From what I can glean, UAV's, or drones, may be used in the future to spy on US citizens and this is causing a bit of a stir on your side of the pond.
LOS ANGELES (KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO) — As the Federal Aviation Administration helps usher in an age of drones for U.S. law enforcement agencies, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) domestically by the U.S. military — and the sharing of collected data with police agencies — is raising its own concerns about possible violations of privacy and Constitutional law, according to drone critics. http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2012/06/04/the-age-of-drones-military-may-be-using-drones-in-us-to-help-police/
A non-classified U.S. Air Force intelligence report obtained by KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO dated April 23, 2012, is helping fuel concern that video and other data inadvertently captured by Air Force drones already flying through some U.S. airspace, might end up in the hands of federal or local law enforcement, doing an end-run around normal procedures requiring police to obtain court issued warrants.
However, the sheer adaptability of use of a UAV gives them quite a fearsome defensive, or attack capability in a military campaign.
UAV no longer only perform intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions, although this still remains their predominant type. Their roles have expanded to areas including electronic attack (EA), strike missions, suppression and/or destruction of enemy air defense (SEAD/DEAD), network node or communications relay, combat search and rescue (CSAR), and derivations of these themes. http://www.theuav.com/
And yet they look so cute...