Weekend Roundup 4/1

News Trending Now

“‘We are not darkening the skies yet,” says executive at SoCal civilian drones conference, “but we are poised.’” An article at Mother Jones reports on the future of domestic drones.

The Huffington Post interviews Afghan families who have fled their homes for fear of drones.

India is stepping up anti-Maoist operations by deploying more troops and surveillance drones to the state of Chhattisgarh.

A Pakistani man has been arrested in Germany for allegedly spying on a firm that researches Israeli-made surveillance drones used by the German army. Just as the German government plans to buy combat drones, a group of leading peace organizations have begun to strategize an anti-drone campaign in that country.

A Chinese citizen has been sentenced in Federal Court for attempting to steal drone-related technology that allows missiles to hit a target without satellite guidance.

The Australian Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association has told their farmers that they may shoot down drones sent by the group Animal Liberation.

The Pentagon has halted production of a medal commending service in the areas of drone and cyber warfare. The ‘distinguished warfare medal’ was released in early February amid criticism from veterans organizations.

The Florida state legislature has restricted drone use by law enforcement, but surveillance with a warrant is permitted. Governor McDonnell of Virginia wants to amend the latest state legislation banning drones to allow their use by law enforcement, but not by universities or other organizations.

Boeing helped kill an anti-drone privacy bill in Washington State.

A Gallup poll shows popular American support for drone strikes overseas but notable qualms when the target is a US citizen. A British poll shows similar support in the UK.

Yet another police department (Murrieta, CA) considers using drones instead of helicopters. And another (Aspen, CO).

This month anti-drone activists will stage a set of protests nationwide against companies that manufacture drones, and the bases that house them.

San Diego has been called ‘the hub of the drone industry’. A team from Southern California is one of fifty teams from thirty-seven states competing for FAA test-site permits. The FAA is hosting a virtual town hall session to hear from the public on drones.


Commentary and Analysis

This visualization of drone strike casualties in Pakistan has attracted much attention over the past week.

Joshua Foust argues that the drone debate misses the point: “By focusing so much on the technology of counterterrorism, critics are missing the far more worrying decisions made at the White House that have dramatically expanded targeted killings worldwide.”

Aroop Mukharaj at the Atlantic suggests that drone pilots employ human shields. “

International law does not allow combatants to kill in the morning and then enjoy immunity later in the evening.”

Again from the Atlantic, an op-ed that argues for state referendums barring law enforcement agencies from using drones.

Glenn Greenwald argues that the American public needs to ‘wake up’ to the threat of domestic drones.

Look here for a paper arguing for the need for international arms control agreements for weaponized drones.

Charlie Rose interviews some big names in drone commentary.


Know Your Drone

Dragon Eye, a UAV from NASA, was recently flown into the crater of a volcano in Costa Rica to “improve the remote-sensing capability of satellites and computer models of volcanic activity.”

Students at Virginia Tech College of Engineering have created a human-sized robotic jellyfish.

Take a look at the four possible combat drones being considered by the US Navy.

An Iranian-made drone, Pars, can carry life-vests to drowning victims.

A company out of San Francisco is designing a device to turn an iPhone into a ground station capable of controlling a drone a mile away.

The Txchnologist reports on a temporary tattoo that you can use to fly a drone.

TIME Magazine names the Switchblade drone one of the best inventions of the year.

The Navy wants to equip Humvees with lasers capable of shooting down UAVs. The Army is considering using drones to “provide cellular coverage in bad reception areas, such as pockets of Afghanistan.”