It’s rather insane that it took this long for the US Department of Homeland Security to issue a warning to law enforcement about the potential use of drones/UAVs as weapons or to further the criminal enterprise. If you’re not familiar with the DHS bulletin, see this CBS News story.
For those of you who have been steady readers of mine, you can probably tell that I’m pro-drone. However, just like anything else, someone is bound to adapt the technology for their own malicious purposes. While we are still getting our act together in figuring out how to apply UAV technology for myriad good and purposeful things, there have been those out there trying to figure out how to use the same technology for advancing criminal and terrorist agendas.
Amazon and others want to use UAVs to deliver packages. Well guess what –drug cartels will certainly be using them to deliver packages of drugs. The US military uses UAVs to strike at terrorists in unfriendly territory. Terrorists, criminals, or even your run-of-the-mill stupid people, can do the same. Have you seen this article about a teen who mounted a handgun to a UAV? UAVs are great for providing a birds-eye view of any situation, but when operating in a disaster environment they can’t impede responders as they did in the recent wildfires in California.
I have no doubts that terrorists somewhere, foreign or domestic, are playing with UAV electronics and explosives to determine how best to deliver those deadly packages. As inevitable as it is, do we ban the use of UAVs? Well we haven’t banned cars or moving vans, and both have been used to transport explosives. The good outweighs the bad, so we have to figure out how best to deal with it.
The fact of the matter is that all well intended technology can be used for not so good purposes. Does this mean we do away with the technology? No. Does this mean we do away with innovation? No. It does mean that we have to stay a step ahead of those who have ill intent or practice in stupidity. Prevention, protection, and mitigation against these things is a constant challenge. We now need to be aware of a new threat and address it. It’s something we’ve done through time. People built walls around their towns to protect themselves and their property from people and animals who would do them harm. Attackers innovated and approached walls with ladders, so defenders built taller walls and other defensive technologies. Today we use physical barriers to prevent vehicles from getting too close to buildings, locked doors to prevent entry, and cameras to monitor. Perhaps the threat of an attack from the air will require other measures.
Has your company or jurisdiction considered the threat UAVs may pose to your interests? What are your thoughts on deterring attacks?
© 2015 – Timothy Riecker
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS SOLUTIONS, LLC