In 2008, when I was being posted to 14 Wing in Greenwood, Nova Scotia, my realtor at the time was quite excited about the prospect of the Wing standing up a UAV (unmannaed aerial venicle, or drones) squadron. The influx of new personnel, he argued, would be good for home prices and should coincide with the send of my posting, giving me good resale prospects. There would also be a boost for the local economy,new stores, etc. I wonder now how many local residents would have welcomed the prospect of frequent drone training flights and incursions on their privacy.

This story from US National Public Radio (NPR) from upstate New York talks about the impact of military training flights of drones on the civilian community and the privacy issues involved. Those domestic privacy rights issues are also discussed here in an NPR interview with a law professor.

Besides domestic privacy issues, the larger issue I think is the use of drones to target and kill high value targets associated with terrorist organizations, the transparency of policies around drone use to the electorate, and the compatibility of these policies with universally accepted Laws of Armed Conflict. A useful discussion of these issues occured last night on the PBS News Hour:

Watch Exploring Effectiveness, Consequences of Drone Warfare on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

0 Responses

  1. Thanks for this, Mike. It is a very interesting discussion this about civil rights, not just because of drones but also surveillance in the web and even worse, interception of mobile communications with the use of robot programs… unfortunately Orwell's Big Brother seems to be finally incarnating although 30 years later than initially expected.