone crashes off California coast

Affirming concerns about the proliferation of domestic drones, a mechanical problem brought down the UAV

Published January 28, 2014 5:58PM (EST)

Concerns about the proliferation of domestic surveillance drones -- aside from those relating to privacy -- have fallen on the issue of safety, such as crashes and midair collisions.

No doubt the crash of a $12 million surveillance drone, used to patrol the U.S.-Mexico border, will heighten such concerns. Agencies reported:

Customs and Border Protection said the drone was looking for drug and people smugglers when a mechanical problem developed about 20 miles south-west of San Diego late Monday. Spokesman Mike Friel says the Arizona-based crew operating the drone decided to crash it in the Pacific ocean.

The $12m surveillance drone was part of a fleet of 10 – now nine – the Department of Homeland Security uses to patrol the border.

By Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email

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Border Patrol Drone Mexico Surveillance Drone U.s.-mexico Border