Tag Archives | Drones

The Black Hornet Is Here To Help.

After Rand Paul’s filibuster this last week, many people are paying a bit more attention to the idea that our government may not always be using their cool toys for our own good. RT’s Abby Martin reported on mini drones and the possible ways in which they could be used against the public.

One has to wonder if these little dandies might slip through the cracks of public awareness due to their size. Will Rand Paul get up again and passionately rail against the use of these cute lil’ fellas? Presently in military use abroad, it seems like only a matter of time before these mini-drones hit the ghettos and suburbs of America to quietly keep an eye on the malcontents. If you can imagine it, it’s probably going to be done at some point. Easy as ‘playing an Xbox’; mini drones offer a new way for those in power to keep an eye on you…through your second floor bedroom window. Nice undies!

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Attorney General Eric Holder Says Drone Killings On U.S. Soil Are ‘Hypothetically’ Doable

Will lethal drone strikes someday come home? Business Insider reports:

Attorney General Eric Holder said in a letter Tuesday that Obama administration believes it could “hypothetically” carry out drone strikes against Americans on U.S. soil, but “has no intention of doing so.” The letter was sent to Republican Senator Rand Paul in response to his question about the constitutionality of drone strikes on U.S. soil.

But what is truly alarming about Holder’s letter is not his position, but his vague, almost supercilious, dismissal of the drone question itself:

The question you have posed is therefore entirely hypothetical, unlikely to occur, and one we hope no president will ever have to confront. It is possible to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution…for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States.

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Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs Says He Was Told ‘Not To Acknowledge Existence’ Of Drones Program

Appearing on MSNBC, Robert Gibbs, Barack Obama’s press secretary for much of his first term, on the administration’s concern with keeping drone killings out of public knowledge: “When I went through the process of becoming press secretary, one of the first things they told me was, you’re not even to acknowledge the drone program. You’re not even to discuss that it exists.”

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Big Brother And His Drones: What YOU Can Get Out of Surveillance and the Machine Future

From Mr. VI over at Modern Mythology:

It’s time to face facts– technology advances by harnessing human drives, and the most primal are sex and death.

Drones and cybersex. So, what can YOU get out of it? Pornography and the military-industrial complex are often the prime funders of technological research. Without DARPA, we wouldn’t have the internet, and without the urge to stream porn, we wouldn’t be constantly trying to improve data compression techniques.

Without lust, there’d be no YouTube – and without the urge to achieve maximum effect with minimum effort, we wouldn’t develop labour saving devices. We wouldn’t develop technology to extend our reach, and refine our apparent control over the situation. Without apparent scarcity and rarity, we wouldn’t consider certain things precious, and we certainly wouldn’t care about loss. We wouldn’t care about extending our sphere of influence, or expanding our territory.

Here in the UK, we’re seemingly constantly under the eye of CCTV. According to the BBC, one London Borough, Wandsworth, has more cameras than Dublin, San Francisco, Johannesburg and Boston COMBINED.

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U.S. Congress Mulls Creation Of Drone Court To Authorize Killings

Who lives and who dies? The drone court will decide. Via Reuters:

During a fresh round of debate this week over President Barack Obama’s claim that he can unilaterally order lethal strikes by unmanned aircraft against U.S. citizens, some lawmakers proposed a middle ground: a special federal “drone court” that would approve suspected militants for targeting. The idea is being actively considered, however, according to a White House official.

At Thursday’s confirmation hearing for CIA director nominee John Brennan, senators discussed establishing a secret court or tribunal to rule on the validity of cases that U.S. intelligence agencies draw up for killing suspected militants using drones.

Senator Angus King, a Maine independent, said during the hearing that he envisioned a scenario in which executive branch officials would go before a drone court “in a confidential and top-secret way, make the case that this American citizen is an enemy combatant.”

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Al-Qaeda’s Top 22 Tips For Avoiding Drones Revealed

The find reveals that the terrorist network has been anticipating drone-based quasi-war by the United States for a long time. Via the Telegraph:

Found by the Associated Press in a building in Timbuktu, the ancient city in Mali occupied by Islamists last year, the document is believed to have been abandoned as extremists fled a French military intervention last month. Hidden inside a manila envelope, it is a Xeroxed copy of a tipsheet authored by Abdallah bin Muhammad, a senior commander of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

“These are not dumb techniques. It shows that they are acting pretty astutely,” said Col Cedric Leighton, a 26-year-veteran of the United States Air Force, who helped set up the Predator drone program.

The tips include:

Hide under thick trees.

Formation of fake gatherings such as using dolls and statutes to be placed outside false ditches to mislead the enemy.

Spreading reflective pieces of glass on a car or on the roof of the building.

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At Least We’re Not Measles: Rationalizing Drone Attacks Hits New Low

Thales Watchkeeper WK450 UAV

The inimitable Matt Taibbi takes on the drones issue for Rolling Stone:

Read an absolutely amazing article today. Entitled “Droning on about Drones,” it was published in the online version of Dawn, Pakistan’s oldest and most widely read English-language newspaper, and written by one Michael Kugelman, identified as the Senior Program Associate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

In this piece, the author’s thesis is that all this fuss about America’s drone policy is overdone and perhaps a little hysterical. Yes, he admits, there are some figures that suggest that as many as 900 civilians have been killed in drone strikes between 2004 and 2013. But, he notes, that only averages out to about 100 civilians a year. Apparently, we need to put that number in perspective:

Now let’s consider some very different types of statistics.

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The U.S. Military Is Developing Deadly Robotic Insect Drones

Want to know something horrifying? The Air Force has a “drone birdhouse” filled with tiny, lethal, buzzing robotic creatures. In a few years, the doors will open and the drone bugs will be released upon the world. Via National Geographic, John Horgan reveals:

DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, has challenged researchers to build drones that mimic the size and behavior of bugs and birds. Cobb’s answer is a robotic hawk moth, with wings made of carbon fiber and Mylar. Piezoelectric motors flap the wings 30 times a second, so rapidly they vanish in a blur.

The Air Force has nonetheless already constructed a “micro-aviary” for flight-testing small drones. In an animated demonstration video, the drones swarm through alleys, crawl across windowsills, and perch on power lines. One of them sneaks up on a scowling man holding a gun and shoots him in the head.

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‘Seagulls’: Short Film About Surveillance Drones Shadowing a Girl

It won’t be long before the foreboding surreal visions of the short film “Seagulls” come to pass. Artist Mato Atom shows us a world where we are not only surveilled by the omnipresent drones, but followed from our very birth throughout our lives, for some creepy, sinister, unknown purpose.

via Gizmodo:

seagulls from Mato Atom on Vimeo.

Watch the entire video on Vimeo.

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