If you get the feeling someone is watching you, you may not be far off from the truth, though that "someone" may actually be a "something." As the popularity of drones for surveillance grows, so do privacy concerns for citizens just going about their daily business. Designer Adam Harvey has come up with a line of anti-drone clothing that is much more stylish than an aluminum foil hat.
The anti-drone clothes include a hoodie, a scarf, and a burqa. They are made with a metalized fabric designed to thwart thermal imaging. They work by reflecting heat and masking the person underneath from the thermal eye of a drone. The designs may hide you from certain drone activities, but they would definitely make you noticeable to people out on the street.… Read more
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- While hobbyist use of drones is all the rage these days, there are few ways for commercial or enterprise customers to get unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the air.
The Newport Beach, Calif., company aims to give commercial companies an easy-to-use development platform that will get their purpose-built drones up and flying in no time. Airware's platform comprises both on-board hardware and software, founder Jonathan Downey said. It also features elements that all … Read more
An unusual bipartisan revolt has erupted against law enforcement plans to fly more drones equipped with high-tech gear that can be used to conduct surveillance of Americans.
A combination of concerns about privacy, air traffic safety, facial recognition, cell phone tracking -- and even the possibility that in the future drones could be armed -- have suddenly placed police on the defensive.
A public outcry in Seattle last month prompted the mayor to ground the police department's nascent drone program. Oregon held a hearing this week on curbing drones, following one in Idaho last week. And on Tuesday, Rep. … Read more
The U.S. House of Representatives voted yesterday to require the Defense Department to disclose whether military drones are being operated domestically to conduct surveillance on American citizens.
A requirement buried in a lengthy appropriations bill calls on newly confirmed Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to disclose to Congress what "policies and procedures" are in place "governing the use" of military drones or other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) domestically. The report is due no later than 90 days after the bill is signed into law.
It's not like the flaws of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act have remained a state secret for the last 15 years: it's been wielded to threaten Princeton security researchers, restrict replacement garage door openers, and jail a programmer who dared to create an e-book converter. One federal appeals court even invoked the law when banning "linking" to certain DMCA-offending Web sites.
Not one of those extrusions of … Read more
Looks like someone in the New York City area needs to keep their robot plane on a shorter leash.
Federal authorities are investigating today after the pilot of an Alitalia flight spotted what appeared to be a small, unmanned drone hovering close by as the passenger flight made its approach in to New York's JFK airport on Monday afternoon. The drone reportedly came within 200 feet of the jet.
Don't get all panicky over the prospect of a possible al Qaeda sleeper cell in Queens though. The eyewitness said the drone was black in color, no more than 3 feet wide, and had four propellers -- a description much more similar to a Parrot drone than a Predator.… Read more
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has customized its Predator drones, originally built for overseas military operations, to carry out at-home surveillance tasks that have civil libertarians worried: identifying civilians carrying guns and tracking their cell phones, government documents show.
The documents provide more details about the surveillance capabilities of the department's unmanned Predator B drones, which are primarily used to patrol the United States' northern and southern borders but have been pressed into service on behalf of a growing number of law enforcement agencies including the FBI, the Secret Service, the Texas Rangers, and local police. … Read more
A Homeland Security office says it plans to review the privacy implications of using drones to monitor U.S. citizens.
The department's Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties has created a working group that will "clarify any misunderstandings that exist" about DHS's drone program, as well as make an effort to "mitigate and address any outstanding" privacy concerns.
Tamara Kessler from DHS's civil rights office and Jonathan Cantor, DHS acting chief privacy officer, sent the memo (PDF) describing the review to Secretary Janet Napolitano last September. It was released this week.
It … Read more
The Pentagon is expected to announce today the creation of a medal that can be awarded to drone operators as well as to individuals fighting in the cyberwar trenches.
This would be a first. The Distinguished Warfare Medal, a nearly two-inch-tall brass pendant below a ribbon with blue, red and white stripes, will be handed out to people judged to have racked up "extraordinary achievement" directly tied to a combat operation but at a far remove from the actual battlefield, according to the Associated Press, which first reported the news. This is said to be the first new … Read more