Stephen C. Webster, Rawstory.com
July 30, 2009
A Canadian man is planning what local press called a “moon mission” in protest of a U.S. spy balloon being tested for the Department of Homeland Security. In other words, when the balloon flies, he and other Canadians (he hopes) will give its operators a glimpse at how they feel about the aerial spying.
A Sarnia resident is organizing a protest to express his displeasure over a balloon equipped with a surveillance camera that was hoisted last week just across the St. Clair River in Port Huron, Mich., with its eyes set on the border.
Eli Martin said Thursday he hopes protesters at “moon the balloon” will simultaneously drop their trousers to send a signal that Sarnia “doesn’t like being watched.”
The 15-metre long balloon has a high-tech camera capable of identifying the name on a ship 12-15 kilometres out in Lake Huron, according to the American company operating it. The Sierra Nevada Corp., is testing the technology that could eventually be used by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley, according to the report, called it the “Port Huron Hindenburg” and demanded the Canadian prime minister stand up for citizens’ privacy.
Canada’s The Observer, however, spoke to some who did not see it as a privacy issue.
Vickie Ledsworth, president of the Blue Water Area Chamber of Commerce in Port Huron, said she doesn’t see the surveillance balloon as a threat to friendly international relations.
“I don’t see how there can be a privacy issue,” she said.
Ledsworth said the Aug. 15 “Moon the Balloon” protest isn’t an effective way to demonstrate.
“If they are serious about a protest, I think they’d do something more impactful,” she said. “This type of protest isn’t one that would concern me.”
Observer added that Pat Davidson, who represents Sarnia-Lambton to the Canadian parliament, did not see a problem with the U.S. company floating a million dollar camera up along the border.
The U.S. has every right to “do whatever they want on their side,” she said, according to the paper. “They set their own rules and policies. If people want to complain, I think there may be other ways to protest.”
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