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The Military Crime Toys

Drones Being Used By Peeping Toms, The Military, And Terrorists (newsweek.com) 101

An anonymous reader writes: A 19-year-old woman called Massachusetts police about a drone peeking through her second-story window at 3 a.m. -- and was told no laws had been violated. Kansas is now passing an anti-harassment law after a woman reported her neighbor's drone was hovering over their pool and outside the window where her 16-year-old daughter was washing dishes. But meanwhile, the U.S. Navy has just outfitted one supercarrier with a new drone control room, while one Dutch activist writes in Newsweek that terrorist drone attacks "are not a matter of 'If' but 'When'." Noting that drones are cheap, portable and useful, PAX's Wim Zwijnenburg warns that "Terrorists and armed militia groups are already using consumer drones in conflict situations" -- for example, in Iraq, Syria, Gaza, and the Ukraine -- "and it is likely only a matter of time before they use them to carry out attacks in Europe or the U.S."

He believes ISIS is developing its own drone fleet, and warns about the possibility of swarms with "dozens of drones equipped with explosives or chemicals". Zwijnenburg proposes background checks and registrations for certain types of drones, as well as counter-drone technology to protect airports, crowded stadiums, and critical infrastructure points. Citing the blurring lines between military and civilian drones, he writes that "there needs to be an urgent and frank discussion among industry, the military, law enforcement, and most of all, the public, as to where we go from here."

Meanwhile, another prison just reported a drone had flown over their wall -- this time a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Heli Ball.
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Drones Being Used By Peeping Toms, The Military, And Terrorists

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  • Might I suggest (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ChodaBoyUSA ( 2532764 ) on Sunday May 01, 2016 @08:41AM (#52022083)
    A garden hose defense system?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    .....under President Trump.

    He has been sent by God.

  • by Archtech ( 159117 ) on Sunday May 01, 2016 @08:46AM (#52022101)

    'Noting that drones are cheap, portable and useful, PAX's Wim Zwijnenburg warns that "Terrorists and armed militia groups are already using consumer drones in conflict situations" -- for example, in Iraq, Syria, Gaza, and the Ukraine -- "and it is likely only a matter of time before they use them to carry out attacks in Europe or the U.S."'

    Funny that, isn't it? What goes around, comes around. Militarists and secret police have drones designed to their specification, so that Mr Obama can draw up lists of people who are to die without trial, warrant, or warning from the comfort of his residence. And then - waddya know - those damned terrorists are using drones themselves. It's so unfair!

    But that's how huge organizations like governments rock. Robert Conquest's Third Law of Politics:

    "The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies".

    • waddya know - those damned terrorists are using drones themselves

      Those "dammed terrorists" are not using drones because Obama used them first, they would use them anyway. Are you suggesting that Obama should not use drones, because that would be so unfair?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Obama should not use drones because Obama uses them for illegal and immoral uses.

        The problem with the US use of drones is that Obama has used them for extrajudicial assassinations of US citizens, something that's blatantly disallowed under the rules of war. Obama is a literal war criminal thanks to his use of drones against our own citizens. He assassinated a 16 year old US citizen solely for the crime of having a "designated terrorist" father!

        Drones are clearly useful in a war, but our current strategy of

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Obama should not use drones because Obama uses them for illegal and immoral uses.

          The problem with the US use of drones is that Obama has used them for extrajudicial assassinations of US citizens, something that's blatantly disallowed under the rules of war. Obama is a literal war criminal thanks to his use of drones against our own citizens. He assassinated a 16 year old US citizen solely for the crime of having a "designated terrorist" father!

          Drones are clearly useful in a war, but our current strategy of "just lob missiles in their general direction, whoever gets in the way, gets in the way" isn't helping anything.

          Really? Look up the bombings of Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Rotterdam, London or perhaps just any actions undertaken in any real war before nukes came into existence. War is not just neatly excising the 1 or 2 major malcontents from society. That's called law enforcement. War is a nasty, brutal, chewing up of societies leaving ground up pieces at the other end.

      • Those "dammed terrorists" are not using drones because Obama used them first, they would use them anyway.

        If the US government had not designed, built, and deployed drones on the massive scale that it did, the state of the art in drone manufacture would not be nearly as far advanced as it is. Can you list any sophisticated technical innovations that have been introduced by terrorists, before any government had done so? After the USA developed practical, working nuclear weapons it became orders of magnitude easier for anyone else to do so - other nations, or terrorists, or even harmless individuals who were mere

        • If the US government had not designed, built, and deployed drones on the massive scale that it did, the state of the art in drone manufacture would not be nearly as far advanced as it is. Can you list any sophisticated technical innovations that have been introduced by terrorists, before any government had done so?

          You seem to think of "drones" as large, powerful aircraft bristling with weapons. The ones that are "much smaller, cheaper, and easier to build", the ones making "the air of the USA... thick with privately-owned drones", are a very different sort of thing. They aren't arising from US government technology; they're arising from Moore's Law and economies of scale.

          Ten years ago, it would have been extremely difficult and expensive to build a handheld drone with built-in stabilization, navigation, and video tra

        • I think what you're trying to do here is blame the Americans for letting the genie out of the bottle regarding automating machinery to killing folks; which is, honestly, a bit like giving the coach too much credit for the wins and too much blame for the losses.

          A good deal of the World's innovative technology, in general, will come from the top nations... and to be fair, a lot of innovations occur at the behest of military application.

          In closing, let's look at the plus side of UAV development: remote contr

      • by hey! ( 33014 )

        Well, it's not the method, it's action that I'm ambivalent about. What limits are there on the president deciding anyone, anywhere in the world has to die?

        And while I applaud the degradation of Al Qaeda's and ISIS's operational capabilities, I also wonder whether we're setting ourselves up to win the battle and lose the war against terror. The very precision of our weapons creates the impression that when innocents are killed by them it was deliberate.

        You don't get easy choices in situations like this.

        • You don't get easy choices in situations like this.

          This is both astute and important. There's this tendency to simplify situations such that we can give a simple answer--- often, so we can give the answer we would like to give. This tendency isn't limited to one or the other side of a question; both (or all) sides seem to do it.

          But the world is not like that. We can't simply wish away the complexity. We can't assume the answer we want and then strip away all the inconvenient details.

  • Drones are noisy. If there's one hovering outside your window, you'll know about it! And anyway, if you point a camera at a window in most light conditions, you're not likely to see much beyond reflections. Also, the cameras on most quadcopters have wide-angle lenses - great for navigation and landscape photography, but no use for spying on people.

    But if you're really worried about they looking through your windows, close the bloody curtains/blinds. And if the drone noise is a real annoyance, call the c
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I like how you made the person being stalked the one who is responsible.

    • if you point a camera at a window in most light conditions, you're not likely to see much beyond reflections. Also, the cameras on most quadcopters have wide-angle lenses - no use for spying on people.

      Doesn't stop them trying. I am sure a more standard-angle camera could be added to a drone.

      As for window refelections, they dominate if it is bright outside and darker inside. OTOH, at 3am it will be dark outside and if either the room light is on or the drone carries a flashlight (as this one seems to have), then the room will be viewable.

    • If its dark on the side with the camera it is very easy for it to record through the glass. As the original article said it was something like 3am. Im presuming its going to be pretty dark.

      Yep they are noisy but the fact they can fly out of reach and are fairly fast means they can get images before people notice them or can get to the drone.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      >But if you're really worried about they looking through your windows, close the bloody curtains/blinds.

      So if you're a female child/woman on any floor living in an apartment and expect not be stalked and have close-range photographs of your private home and your body inside your private home taken you should keep your curtains/blinds closed at all times. If it happens that like any normal human being you or your room-mate want a little sunshine or air in your room, perhaps then just put on an indoors bur

    • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Sunday May 01, 2016 @10:10AM (#52022401)

      But if you're really worried about they looking through your windows, close the bloody curtains/blinds.

      And if you don't wanna get raped, don't wear those short dresses!

      • But if you're really worried about they looking through your windows, close the bloody curtains/blinds.

        And if you don't wanna get raped, don't wear those short dresses!

        Bravo. All this "drone love" to the point where the operators are the last in line to be held accountable is ridiculous. There are some guidelines for safe flying here that make perfect sense. No excuses for violating them.

        http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-eng... [bbc.com]

    • I just wonder if it was possible to the drone to carry a better, low-light ready secondary camera.

  • ...idiot drone users who force the creation of idiotic drone laws. Seriously, how hard it is to respect other people's privacy and property any way? Public roads are clearly marked in most developed countries.

  • They should have used the Leonardo drone [amazon.com]; it would have saved them four bucks.
    • I like this line in the features section:

      No batteries needed - just charge via USB

      How does it fly without batteries?

  • CIWS like Phalanx, firing rapid fire birdshot.
    • Flood the 2.4GHz spectrum with noise, watch drone lose contact to its controller and fall down.

      Flying things are easy to destroy if you can take away control. Gravity is your friend here.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Sunday May 01, 2016 @10:05AM (#52022383)

    Usually this translates into "hype and scare them into supporting our ban for private use".

  • "A 19-year-old woman called Massachusetts police about a drone peeking through her second-story window at 3 a.m. -- and was told no laws had been violated. "

    I'd shoot it down then. No ifs, ands, or buts.

  • by luvirini ( 753157 ) on Sunday May 01, 2016 @10:41AM (#52022529)

    ...where we have laws against using technical means to watch others who are in protected areas.

    Basically anyone can use things like drones, cameras and so on in the public places and similar(where there is no expectation of privacy), but using anything technical to look into someone's home(and some other locations) is forbidden. The protection of homes is actually pretty strong in other things too.

    And yes this includes old ladies with binoculars peeping.
    A fun case was when some old biddy complained to the police about someone stretching in their 3rd floor window nude that she can see clearly with her binoculars from across a park and she was the only one charged with a crime since she was using a technical device(the binoculars) to secretly look into a protected area(The other person's home).

  • Terr'ists using the same stuff as everyone else! Quick! Panik!

    I see only one solution. Make it illegal for terrorists to use drones!

    (And while we are at it, maybe we could get them to apply for a permit for each terror attack.)

  • I think that these are the situations were I would condone pointing a laser at a flying object. If it ruins the video camera on the drone, then the peeping tom will learn to be a little more careful about where he peeps.
  • Bogey's Law alert: Gov. says there's link between drones and pedophiles, terrorists, commies, and satanists. Fear the drone. The drone is bad. The drone will eat your children. Oh by the way, in light of how bad drones are, we just have a few suggestions for new laws to combat this greatest-threat-ever. All drones must be registered with the government. All drone pilots must be registered with the government. All drone makers must be registered with the government. Anyone caught manufacturing a dro
  • Drones Being Used By Peeping Toms, The Military, And Terrorists

    You repeat yourself.

  • It's a certainty that at some point the bad guys of this world will start using CRISPR. This makes it doubly important that the good guys get good at using it.

  • A 19-year-old woman called Massachusetts police about a drone peeking through her second-story window at 3 a.m. -- and was told no laws had been violated.

    Um, no.

    If you click through the stories, this is the one that's being referred to [westernmassnews.com]. There's even a video.

    But here's the thing ... all the video shows is a flashing light. You can't even hear it. I imagine her eyes were better than her cell phone camera at night vision and so there was something there, but there's no evidence whatsoever of it "peeking through her window" here. There's not even any evidence that it had a camera.

    If that was a quadcopter and it was close -- it was a tiny toy one, and the tin

    • Most likely, the cops said "no laws were violated" because they are not going to be bothered at 3 am to do anything. For that matter, they would probably not be bothered at 3 pm either. At least that's how it is where i live.
      • by dougmc ( 70836 )

        You know, the article actually explains why they said no laws were violated --

        Blanchette said that it's not illegal to fly a drone over someone's property, but once it lands on the ground or the roof, it's considered an invasion of space.

        The original article said nothing of "peeping toms" -- that assumption was added later.

        In any event, it sounds like the video was showed to them during business hours rather than at 3am.

        Also, if they really didn't want to do anything, they wouldn't say this --

        Agawam Police said that if something like this does happen again to the DiCioccio family - or anyone else in town - contact them immediately. They don't want anyone to be put in this uncomfortable situation again.

        Sounds to me that they'd like to do something. That said, if they were able to investigate while the guy was still flying maybe they could find evidence of "peeping tom" act

  • Have an arduino or something that can listen for drones and upon hearing them, automatically lower blinds with goatse printed on the outside!
  • I have been flying RC aircraft and helis for 35 years, or so. I would have never even thought of flying one of my craft anywhere near someone else's property unless I went and talked to the property owner beforehand. Most people didn't care, in fact, and would come out to watch and ask questions. Some were not so receptive and I always respected their wishes as they were the owners of the property, not me. For me, anything that flies below my roof line is fair gain. I would just feign surprise at the improb
  • by BlueStrat ( 756137 ) on Sunday May 01, 2016 @02:45PM (#52023663)

    The villification through fear-based propaganda of civilian ownership & use of drones has begun in earnest.

    First, villify, then regulate, then outlaw.

    That's the same playbook as those who would like a gun ban implemented use, except there's that pesky 2nd Amendment in the way with guns.

    Fortunately for them, there's no such protection for drones, so they are free to proceed with the push to heavily regulate most drones & owners, and outright ban some types/uses of drones (typically the most useful as bureaucrats are wont to do).

    The propaganda program to gin-up fear is the first step.

    Strat

  • In the future, drones may be used for peaceful demonstrations.

  • Maybe it was a typo and the story was supposed to read "Phones Being Used By Peeping Toms, The Military, And Terrorists". I think we should regulate phones. I mean, they have cameras and GPSs and stuff in them!
  • I'm not even Ukranian, but I know to call the country "Ukraine", not "The Ukraine". Putin wants you to call it "The Ukraine", indicating it's part of Russia.

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened. -- Winston Churchill

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