Drones keep getting cheaper. They keep getting more invasive.
We read on the NPR site:
But imagine thousands of drones flying over U.S. skies — something we may see in just a few years. In February, President Obama signed an aviation bill requiring the Federal Aviation Administration to make plans to integrate drones into American airspace.
This is easy to imagine.
John Villasenor teaches electrical engineering at UCLA. He is a specialist on the technology of drones.
There are over 6,000 of them today. There will be more. They vary considerably.
“There are drones that are powered by jet. There are drones that could literally fit in a backpack or the palm of a hand. There are drones that are basically like balloons that sit up there in the sky in one place and can observe enormous swaths of territory.”
On drones that can stay in the air for weeks at a time
“These drones aren’t flying at 400 mph. They’re going very slowly and they have wings which are paper thin, which have solar panels which are mounted on the top, and they also have batteries that store energy collected during the day so they can continue to turn the propellers and fly at night.” . . .
On drones being used by terrorists
“Unfortunately, I think that is a legitimate concern, and honestly it keeps me up at night. I worry about that. It doesn’t take too much imagination to understand that a drone is very hard to stop. It flies low and it isn’t stopped by all of the infrastructure we have in place to make sure people don’t go to the places they’re not supposed to go to. Fences and walls and gates and barriers, it simply goes over those things. … As these drones get cheaper, more prevalent, easier to get, attract less attention, it raises the risks that they will fall into the wrong hands and be used inappropriately.”</blockquote>
It doesn’t take a drone scientist to figure that out.
Let’s see. Take five drones. Maybe seven. Take air-borne anthrax, which can be produced in a private lab fairly cheaply. Fill each drone with anthrax. Put one drone each in the countryside close to several cities. Leave the country. Launch the drones by frequency-hopping radio when the wind is right.
Take out one city. A week later, send an untraceable spam email warning of five cities to come. Day by day, launch the drones. One by one, send spam emails.
See what happens to banking. Urban real estate. Truck deliveries of basic supplies into cities. The stock market. Unemployment.
You get the idea. If you get it, others will get it.
Americans think there can be no blowback from its foreign wars. They do not understand the potential repercussions of the falling costs of technology. The operative word is “revenge.”