According to the Associated Press and other sources, the FBI has been operating surveillance aircraft over at least 30 cities (that we know of), including Seattle. But it gets better.

In a move that will absolutely drive conspiracy theorists bonkers, the AP has learned the FBI has been working hard to hide the program, even using as many as 13 dummy aviation corporations as fronts for the flights, which have covered at least 11 different states.

According to reports, the FBI says it's never been a secret, and never been used for what they call "mass surveillance."  But what has privacy advocates foaming at the mouth is the lengths to which the FBI has gone to conceal the program, as well as the technology that's been loaded these planes.

According to Northwest Cable News:

The planes' surveillance equipment is generally used without a judge's approval, and the FBI said the flights are used for specific, ongoing investigations. The FBI said it uses front companies to protect the safety of the pilots and aircraft. It also shields the identity of the aircraft so that suspects on the ground don't know they're being watched by the FBI.

The AP was able to trace the flights of these aircraft to at least 13 different "dummy corporations" that act as fronts for the government. They carry such names as FVX Research, KQM and NBR Aviation Services, and PWX Services.

Aerial surveillance is nothing new by the government, but with the explosion of sophisticated digital tracking devices, including cellphone tracking and video cameras, privacy experts are extremely unhappy about the idea.

We are not always big fans of the agenda of the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) but in this case, we agree on their stance. Again from Northwest Cable News and KREM-2 TV Spokane:

 "The fact that the FBI is willing to go such great lengths to cover up a mass surveillance program like this, is something should give people pause for concern," said Jared Friend, Director of Technology and Liberty for the A.C.L.U.

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