Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by Anonymous, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. DeathHamster Member

    Ha ha! Called it!
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  2. The Wrong Guy Member

    Drone Registry Repeal a Victory for Permissionless Innovation

    Hobbyists freed from shackles of new FAA regulations.

    By Andrea O'Sullivan, Reason, May 24, 2017


    Model aircraft enthusiasts and small-scale drone hobbyists enjoyed a major victory last week when a federal court struck down the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) controversial non-commercial small drone registration mandate. On May 19, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated the FAA's requirement that recreational operators of "small Unmanned Aircraft Systems," or UASs, weighing between 0.55 and 55 lbs. must register their crafts with the agency or risk fines and even jail time.

    The registry is nullified — at least for now — and sUAS buffs are once again free to zip around the troposphere without getting a go-ahead from the FAA first. Incredibly, this big win for permissionless innovation and tinkerers across America comes to us thanks to a single dedicated model aircraft enthusiast named John A. Taylor who just happened to be a lawyer who knew that the FAA was breaking the law.

    The FAA rules, first promulgated in December of 2015, came as a major surprise to the many hopeful small drone sellers for that year's Christmas season. Suddenly, tiny toys not much different from the remote-control helicopters that were a gift staple in holidays past would be considered UASs under the express oversight of the nation's aviation authority. In fact, in the eyes of former Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, little Timmy with his new drone would be considered an "aviator" and "with that title comes a great deal of responsibility." Small drone buyers would need to first pay to register the gadget with an FAA website and mark it with the assigned identification number before allowing their child to enjoy their coveted new toy.

    But another group took particular umbrage with the new rules: model aircraft enthusiasts, who had previously been exempt from this kind of regulation. It's not hard to sympathize with their plight. These small and responsible of DIYers had been safely flying their crafts with no issue long before "drones" were a household name. For decades, model aircraft activity had a de facto deregulatory assurance because the recreational community adequately policed its own. Specifically, the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) maintained its own voluntary registration system and enforced community-based safety standards that obviated the need for (and likely exceeded the potential outcomes of) government-driven regulations. Indeed, since 1981, the FAA itself encouraged this kind of voluntary arrangement by merely offering guidelines that the model aircraft community could follow.

    In a nod to the effectiveness of this self-policing arrangement, Congress passed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, which explicitly carved out a space for the model aircraft community to continue to tinker without the FAA breathing down their necks. Section 336 of the Act clearly states that the FAA may not "promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft." It's hard to get more clear-cut than that. But the FAA nevertheless ignored Congress and proceeded with its half-baked drone registration program despite the major logistical and legal issues involved.

    This is where Taylor and his one-man crusade against FAA wrongdoing comes in. Taylor is a model plane hobbyist and insurance lawyer who lives in the Washington, D.C., area. Like others in his community, he was distressed by the FAA's sudden about-turn on model aircraft. Says Taylor: "I wanted to be able to fly my drone and I didn't want to have to register. It pissed me off on a very sort of visceral level." But unlike many of his comrades-in-flight, he had a law background that helped him prepare a solid legal case against FAA malfeasance. In his petition to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Taylor challenged both the legality of the registration requirement broadly as well as new flight restrictions that the FAA imposed on the area in its Advisory Circular 91-57A.

    Taylor argued that the FAA's new rule that model aircraft operators pay to register their crafts with the agency or face fines or jail time was, indeed, a rule. The FAA countered by essentially arguing that while it didn't enforce its authority against recreational model aircraft operators in the past, it could have if it wanted to. The court agreed with Taylor, finding the FAA's argument that it was allowed to make that rule anyway "unpersuasive." (Unfortunately for amateur model aircraft operators in the D.C. area, Taylor's second argument against the flight restrictions was thrown out for missing the 60-day challenge deadline.)

    And as the Drone Law blog points out, the case provides an interesting exception to the common judicial practice of deferring to an administrative body's interpretation of congressional statute, known as "Chevron deference."

    But model aircraft operators and small drone tinkerers may not be out of the woods yet. The FAA seems dead set in its convictions that small crafts present a clear and present danger to the airspace, and very few regulatory agencies like being told that some slightly-related is simply off limits for control. As the new congressional FAA reauthorization bill looms on the horizon, it is possible that the FAA will take this opportunity to either persuade lawmakers to change the law to their liking, or seize on new ambiguities to attempt to exert their authority once more.

    Even without a change to the law, sUAS operators whose crafts do not clearly meet the definition of a "model aircraft" might still be required to register, at least in the eyes of the FAA. As of this writing, the FAA registration website is still operational, and does not provide much new information about how the decision will affect its internal policies.

    Still, Taylor's larger victory over the outrageous small recreational drone registry is comfort enough to the many small craft hobbyists who now enjoy a little bit more freedom in their own pursuits. And the challenge to regulatory overreach is noteworthy in its own right. As Taylor told Andrew Zaleski of, "The FAA now realizes they can't run roughshod over the hobby or people will challenge them. I believe that, in itself, is a significant victory."


    News updates: drones&tbm=nws&tbs=sbd:1
  3. DeathHamster Member
    This has nothing to do with national laws; this is corporate CYA, and an excellent argument in favor of open source.
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  4. The Wrong Guy Member

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  5. DeathHamster Member

  6. The Wrong Guy Member

    DJI Is Locking Down Its Drones Against a Growing Army of DIY Hackers | Motherboard

    Drone hackers have forced DJI into an arms race.


    The tension between drone pilots who want complete control over their aircraft that they bought and DJI, the world's biggest consumer grade drone maker, has come to a head. An arms race between hackers and the company is earnestly underway.

    On YouTube, Facebook, drone forums, and Slack groups around the internet, hackers have published instructions for altering the firmware on DJI's drones, leading to a rising number of drone pilots who have circumvented flight restrictions imposed by DJI on its products. In recent days the company has updated its software to render these hacks moot, and has started removing vulnerable versions of its firmware from its servers in an attempt to regain control of its drones.

    DJI told me on Friday it will continue to investigate cases of unauthorized modification and that it will "issue software updates to address them without further announcement."

    "Unauthorized modification of a DJI drone is not recommended, as it can cause unstable flight behavior that could make operating the drone unsafe," Victor Wang, DJI's technology security director, told me in a statement. "DJI is not responsible for the performance of a modified drone and we strongly condemn any user who attempts to modify their drone for illegal or unsafe use."

    "This is the beginning of the fight for DJI to retain control of these aircraft," consumer drone expert Kevin Finisterre, who this week developed and released his own DJI exploit, told me in an email. "End users are more invigorated than ever with the desire to emancipate their drone."

    Drone hacks go DIY

    In June, I reported about a Russian company called Coptersafe that's dedicated to helping pilots alter their drone firmware to evade DJI's no-fly zone, altitude, and speed limits, restrictions that the company says inform pilots who want to fly according to regulations. Coptersafe was selling its hacks for more than $200 per device, but in recent weeks, DIY hackers have reverse-engineered the Coptersafe software and have released it for free, leading to its proliferation around the internet.

    Though DJI says its no-fly zones are voluntary guidelines that can be circumvented with approval from the company, pilots see them as an infringement of their ownership rights. The company removed versions of its firmware that are vulnerable to hacking from its servers, and if DJI drones that already had vulnerable firmware installed connected to the internet, the drones would auto-update to a less vulnerable version of the software.

    Continued at
  7. DeathHamster Member

    Yeah, that's not going to end well for DJI. People usually think that they own a product that they paid money for.

    DJI Is Locking Down the Drones it Sold Against a Growing Army of Owners


    I'm sure that ISIS will be devastated, and will be unable to buy any DJI knock-offs. Oh wait...
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Jeff Jacobsen Member

    I just bought a DJI Spark. You have to force close the app when you're done or it will suck the life out of your battery. But the Spark itself is a dream.

  9. DeathHamster Member

    Why anyone flying near an airport should be punched in the cock:

  10. The Wrong Guy Member

    Mexican Cartel Tactical Note #21: Cartel Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)

    Small Wars Journal, August 1, 2014

    Drone carrying 6 pounds of meth falls in Tijuana

    Borderland Beat, January 21, 2015

    Two youngsters found guilty of drug trafficking with drones

    Borderland Beat, August 14, 2015

    Mexican Cartel Tactical Note #35: Weaponized Drone/UAV/UAS Seized in Valtierrilla, Guanajuato with Remote Detonation IED (‘Papa Bomba’) Payload

    Small Wars Journal, October 23, 2017

    Game of Drones: Mexico’s Cartels Have a Deadly New Weapon

    Weaponized drones – ISIS-style aerial IEDs – are just the latest paramilitary hardware the cartels are adding to the their arsenals.

    The Daily Beast, November 12, 2017
  11. The Wrong Guy Member

    Google Employees Resign in Protest Against Pentagon Contract | Gizmodo


    It’s been nearly three months since many Google employees—and the public—learned about the company’s decision to provide artificial intelligence to a controversial military pilot program known as Project Maven, which aims to speed up analysis of drone footage by automatically classifying images of objects and people. Now, about a dozen Google employees are resigning in protest over the company’s continued involvement in Maven.

    The resigning employees’ frustrations range from particular ethical concerns over the use of artificial intelligence in drone warfare to broader worries about Google’s political decisions—and the erosion of user trust that could result from these actions. Many of them have written accounts of their decisions to leave the company, and their stories have been gathered and shared in an internal document, the contents of which multiple sources have described to Gizmodo.

    The employees who are resigning in protest, several of whom discussed their decision to leave with Gizmodo, say that executives have become less transparent with their workforce about controversial business decisions and seem less interested in listening to workers’ objections than they once did. In the case of Maven, Google is helping the Defense Department implement machine learning to classify images gathered by drones. But some employees believe humans, not algorithms, should be responsible for this sensitive and potentially lethal work—and that Google shouldn’t be involved in military work at all.

    Historically, Google has promoted an open culture that encourages employees to challenge and debate product decisions. But some employees feel that their leadership no longer as attentive to their concerns, leaving them to face the fallout. “Over the last couple of months, I’ve been less and less impressed with the response and the way people’s concerns are being treated and listened to,” one employee who resigned said.

    There’s precedent for employee pushback resulting in product changes—in 2015, employees and users successfully challenged Google’s ban on sexually explicit content posted to Blogger. But these are the first known mass resignations at Google in protest against one of the company’s business decisions, and they speak to the strongly felt ethical concerns of the employees who are departing.

    In addition to the resignations, nearly 4,000 Google employees have voiced their opposition to Project Maven in an internal petition that asks Google to immediately cancel the contract and institute a policy against taking on future military work.

    However, the mounting pressure from employees seems to have done little to sway Google’s decision—the company has defended its work on Maven and is thought to be one of the lead contenders for another major Pentagon cloud computing contract, the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, better known as JEDI, that is currently up for bids.


    In addition to the petition circulating inside Google, the Tech Workers Coalition launched a petition in April demanding that Google abandon its work on Maven and that other major tech companies, including IBM and Amazon, refuse to work with the U.S. Defense Department.

    “We can no longer ignore our industry’s and our technologies’ harmful biases, large-scale breaches of trust, and lack of ethical safeguards,” the petition reads. “These are life and death stakes.”

    More than 90 academics in artificial intelligence, ethics, and computer science released an open letter today that calls on Google to end its work on Project Maven and to support an international treaty prohibiting autonomous weapons systems. Peter Asaro and Lucy Suchman, two of the authors of the letter, have testified before the United Nations about autonomous weapons; a third author, Lilly Irani, is a professor of science and a former Google employee.

    Google’s contributions to Project Maven could accelerate the development of fully autonomous weapons, Suchman told Gizmodo. Although Google is based in the U.S., it has an obligation to protect its global user base that outweighs its alignment with any single nation’s military, she said.

    “If ethical action on the part of tech companies requires consideration of who might benefit from a technology and who might be harmed, then we can say with certainty that no topic deserves more sober reflection—no technology has higher stakes—than algorithms meant to target and kill at a distance and without public accountability,” the letter states. “Google has moved into military work without subjecting itself to public debate or deliberation, either domestically or internationally. While Google regularly decides the future of technology without democratic public engagement, its entry into military technologies casts the problems of private control of information infrastructure into high relief.”

    Executives at Google have made efforts to defend Project Maven to employees. At a meeting shortly after the project became public, Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene spoke in support of Project Maven, multiple sources told Gizmodo. More recently, Greene and other employees have hosted several sessions to debate and discuss the project. These sessions featured speakers who supported and opposed Maven and stressed the difficulty of drafting policy about the ethical use of machine learning, an attendee explained.

    There are other reputational concerns factoring into employees’ decisions to leave Google. The company’s recent political fumbles, like its sponsorship of the Conservative Political Action Conference and its struggle to address internal diversity concerns, have also played a role.

    More at
  12. The Wrong Guy Member

    Google Plans Not to Renew Its Contract for Project Maven, a Controversial Pentagon Drone AI Imaging Program | Gizmodo


    Google will not seek another contract for its controversial work providing artificial intelligence to the U.S. Department of Defense for analyzing drone footage after its current contract expires.

    Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene announced the decision at a meeting with employees Friday morning, three sources told Gizmodo. The current contract expires in 2019 and there will not be a follow-up contract, Greene said. The meeting, dubbed Weather Report, is a weekly update on Google Cloud’s business.

    Google would not choose to pursue Maven today because the backlash has been terrible for the company, Greene said, adding that the decision was made at a time when Google was more aggressively pursuing military work. The company plans to unveil new ethical principles about its use of AI next week.

    Continued at
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  13. DeathHamster Member

    Looks like drug smugglers got a shipment of future.
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  14. The Wrong Guy Member

    The Day of the Drone Assassin Has Arrived | The Daily Beast

    An attack on Venezuela’s president marks the first time a drone strike has been attempted against a head of state. And it won’t be the last.


    Unknown forces attempted to assassinate Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro last Saturday in Caracas. The weapon of choice: a pair of powerful M600 quadcopters, each armed with more than two pounds of C4 explosive, and equipped with remote-control detonators.

    The incident marked the first time unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been used to target a head of state. But experts say that weaponized drones are becoming increasingly common—and that it’s only a matter of time before it happens again.

    Continued at

    The Explosive-Carrying Drones in Venezuela Won't Be the Last | WIRED

    Venezuela makes six arrests in alleged Maduro assassination attempt | CNN
  15. The Wrong Guy Member

    Man and Woman Arrested Over Drone Incursions at Gatwick Airport

    By Palko Karasz, The New York Times, December 22, 2018


    LONDON — A 47-year-old man and a 54-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of wreaking havoc with a drone at Gatwick Airport, Britain’s second largest air travel hub, forcing hundreds of planes to be grounded or diverted and tens of thousands of holiday travelers to be delayed.

    The two people were detained around 10 p.m. local time Friday on “suspicion of disrupting services of civil aviation aerodrome to endanger or likely to endanger safety of operations or persons,” the Sussex police said in a statement on Saturday.

    Those offenses carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment on conviction, according to the police.

    The man and the woman, who were not identified but are both from Crawley, a town just south of the airport, remained in custody on Saturday. The police did not release further details. The suspects have not yet been formally charged.

    The drone sightings had forced the cancellation or diversion of more than 1,000 flights over three days, affecting 140,000 people, officials said. On Saturday, Gatwick warned passengers to expect still more delays and cancellations and to check their flight status before traveling to the airport.

    Gatwick Airport, which has a single runway about 25 miles south of Central London, has been rated among the worst in Europe and the world in quality and punctuality surveys. But it is one of the busiest on the continent, and the drone incursions proved to be a challenge for airport officials, with fliers and others questioning how the airport shutdown was handled.

    The first drone sighting occurred around 9 p.m. on Wednesday, and within 48 hours, the airport runway had been buzzed more than 40 times, forcing officials to shut down and reopen the airport several times. It was unclear if the activity involved one drone, or more.

    Officials scrambled to find solutions, considering ideas such as using police sharp shooters to bring down the devices, but that was deemed to be too dangerous. By Thursday night, the British armed forces were called in to try to secure the airspace.

    The Royal Air Force would not confirm what equipment was used, but news reports suggested it was the same system used to secure the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle in May.

    After three days of disruption, the airport began steady flights once again about 6 p.m. Friday, and hoped to run a full schedule of carrying about 120,000 passengers on more than 750 flights on Saturday, the BBC reported.

    The disruption at Gatwick rippled around the world, with passengers forced to find accommodation or wait on long lines to know if they would be able to fly home for the holidays.

    Britain’s transport secretary, Chris Grayling, acknowledged that the government needed to speed up its response. “We’re going to have to learn very quickly from what’s happened,” he said in an interview with the BBC on Friday.

    The chaos drew scrutiny to Britain’s policy on the growing number of drone users in the country, which has been slow to adopt a drone registry, analysts say. The United States Federal Aviation Administration has required drone operators to register since 2015, allowing the devices to be identified.

    In Britain, the authorities will begin similar registrations from November next year.


    Gatwick drone: Identities of arrested couple revealed | The Telegraph


    The couple arrested on suspicion of the Gatwick drone attack are a husband and wife from Crawley, the Telegraph can reveal. Paul Gait, 47, and his wife Elaine Kirk, 54, were detained by police at their detached home in West Sussex at around 10pm on Friday night.

    Father of two, Mr Gait, who works as a window fitter, is understood to be a drone enthusiast who also flew remote control helicopters. But his boss insisted he had been working when the drone attacks were taking place and said he would be shocked if he had anything to do with the incident.

    Continued at

    How do you stop a drone? Gatwick shutdown poses questions over aerial threat | The National

    In depth: Gatwick airport | The Guardian
  16. The Wrong Guy Member

    Gatwick mystery deepens as couple released without charge and damaged drone found near airport | The Independent


    A man and a woman arrested over the drone activity that prompted days of chaos at Gatwick Airport have been released without charge, Sussex Police have said.

    Their release comes after several sightings of a drone around the airport caused around 1,000 flights to be cancelled, affecting 140,000 passengers ahead of the year’s busiest weekend of travel.

    Detective Chief Superintendent Jason Tingley said both people arrested over the illegal use of drones co-operated with detectives’ enquiries.

    The police have also found a damaged drone on the airfield which will now be forensically examined.

    He said: “I am satisfied that they are no longer suspects in the drone incidents at Gatwick.

    “It is important to remember that when people are arrested in an effort to make further enquiries it does not mean that they are guilty of an offence and Sussex Police would not seek to make their identity public.”

    The airport has offered a £50,000 reward through Crimestoppers for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the widespread disruption.

    Continued at

    Piers Morgan brands Gatwick drone couple 'terrorist clowns' before backtracking as they are released without charge | Mirror Online

    Cleared Gatwick drone suspect's boss slams 'appalling' police | Daily Mail Online
  17. The Wrong Guy Member

    Gatwick drone hoax? Police admit Christmas ruining drone may not have existed |


    Detective Chief Superintendent Jason Tingley said: “We are not back to square one. Whilst these two people have been in custody, we have a number of lines of inquiry and persons of interest."

    When asked if there may not have been a drone, he added: “Of course, that's a possibility. We are working with human beings saying they have seen something. Until we've got more clarity around what they've said, the detail - the time, place, direction of travel, all those types of things - and that's a big task."

    More at
  18. The Wrong Guy Member

    Well, this looks like a steaming pile of shit.

    The Drone (2019) - Official Teaser Trailer | The Drone

    "A serial killer transfers his consciousness into a consumer drone right before he is killed, then flies off to terrorize newlyweds Rachel (Alex Essoe) and Chris (John Brotherton). The couple must fight to stop the insidious device before it destroys them both."
  19. Disambiguation Global Moderator

  20. The Wrong Guy Member

    Tampa tech company offers solutions to counter drones, a growing threat

    By Howard Altman, Tampa Bay Times, January 7, 2019


    From his headquarters in a burgeoning industrial park off U.S. 41 in Tampa, the head of a drone technology firm said the recent scare at London’s Gatwick International Airport was yet another red flag about the potential for danger, accidental or intentional, posed by drones.

    Last month, more than 140,000 passengers were delayed by the cancellation of more than 1,000 flights at Gatwick over concern that drones were being illegally flown in the area, according to reports.

    The incident, still under investigation, “shows the need to have a proactive approach” to detecting and acting against potential drone threats, said Ryan English, CEO and co-founder of FLYMOTION. Among other things, the company created five years ago provides innovative technology, including drone support, to local, state and federal law enforcement and first responder agencies and the Department of Defense. FLYMOTION also helps detect drones in real time so that counter measures can be taken as soon as they get off the ground.

    One recent example took place at the Fort Lauderdale Airshow in May, English said.

    Brought in by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department to help protect the show, which featured the Navy’s Blue Angel aerial demonstration team, FLYMOTION detected 46 drone flights in the temporary flight restriction zone set up by the Federal Aviation Administration. Seven of those drones were detected in the airspace where the performances were taking place. By tracing the drone signals back to the base station operating them, FLYMOTION helped police track down some of those disregarding the rules.

    By honing in on the radio frequency links between the base stations and drones, FLYMOTION “detected, identified and located all 46 flights,” said English, a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

    Continued at
  21. The Wrong Guy Member

  22. The Wrong Guy Member

    Drone Attack That Shut Down London Airport May Have Been ‘Inside Job,’ Say Police | Daily Beast


    The drone attack that shut down Gatwick Airport in London just before Christmas is believed to have been an “inside job,” The Times of London reports, and was possibly carried out by an angry employee.

    The shutdown caused chaos, with flights unable to take off or land and an estimated 110,000 passengers on 760 flights being grounded. The perpetrator has never been caught—a husband and wife were arrested after being wrongly suspected of the crime and vilified in the British press.

    The operator’s apparent knowledge of the site makes investigators believe a staff member was involved.

    “[The drone pilot] knew the blind spots for it, where it could not be ‘hit.’ It was clearly someone with really good knowledge of Gatwick, someone who had worked there. Hypothetically it could have been a disgruntled employee,” a source with knowledge of the investigation is reported to have said.

    Meanwhile, Dublin Airport was forced to temporarily suspend flights Thursday morning after a drone was spotted over the airfield.

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  23. The Wrong Guy Member

    Weapon Makers Declare War on Drones

    A new arms race in anti-drone technology is emerging, as airports and militaries face an increasing menace from unmanned aircraft

    By Robert Wall, The Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2019

    Arms makers are targeting the growing menace of drones at airports and on battlefields with a rush to develop new missile systems, radar jammers and laser cannons.

    Continued at

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