Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth, Associated Press
So this is real:
Yes, the Argus is the world's highest resolution camera, and the system is capable of monitoring and coordinating the information it receives more effectively than ever before. If this trajectory continues, one day you'll be standing at a street corner, texting a friend, and someone in a facility will be able to read your message from orbit.
Notice the ending discussion about UAVs that will stay aloft for years at a time, paired with blithe acceptance that people will be constantly monitored. Coincidentally, I saw this video a year to the day after Tim Maly coined "argus" as the collective noun for a group of drones.
As if the skies weren't already turning into something out of an early '80s sci-fi novel, DARPA is also proposing military robots in the ocean, using the seas as a "vast area for concealment and storage" until the stars time is right.
Together, this puts some strange tools in the arsenal of an established government, any established government. Imagine a crumbling regime's leaders stockpiling hundreds of machines, sleeping in the air or the ocean, ready to avenge their masters if someone ever ousts them.
Oh well. We can always hide in our drone-proof cities.