Drone Wars

Francis Fukuyama has been building his own surveillance drone. His post makes for a rather interesting read full of techy details, before he goes on to make a rather important point:

I want to have my drone before the government makes them illegal.  The US has been fighting such low-tech enemies lately that we haven’t thought through the nature of a world in which lots of people have sophisticated drones, not just other countries but private individuals.  One somewhat worrying thing is that virtually all of this equipment comes from China or Taiwan.

Let’s leave aside the China paranoia for now. You don’t need to be a futurist or to be living in Pakistan to know that drones are big business – and getting bigger. The UK govt has already pumped £40m into BAE’s attack drone development programme.

But so far we have barely begun to think about the ethical and legal issues surrounding their use. Even anti-genocide campaigners have so far failed to make much of a case for their use preventing human rights abuses.


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