Homeland Security Issues Warning About Drones
Once again the subject of the potentiality of drones being used by terrorists has hit the news, this time by CBS that learned the Dept. of Homeland Security sent out an intelligence assessment to law enforcement agencies across the US regarding drones being used as weapons.
The bulletin warned that Unmanned Aircraft Systems or UAS, could be used by terrorists in attacks.
This comes to no surprise, however to the public that has increasingly seen drones become a nuisance and menace. Irresponsible operators of the drones, including news companies, kids, adults, and recreational people, are commonly now the subject of news stories. Drones can be easily modified to carry such things as cameras and even firearms. Aficionados of the technology come up with ingenious ways to “mod” these devises and many show up on YouTube videos.
The demonstrations of what these drones can do is frightening. Several videos show modded drones firing with astonishing accuracy, paint balls and real bullets. Armed with such a device, criminals could wreak havoc by sending several of the armed drones into crowded places and firing upon innocent citizens. The drones can carry a good amount of ammunition and can easily be recalled to equip more.
That being said, the federal officials see a rising trend in the use of UAS devices. Terrorists have a plethora of targets that they could attack and the drones are not that expensive and if destroyed, others can replace it. A fleet of such devices armed with bullets or chemical or viral payloads would be difficult to detect and stop before they let loose their hazardous cargo.
The bulletin points to the assessment that the majority of UAS encounters are benign but the potential for security vulnerabilities is alarming. This bulletin is considered unusual but none the less important.
The issue here is that any new technology can be used for wrongdoing. When new devices emerge, there are those with nothing less than ill intent who will use such technologies for their nefarious actions.
At present drug dealers use drones to deliver significant amounts of drugs, survey areas for police and transfer money. It’s a clear sign that at some point, some sinister force or some mentally deranged persons will use drones maliciously. It’s not a matter of ‘if’ anymore, it’s a matter of ‘when’. So far we’ve seen drones interfere with rescue and police operations, drones almost hitting planes, drones crashing into people and property. Just one drone armed with an explosive could cause misery and mayhem and there would be no way to stop them.
This calls for countermeasures where sensitive buildings, cities, towns, need a radar type detection system for drones. To be able to track them. Perhaps issuing official licenses for the operation of such devices would be sound.
The other problem is the technology of drones is accelerating. Aficionados are working diligently to make smaller, faster, stealthier, and noiseless drones. So are the big drone companies. Let us not forget drones for traveling underwater too. Bigger drones that can carry heavier payloads are in the works and other variations on a theme.
It looks like if drones continue to become a menace, they’ll be licensed or banned. If that comes to pass the public will issue an outcry unless a drone attack is so devastating that the public becomes in fear of them.
We’ll just have to wait and see what happens next.
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