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We must ban drones before - Chicago Tribune piece on drones

Discussion in 'News' started by Meta4, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Found this piece in the Chicago Tribune. The levels of fear and ignorance are off the scale.
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opin ... olumn.html

    We must ban drones before it's too late
    In the overnight hours last week, authorities in Paris spotted unmanned drones buzzing the Eiffel Tower, the Bastille, the Place de la Concorde the U.S. Embassy and other high-profile landmarks.

    Why? It’s still a mystery.

    But whatever the reason, this swarming incident has convinced me: While there’s still time — if there’s still time — we must ban drones.

    I don’t mean restrict the areas or altitudes where they can fly. I don’t mean tighten regulations on the purposes to which private citizens and law enforcement can use them. Many jurisdictions have already instituted partial crackdowns.

    A drone capable of delivering a package to your door will also be capable of delivering a small bomb.- Eric Zor

    I mean ban them outright. Prohibit their ownership and use for all but the most limited law-enforcement and military purposes. I mean pass legislation and create international norms to treat these small, unmanned flying vehicles the way the law treats machine guns and chemical weapons — as devices so inherently fraught with potential peril that whatever positive uses they may have aren’t worth the risks they pose.

    These nimble, remotely piloted aerial machines are a significant threat to public safety, even when flown by people who mean no harm, and an obvious threat to privacy.

    Drone enthusiasts wax optimistically about what a boon they are or will be to photographers, retailers, farmers, bridge inspectors and so on — how cheap and easy drones make it to do important jobs.

    I fret pessimistically about what a boon they are or will be to terrorists, criminals, goofballs, snoops and so on — how expensive and difficult it will be to create security barriers against their malign use.

    An anecdote: In September 2013, members of the German Pirate Party flew a quadrocopter over the crowd at a campaign rally in Dresden as a gesture of protest, and crash-landed it more or less at the feet of German Chancellor Angela Merkeland her defense minister.

    The device was basically harmless, but the incident — like the incident in January, when a lost drone crashed on the White House lawn — was ominous. What if it had been weaponized? A flying IED?

    A drone capable of delivering a package to your door will also be capable of delivering a small bomb. And I know this sounds alarmist, but poke around online a bit, and you’ll see that police departments all over are increasingly concerned about malicious uses of drones as well as the inevitable accidents when they malfunction or wander into protected airspace.

    They can fly under the radar, literally and figuratively, and require sophisticated technology to safely disable. Commercial aircraft, power plants, outdoor gatherings and even moderately fortified private homes are vulnerable to stealthy incursions from above.

    Drone defenders will argue that hobbyists have flown radio-controlled model airplanes for well more than 50 years without ghastly incident, so all this fretting and legislating is unwarranted.

    If only. These things are no longer glorified toys. They’re getting cheaper and more sophisticated all the time, and the costs of protecting ourselves from them will rise accordingly.

    And for what? So pizzas and prescriptions can one day be delivered faster? So we can enjoy more stunning aerial videos such as the tour of Chicago in winter posted to the Soaring Badger Productions YouTube site? So we can more easily keep track of our crumbling infrastructure? So farmers can monitor their crops from the comfort of their dens?

    The number of uses — real and on the drawing board — is growing along with the consumer and commercial constituency for drones. Which is why we should prohibit their manufacture and sale now, before we get a heavily financed National Drone Association funding lawmakers at every level of government and trumpeting the idea that it’s a right, not a privilege, to keep and fly wee helicopters.

    We’ll be sorry if we don’t strike an international treaty banning the civilian use of unmanned aerial vehicles and sharply limiting their use by law enforcement and the military.

    Do I know how preposterous and reactionary this sounds? How it echoes of the vaporous panic with which history’s fools have greeted nearly every technological advance from the printing press to the Internet?

    Do I realize the futility of railing against the tide of progress with feverish hypotheticals?

    I do. And I know there’s a good chance that my yet-unborn grandchildren will one day find this column in a compendium of retrospectively amusing journalistic hysteria and have a good laugh at my expense over a drone-delivered takeout meal.

    But do you realize, reader, that, whether we can stop them or not, the dangers of these devices are real and associated tragedies are inevitable? And that every once in awhile, the doomsayers have a point?
     
  2. eckoner

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    Re: We must ban drones before - Chicago Tribune piece on dro

    wow thats a scary piece but i must admit i have witnessed worse fear mongering here!
    We all have a long way to go in understanding the realities and optics of use and regulation.
     
  3. Great Pumpkin

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    Re: We must ban drones before - Chicago Tribune piece on dro

    I wonder if this is the same fear mongerer who prophesied that the world would go to hell in wheelbarrow when Henry Ford put his mass produced autos out on the street to contend with horses and buggies? Yeah, and probably the same guy who proclaimed in 1888 that all personal privacy would be gone forever if Kodak were allowed to put its new inexpensive cameras out on the market. Be afraid everyone, be very very afraid.
     
  4. AmosMoses

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    Re: We must ban drones before - Chicago Tribune piece on dro

    Nothing more than a pathetic attempt of a dying form of media to be relevant.
    Not even worth the time it took to click on the link.
     
  5. eckoner

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    Re: We must ban drones before - Chicago Tribune piece on dro

    DEA Agents in Utah warn against legalizing Marijuana because

    "We must protect the wild Rabbits that are now getting stoned"

    Im not making this stuff up lol

    Fear mongering by those with ulterior motives is hitting us and will also hit the next new thing!

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/won ... marijuana/
     
  6. bmr528

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    Re: We must ban drones before - Chicago Tribune piece on dro

    I wonder how he would respond if a "drone" flyer demanded that we ban opinion columns because a couple people gave false info in them that caused someone to get hurt ( not necessarily physical injuries either ) Typical liberal columnist, Lets punish the masses for the actions of a few
     
  7. Clipper707

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    Re: We must ban drones before - Chicago Tribune piece on dro

    One could read that article and substitute the word "bicycle" for "drone."
     
  8. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Re: We must ban drones before - Chicago Tribune piece on dro

    +1. I'll add that the same fears were once raised over electricity, the automobile, the telephone, the television, and many other new technologies. Luddites light up with fear in the face of disruptive technology.
     
  9. SteveMann

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    Re: We must ban drones before - Chicago Tribune piece on dro

    :lol:
     
  10. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Re: We must ban drones before - Chicago Tribune piece on dro

    I think they call that a double entendre.
     
  11. TuT

    TuT

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    Re: We must ban drones before - Chicago Tribune piece on dro

    "I fret pessimistically"

    In their own words :roll:
     
  12. garrock

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    Re: We must ban drones before - Chicago Tribune piece on dro

    Funny us the human species.


    • Many thousands die each year because of the shiny metal box transportation objects we use (ie cars).
      That too is "terrifying"; or have we became insensitive to this method of mass death ?

      Most countries, especially the USA, have a grade school level driver license test.
      Think of how many lives could be saved by strengthening the driver test.

      Far far more lives would be saved by stronger driver tests vs the number that may loose their lives to consumer or commercial drones.

      Every object used by humans comes with a risk. Perhaps we should look deeper into how we allow our world government systems and their intelligence agencies to run amok and induce ill use of technology by the disenchanted.

      If we are to ban "drones", then we should first consider banning the military use of drones and their faceless distribution of death. It appears for each person killed by drone, a thousand more enemies are spawned.
     
  13. Marlin009

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    Re: We must ban drones before - Chicago Tribune piece on dro

    Chicago- LOL.

    Ban drones because banning guns worked so well. :roll:
     
  14. eckoner

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    Re: We must ban drones before - Chicago Tribune piece on dro

    It was not long ago the general majority sentiment around here was "They are gonna take our Phantoms" lol
    I remember it like it was yesterday :)
     
  15. moosety2008

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    Re: We must ban drones before - Chicago Tribune piece on dro

    The bottom line:

    You can never ban evil, evil activities, or people who want to do harm to others. Banning drones does not ban the capability of it being used neferiously.

    We're rehashing the argument for gun control. Guns exist and despite their regulation, those who want to, find a way to use them for their evil agenda.

    The same argument exists for privacy concern. Those who want to breach your privacy, will.

    We can always design smart rules and set the tone for cultural etiquette using drones, or for whatever intents and purposes new medium/hub/capabilities that provides the general public new perspective. However, to say baning something prevents anything is rediculous.

    Hey look, we banned the use of "illegal drugs" funny how we're not lacking drug atticts.

    Hey look, the Internet is a dangerous place where people can do all kinds of evil things... We should ban the Internet! Hi North Korea, how's that working for your society?

    The ban this because it's scarry and terrible argument is played out, because it doesn't irradicate the threat. If the concern is to minimize the threat, then you do so in a smart way that is based on a comprehensive risk model, not some arbitrary one size fits all solution.
     
  16. edonovanl

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    Re: We must ban drones before - Chicago Tribune piece on dro

    Marlin009, Now that's funny! Chicago, one of the most dangerous cities on the planet and this guy is worried about drones?
     
  17. kobraman

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    Run for your lifes the sky is falling...
     
  18. fastsmiles

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    It is naive to think that laws can be passed to control criminals and terrorists. Only the people you are trying to protect will follow the laws.
     
  19. TeamYankee

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    It did in the UK... guns I mean.