London, Aug.7 : Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) could soon be hovering over many British cities to spot people inside their homes and to eavesdrop on their conversations.
According to the Daily Express, British lawmakers have backed the use of the eight million pound machines by police forces and other agencies including MI5.
Crowd control, anti-terror surveillance, maritime searches and support for the Coastguard, police, fire and intelligence services are all uses being considered.
"If they are used to simply hover to gain random information then that would obviously be a matter of worry and a civil liberty issue," warns Gareth Crossman, the director of policy at the civil rights watchdog Liberty. The planes will be able to stay up in the sky longer than police helicopters and fly up 50,000ft - much higher than an airliner - making them invisible from the ground.
The Commons defence committee has backed their use by the Ministry of Defence but one major problem is that almost all UK airspace is already in use. There are also fears about crashes in built-up areas. For that reason, UAVs are currently restricted to military installations in Salisbury Plain.