Bipartisan consensus for domestic drone use

June 25, 2013, 3:09 PM GMT+0

A majority of Americans across the political spectrum support the domestic use of drones to track down criminals.

Last week the Director of the FBI, Robert Mueller, admitted that the FBI has used drones domestically, though he insisted that they have been used only a dozen times at most. Politicians - such as Rand Paul - have voiced their great concern at the domestic use of drones by the federal government and have demanded that hte FBI open up about when and why it uses drones domestically.

The latest YouGov research shows that there is bi-partisan consensus in favor of the use of drones for domestic surveillance, with notable differences only emerging on the use of drones for traffic offenders and illegal immigrants. Democrats are nearly evenly split on the issue of drone use for traffic offenses, with 42% in favor and 46% against. Republicans are marginally more likely to support the use of drones for monitoring illegal immigration (89%) than for pursuing terrorists (82%).

Few Americans oppose the use of drones for a wide range of purposes, even for regular use in the countryside to monitor for criminal activity (54%). The widest support is for use in the pursuit or detection of terrorists (75%), illegal immigrants (73%) and fugitives from the law (66%). Only using drones to identify people who break traffic laws is opposed (58%), though even for this 30% of the American public support the use of surveillance drones.