Sunday, December 30, 2012

Predicting Personal Aerial Surveillance – Drone On

Mark Pesce takes a look at drones and tries to predict the future...

At the end of March, a new service announced itself to San Franciscans. 'One-click taco delivery' sounded quite reasonable. The perfect lunch food, ordered via smartphone, and couriered to your door while still steaming hot.

All perfectly normal - until you got a peek at the delivery vehicle: a 'quadcopter'.

A quadcopter looks a bit like a helicopter, but rather than the customary single rotor, they have four rotors mounted on an X frame, one rotor at the end of each arm. They're often quite small - less than a meter in width - and computer-controlled...

Tacocopter was revealed as an elaborate April Fool's prank...

As the cost of a drone drops below a hundred dollars, we'll see them used everywhere. Their mounted cameras will give us eyes in places we can't reach easily ourselves, and will find countless industrial uses...

Suddenly we can see everything, everywhere. We are stumbling into the Age of Omniscience almost accidentally, and before we know it there will be no place, high or low, where we can not be seen.

This will vex celebrities first... Within the next year, a jealous husband will be able to hire a private detective to track his wife by drone, and be able to witness her comings and goings for himself.

Creepy men will stalk their ex-girlfriends by drone, leading to an expansive application of restraining orders to cover 'personal airspace'. The right not to be seen will be debated in the courts, the public sphere, and on the floor of Parliament... (more)

Reality Check: In a majority of countries, air space is government controlled. Personal spy drones, as a legitimate delivery business or surveillance service, will not get off the ground without strict restrictions. But, like other electronic surveillance technologies — whose usage is already covered by legislation — illegal usage will proliferate

Maybe there is a new TSCM menu item in this, Drone Spotting... 

To paraphrase a line from an old blues song... "Spying been down so long, it look like up to me."  
I am sad about 2013. Too many developing surveillance technologies. Dropping prices and ethics. All this, creating more people and businesses whose privacy and intellectual property will be targeted. I am also optimistic. TSCM specialists – people like me who detect illegal surveillance as a business – around the world are keeping one step ahead of these developments, and are ready to help you.

Keeping an eye on the bugs in the sky... ~Kevin
(Excuse me, while I go on-line to shop for a portable radar station and ballistic air nets.)