The future of non-human spying and warfare

One afternoon last fall at Fort Benning, Ga., two model-size planes took off, climbed to 800 and 1,000 feet, and began criss-crossing the military base in search of an orange, green and blue tarp.

The automated, unpiloted planes worked on their own, with no human guidance, no hand on any control.

After 20 minutes, one of the aircraft, carrying a computer that processed images from an onboard camera, zeroed in on the tarp and contacted the second plane, which flew nearby and used its own sensors to examine the colorful object. Then one of the aircraft signaled to an unmanned car on the ground so it could take a final, close-up look.

Target confirmed.

This article raises all kinds of questions about the future of warfare and the security and privacy of Americans or any citizens whose government develops these robotic drones.

We use them on our Mexican border to monitor illegal drug trade and no one minds that. In fact, it’s a good idea in areas of man-power and safety, for instance.  We’re using them in Pakistan and other middle eastern nations, with bombs on board.

But the idea that these robotic drones can work in packs and communicate to each other regarding targets to monitor, for instance American citizens, is frightening.  It’s bad enough that we have closed circuit television on us at an increasingly high rate but this is even beyond that invasion.  The scientific community is developing spy drones that are the size of insects.  Gee that’s great – if we’re spying on Americas enemies but what if they are used to spy on citizens?

Or just as bad – what if a hostile foreign government uses them inside our borders, to spy on us?

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17 responses to “The future of non-human spying and warfare

  • roblorinov

    This is scary and should cause alarm. Yes they are great when messing with the enemy but, as you say, what about when they are used on American citizens. And what about other nations using them to spy on us?
    It would be nice if these drones were limited to enemy combatants but as we all well no they will not be and will eventually find themselves in police work around the country and even maybe to hunt down and remove designated enemies of the state regime of tyranny. Technology is great when used with restraint and common sense. It is a nightmare when used against the People of a nation such as ours. Soon instead of police copters flying in the sky we will have these drones flying in the sky and maybe even armed. Won’t that just be great? BTW do you know the drones that fly over Afghanistan are actually controlled and operated from an Air Force base in Nevada? The soldiers operating these drones never even get close to the battlefield. Amazing!

    • roxannadanna

      Yes, I knew about the air force operating them from Nellis. I used to live in Las Vegas.

      Boy Rob, it really is scary what the future might be for us.

  • blogsense-by-barb

    Security v privacy! The debate rages … but it’s only a debate because the left has made it one! That is what bothers me the most, I think … the Left’s CREATION of issues and agenda! Don’t we have enough REAL issues to deal with without having to manufacture them???

    • blogsense-by-barb

      lol ooops almost forgot …

      I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger award, stop by the Christian Gazette for information on how to pick it up. blogsense-by-barb 🙂

      • roxannadanna

        You and Bob didn’t need to nominate me for anything. My blog’s not really all that great. But thanks to you and Bob for the nod, just the same.

    • zachjones88

      The left didn’t make up all the issues and agenda. Remember that guy, G W Bush? He created a ton of lies and agenda and not to mention, the “Patriot” Act, which allows the government to violate our Fourth Amendment rights. We have a false conflict in this country between Democrats and Republicans (both are guilty of taking away our rights), which largely distracts the people from the real conflict at hand, which is the government vs the people.

      • roxannadanna

        Where did I blame the left or anyone for any of this? I’m not even blaming science.

        Get off your high horse, for cryin’ out loud. You might be surprised at how much we actually do agree on.

        You’re lucky I’m sick and feeling generous. I don’t usually let snarky posts like yours through. If you come back to post, either be nice or know I’ll trash your comment.

        Roxanna

  • boudicabpi

    Just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Versatile Bloggers award. Please visit my site Boudica BPI http://boudicabpi.wordpress.com/2011/09/23/versatile-blogger%e2%80%99s-award/ for instructions on how to pick it up.
    Bob A.

  • samiam60

    Excellent post Roxanna. We are not in Kansas anymore as the famous movie line says. This is no longer the America I fought for and for that reason I fight on today to restore the once great United States of America

  • Freedom, by the way

    Most of just want to be left alone. But that’s too easy for our government. Yes, we should be very concerned.

    • roxannadanna

      Exactly. I don’t want anyone in my life that I’ve not invited there! Period! And that includes the government – first and foremost!

  • Conservatives on Fire

    This is always the problem with technology, roxy. It can be used for and it can be used for bad. This is all the more reason to shrink government to an absolute minimum. The Patriot Act and DHS have got to go!
    Great post!

  • bunkerville

    I have a sinking feeling they are probably being used inside the U.S. I know they have the ability to look inside one’s home.Brave new world. Wait til “Hal” makes the final decision.

    • roxannadanna

      I know what you’re saying and I agree with you. A couple of years ago we went to London and as great as that trip was, you knew there was ALWAYS a camera on you – every where you went. There was a constant feeling of “1984” over there. It doesn’t seem to bother the Brits, who are more than happy to give up their rights for security, but as an American, it was, in a word – creepy. And this article made me feel the same way again.

  • The future of non-human spying and warfare (via Diary of a Mad Conservative) | My Blog

    […] The future of non-human spying and warfare (via Diary of a Mad Conservative) Posted on September 21, 2011 by loopyloo305 One afternoon last fall at Fort Benning, Ga., two model-size planes took off, climbed to 800 and 1,000 feet, and began criss-crossing the military base in search of an orange, green and blue tarp. The automated, unpiloted planes worked on their own, with no human guidance, no hand on any control. After 20 minutes, one of the aircraft, carrying a computer that processed images from an onboard camera, zeroed in on the tarp and contacted the second … Read More […]

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