When we think drones, we think combat and missile strikes. Words like precision surgical strike and collateral damage are synonymous with military drones used in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as well as operations against Taliban fighters in Pakistan.

But as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) become smaller, cheaper and more accessible, they are being used for other purposes. Farmers in Japan already use small drones to spray crops with pesticides. Also, Japanese safety inspectors have used them to monitor radiation at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Critics, however, say cheaper drone technology will inevitably compromise our rights and freedoms. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration recently approved the Miami-Dade Police Department to operate a drone. But FAA rules don’t allow them to fly higher than 400 feet, and police rules state that drones can operate only within a crime scene.

In this episode of The Stream, we speak to Al Jazeera journalist and former U.S. Marine, Josh Rushing who has just finished a documentary on U.S. military technology including drones. We also talk with Ryan Calo, director of Privacy and Robotics at Stanford Law School.

What do you think of the proliferation of domestic drones? Send us your thoughts and comments on Facebook or Twitter using hashtag #AJStream.

These are some of the social media elements featured in this episode of The Stream: