by Russ Imrie 2012 – (and please take part in the poll on the last page)
Update: August 23, 2012 – From NYT Do smart/autonomous killing machines have a need to obey ethical/moral commands before killing a human being?
Update: November 25, 2012 – November 21 from philly.com , an animal rights activist group’s video camera-equipped drone hovering over a pigeon hunt was shot down. (embedded YouTube vid on that page AND embedded below.
Main subtopics: Drone background. The drone as a tool and as problem, Some suggestions, conclusions and some references, poll; for the now-established timeline of the FAA Domestic Drone rules process look here – basically it will all be done by December 14, 2015. By May 14, 2012 rules for domestic, small drones (4.4 pounds or less) and in use by police and first responders are to be issued.
New: Alyona show interviews Clyde Stafford Smith on the Drone Summit and the public conversation on the coming Drone world.
What we think of when we say “drones”
NEW: A day after I posted this article, Wired posted an article on Virginia firm Mav6’s weaponized blimp offering for domestic surveillance.
Sunday April 22nd was Earth Day, the annual event that reminds us how small and fragile the planet is. Thanks to satellites and aerial observations, our geospatial knowledge of it has increased in quantity and quality. Sources of the big data sets gleaned from this overhead intelligence traditionally have been controlled by academia, governments, or the military. Today private space imagery companies offer rich satellite-acquired product to anyone who is in the market for it and GPS is universal. At lower elevations, unmanned government aircraft numbers are increasing quickly in sophistication and availability. Controversial military use of armed drones is almost a whole new arm for the Armed Forces and the State Department, that wants its own drone force. Algorithms now analyze the behavior of observed entities and the derived behavior “[death to whom it may concern] signatures” may be used to target with deadly force. These are the military “drones” that traditionally invite controversy and a dialogue on war, rights, and maybe warrantless government surveillance of citizens. Law enforcement and border patrol deployments are multiplying in the national airspace with DHS grants being dispersed for “benign” applications such as border security, natural disaster monitoring, climate/environmental analysis, and traffic control.
Everyone takes for granted detailed government or private-party overhead imagery of anyplace on the planet. While this has usually been acquired from thousands of feet up with some anonymity and accountability, it’s about to change.
My thoughts on this important development firmed up as I attended a series of forums in Washington DC through April and followed a swarm of “chatter,” much of it focused on CISPA and that was generated in other countries, like Canada.
I joined in diverse forums:
Brookings’ (The Coming Proliferation of Domestic Drones: What Will Be the Impact on Privacy, Safety and National Security 4/4)
“Catherine Crump, the ACLU report’s co-author and staff attorney with the Speech, Privacy & Technology Project, said the organization isn’t against the use of all domestic drones but rather wants to make privacy a central issue as the technology becomes more available.”
A panel member, called out in fun late in the agenda to another, “send a drone over my house and I’ll shoot it down.”
“However, as we increasingly have access to ever-growing streams of content online, how can crisis data from government agencies, satellite imagery companies, volunteer technical communities, disaster-affected populations, and the general public be integrated together to better facilitate emergency response, recovery, and mitigation efforts?” – Dr. Liu
Might we add “targeting?”