Latest in Drones


Drone Registration, Part II

In an earlier post, I advanced the idea that the drone registration process could be used to make actual drone operation safer.

In principle, there are two approaches to make drone operation safer. Approach 1 (the approach I took in my original posting) is to maintain a keep-out bubble around airplanes in flight by giving airplanes a transmitter that could deactivate nearby drones. Approach 2 is to enforce no-fly zones around sensitive areas (such as airports).

Drones: Domestic Use

Drone Registration Plan from US Department of Transportation

According to NBC News (October 16, 2015), the U.S. Department of Transportation is about to announce a plan to require every purchaser of a drone to register it with the U.S. government. The plan is apparently driven by concerns about close calls between drones and aircraft nearby airports, though there are many other public safety issues associated with drones as well.

Targeted Killing: Drones

A Response to the “Drone Papers”: AUMF Targeting is a Deliberate Process with Robust Political Accountability

The Intercept’s “Drone Papers” leaker “believes the public has a right to know how the U.S. government decides to assassinate people.” Maybe so—or maybe public safety and the need for secrecy trump the public’s curiosity. Unfortunately, the leaker has unilaterally decided for all of us. One person with a thumb drive again trumps the democratic process.

Foreign Policy Essay

Is the U.S. drone program in Yemen working?

Editor’s Note: The U.S. drone program – as Lawfare readers well know – raises contentious policy issues as well as criticisms of its legality and morality. Many of these policy issues come to the fore in Yemen, where chaos and civil war are sweeping the land. Jillian Schwedler, a professor at Hunter College and expert on Yemen, argues that the U.S. drone campaign in Yemen is backfiring, enraging locals and contributing to a range of U.S. policy failures there.



Drone Firing Handgun

A few months ago, I wrote a post about a drone that can fire a paintball gun with great accuracy. I concluded, "If this is what's doable by hobbyists today, think about what will be possible five, ten, or 20 years from now."

Well, that didn't take long.

Wired reports:

A homemade quadcopter has been modified to fire a semiautomatic handgun.

In a video the drone, which measures 27 inches end to end, is shown hovering in woodlands while firing the gun.

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