Inside San Diego’s metropolitan area, the second largest city, home to some 275,000 residents, has made the history books. Chula Vista hasn’t cured cancer or discovered perpetual energy; instead, their mark on history will be a dark one as they become the first city in America to be completely monitored by spy drones.
“On a per capita basis, they’re probably the most or one of the most surveilled cities in the country,” said Brian Hofer, executive director of the Oakland-based privacy advocacy group Secure Justice. “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.”
Chula Vista’s drone program didn’t come to fruition overnight. Instead, the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies coordinated with with Chinese drone manufacturers and unscrupulous actors in Big Tech and have implemented the program over the course of several years.