Weekend Roundup 5/12


News Trending Now

Despite weeks of violence, voters in Pakistan were undeterred and turned out in high numbers to an election that could determine the future of drone strikes in that country. (New York Times)

The Canadian Mounted Police are putting drones to use in rescuing a man this week, claiming the first time an unmanned helicopter has saved a life. (The Verge)

Harold Koh, a former Obama administration lawyer at the State Department, spoke out this week about the lack of transparency surrounding drone strikes. (New YorkTimes) Read the text of the speech here. (Lawfare blog PDF)

The University of Alabama in Huntsville unveiled a drone they claim will be used to enhance campus safety and watch over K-12 schools. (Al.com)

The Russian Air Force has announced that their paratroopers will have drones within five years. These UAVs will be made in Russia rather than being bought from Israel, a country that is one of the largest drone manufacturers in the world. (Washington Times)

Colorado is courting drone manufacturers by pushing for their state to host one of the six FAA approved test sites for unmanned aerial vehicles. (The Daily Caller)

Popular Science reports on how drones will help fight poachers of endangered species.

The drone wars have arrived at state legislatures around the country, reports Kevin Robillard at Politico: “Lawmakers have introduced 85 pieces of legislation in 39 states this year relating to drones, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.”

Commentary, Analysis and Art

The photographer Trevor Paglen reviews the new book Close Up at a Distance: Mapping, Technology, and Politics by Laura Kurgen, a professor of architecture at Columbia University.

NPR interviews a former Air Force drone pilot who speaks of the lasting effects of taking life. Brandon Bryant was also featured in a Der Spiegel article on drone pilots.

The Atlantic pans Harold Koh’s speech, arguing that he needed to address the failures of his former colleagues in the Obama administration. The NYTimes editorial board counters with an endorsement of the speech.

Fred Kaplan reviews Mark Mazzetti’s latest bookThe Way of the Knife, a book about how the CIA transformed itself into “‘a killing machine, an organization consumed with manhunting.’” (New York Times)

Dawood Ahmad at Foreign Policy spells out the legal grounds upon which Pakistan might shoot down American drones.

Know Your Drone

After a decade of work, researchers at Harvard have released tiny, robotic biologically-inspired insects.

Researches in the United States have created a tiny ‘insect-eye’ camera “which offers an almost 180-degree field of view using hundreds of tiny lenses.”

Drone startup Universal Air wants to create drones that autonomously follow you around, just in case you do something special that should be recorded.

Center Roundup

Reviews, art and commentary from the Center for the Study of the Drone

‘What’s That Sound?’ A review of Sound Spill, a new exhibition at the Zabludowicz Collection in New York City.

How do the rising tensions between the United States and China over cyber weapons resemble the early years of the Cold War? Dan Gettinger explores the issue in ‘Satellites and Cyberwar.’

‘Domestic Surveillance: Part II’: photos altered by drone vision, created by the Center for the Study of the Drone.

‘Is an Autonomous War a Just War?’ Arthur Holland Michel reviews Jeffrey Thurner’s essay on wars fought by autonomous machines.



(Photo credit: Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images)