WASHINGTON — Government records show that the Homeland Security Department has lent its border drones to other state, local and federal agencies nearly 700 times in the past three years.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation said Customs and Border Protection flew its 10 drones 687 times for agencies including the Bureau of Land Management, the Navy and Coast Guard and local law enforcement agencies. The civil liberties group got the records through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.
The records do not name which sheriff’s offices or local police departments were able to use the surveillance drones.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation first reported last year that the Homeland Security drones were used 498 times for other agencies. It updated its list this week after receiving more records from the department.