Drones, Drones–Everywhere Drones . . .

Yes! This is truly a picture of a drone. It is a real machine created to look like and act like an insect. As a matter of fact there could be one looking at you right now while you read this article, or while you read a favourite book outside hanging in your hammock on a beautiful summer day. You may be just hanging around outside on your patio or BBQing a nice steak or a juicy burger. You could lying in the privacy of your back yard or a rooftop perch au naturel believing that you have complete privacy to enjoy the warmth of the sun in the buff while the reality is 20,000 people could be watching unbeknownst to you.  You could be doing ANYTHING inside or outside your home and not be aware of who is watching you or why they are watching you. However, even more concerning, I suppose, is why would anyone want to make something this small and hidden this well unless they had some ulterior motive for it’s use?  Really creepy isn’t it?  You may have swatted one out of the air not knowing that it was a fairly expensive piece of equipment dressed up to look like an ‘insect’. Maybe it’s the neighbours kid or the neighbour himself/herself that has wired up a reality cam to the drone and is flying it all round the ‘hood’ watching everything that others might be doing-just for the fun of it. Hell, you could end up on the 6:00 news as a human interest story or a favourite U-tube clip.

As with all really great innovations, creations and discoveries that we have come up with and despite all of the claimed benefits to mankind the ‘dark’ side always seems to get hold of it and turn it into something ugly-something that has the potential to kill other people, maim them in some way or threaten to destroy them if they don’t comply to whatever we are asking for. Such was the case when the atom was found to be a powerful generator of energy when we learned how to split it. The benefits were endless it was thought. Then we learned how to hurt others with the technology and how to kill tens of thousands at one time. Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not advocating for the end of drones but we have already learned how to kill others with drones and how to use drones for purposes other than recreation. It is being touted as a great tool in war because we can now destroy things or kill others without risking any of our brave soldiers in the process. It certainly lessens the incentive to not go to war in the first place though-doesn’t it?  We can now use them to assassinate foreign dignitaries–how would you stop covert operations like destroying or hitting a palace in some middle eastern country or destroying significant infrastructure like a power plant, hospitals, universities and the list goes on. One does not have to be a rocket scientist to make one of these things or to navigate it. Attaching the weapons of war is a short leap after that apparently.

I can see and understand some of the benefits of having this technology. We could  surveil pipelines, border crossings and unguarded boundaries. We could use them to create beautiful films, advertising products and places, use to hunt for folks lost in forests or desolate territory, monitor our highways and rail road tracks and so on. There are a multitude of public uses that would save many lives and prohibit serious natural disasters. We could x-ray bridges and dams for faults and outfit them to detect bombs and other instruments that could otherwise harm innocent people. I’m for all of this.

The issue now, however, is drones are already out there and the agencies that use them have already been given the go ahead to use them as they see fit. The military wasted no time in making sure they were at the head of the line for first dibs. But it is not too late for governing bodies to stipulate exactly what the public can and cannot use them for. There has to be some guidelines for public use otherwise any semblance of privacy that we still have left-and there isn’t much any more-will disappear right along side of the dodo bird. What started out as a toy for junior to occupy his time has turned into something that threatens our safety and security. I know this was not the intent but it is the reality. It is the place of government to regulate this ‘toy’ and they should do it much sooner rather than later. The same situation exists with lasers. Just ask airplane pilots that fly in and out of any major airport. Most will tell you that ground based lasers are becoming an extreme hazard for pilots because they can temporarily blind them while ‘behind the wheel’. Imagine a laser mounted on a drone. I suppose the alternative would be to wait for the first accident to happen and then acknowledge a problem exists and that something needs to be done. Does that mean that the hundred or two hundred people killed or injured on the plane are or were collateral damage?

Anyways, that’s how I see it, Jim

Comments are welcome. Please connect with me at: jimcloughley.com OR jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

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