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State Senator, Marine Vet Responds To Military Surveillance Balloons


One Republican state lawmaker says wide-area surveillance test by the US military is unacceptable.

Stace Nelson is a state senator and served as a Marine and NCIS agent for over 23 years. Nelson says he winced when he saw reports of the military doing a test launch of solar powered high-altitude balloons from South Dakota.

“There’s been nothing that’s been indicated by the information that’s been released that this spying is based off of probable cause or reasonable suspicion,” Nelson says. “This is the government going on a fishing expedition, snooping around in people’s back yards, from 5,000-10,000 feet. The technology we have today, the video technology, I mean it’s literally like you’ve got someone standing outside the back of your house looking inside.”

According to FCC documents, the purpose of the operation is to conduct tests over South Dakota for a persistent surveillance system to local and deter narcotic trafficking and homeland security threats.

Nelson says privacy is a constitutional right.

The South Dakota ACLU says three times in last seven years, the United States Supreme Court has ruled in favor of privacy when considering advances in technology.

The ACLU says they’re monitoring the issue at this time.