Combating Nefarious Drone Use

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Combating Nefarious Drone Use

I try to avoid publicizing stories that can cast the drone industry in a negative light because there is already enough material out there. Instead, I focus on discussing the positive aspects drones have. However, I wanted to share this article because it discusses a very important topic – the potential for misuse that drones have. I don’t mean “accidently” flying too close to an active fire, I mean drones purposefully being used to deliver drugs or worse.

This article, from the Economist, discusses not only the problem, but also a number of possible solutions. (Some of which, we’ve covered before, such as the system developed by PrecisionHawk.)

On April 22nd a drone carrying radioactive sand landed on the roof of the Japanese prime minister’s office in Tokyo. It was the latest of a string of incidents around the world involving small drones. Last year more than a dozen French nuclear plants were buzzed by them. In January one crashed on the White House lawn. In February and early March several were spotted hovering near the Eiffel tower and other Parisian landmarks. Later in March someone attempted to fly one full of drugs (and also a screwdriver and a mobile phone) into a British prison. The employment of drones for nefarious, or potentially nefarious, purposes thus seems to have begun in earnest. It is only a matter of time before somebody attempts to use a drone, perhaps carrying an explosive payload, to cause serious damage or injury. The question for the authorities is how to try to stop this happening.

Copping a ’copter

If you’d like to learn more about the latest in drone detection and anti-drone technology then “Copping a ’copter” is a good read.

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About The Economist

The Economist online offers authoritative insight and opinion on international news, politics, business, finance, science and technology.

We publish all articles from The Economist print edition (including those printed only in British copies) and maintain a searchable online archive that dates back June 1997. We also offer a variety of web-only content, including blogs, debates and audio/video programmes.

The Economist online is part of The Economist Group and is responsible for The Economist on the internet. We have offices in New York, London and San Francisco, and a growing worldwide editorial staff.

By | 2017-08-31T15:24:04+00:00 December 3rd, 2015|Drone Technology, Drones, Homeland Security|Comments Off on Combating Nefarious Drone Use

About the Author:

Sam Estrin
I'm an avid drone enthusiast and part-time drone blogger living outside of the DC area. I track drone news and write editorials and timely drone news stories that I find interesting. If you like my stories, you can follow me on Twitter or visit me at LinkedIn. If you'd like me to write for your drone oriented publication or blog, you can contact me at