Sunday, January 13, 2013

Drones, Morals, Ethics, Possibilities

The invention and implementation of drones in warfare and for surveillance moves civilization and mankind's relationship with machines to a new and level. Society is now just becoming aware of the many ways drones can be misused. During the next few years, mankind will have to deal with the expanding capabilities and frightening possibilities that exist in how these man-made "robot-creatures" can impact the way we live and conduct our lives.

Killer Drones Bring New Ethical Issues To Table 
After Iraq and Afghanistan, Americans do not want to spend blood and treasure in fighting big insurgencies on the ground. This makes drones that are far less expensive than other weapons a choice tool. Drones can loiter over potential targets for hours before firing their missiles, they are more discriminating than either fast jets or helicopter-borne special forces and their pilots and crew are not put in harm’s way.

Drone strikes seem certain to remain an important tool in counter-terrorism efforts for many years to come. America will invest $1.4 billion on new construction at Camp Lemonnier alone. Enlarging the scope of drone operations has been politically useful for Mr. Obama. The ruthlessness of the drone campaign, plus the killing of  Bin Laden, blunted Republican charges that he is soft on national security.

So what is the future for this fast growth sector of our economy? Do not expect it to be a large job creator. The use of drones could actually become a drag on the economy by replacing workers, it seems that drones can do many jobs from the air far more efficiently than workers tethered to the ground. Another issue that troubles those concerned about freedom and civil rights is that more and more local governments are looking into using drones, often for law enforcement surveillance. But what does this do to your privacy?

Like something out of a futuristic Sci-fi movie, imagine a bee-size drone that could fly into your room through an opening door, hide in a quiet spot, and monitor your conversations. A drone could even slip through an open window, drop into your bed as you sleep, and explode by your head, an assassin's dream. When coupled with drones overhead equipped with night vision and the monitoring of cell phones as well as computers you have nowhere to hide. Expect the use of more drones to watch our movements and the expansion of their capabilities. The only thing that should make the average citizen feel better is that they are not worth watching.

Footnote;  It should be noted this post was written well before the mid-year revelations by Edward Snowden about the NSA. This should give us pause, more below.

Footnote #2; This article was written more recently and delves deeper into how drones and robots are being tested by the military as killing machines.

1 comment:

  1. Cheap drones are still relatively new, and they're hard to find even in hobby shops.