Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Today it seems the US government is requiring drones to be registered. This has the rabble on photography groups up in arms because of the perceived attack on drones used by photographers and videographers.

How did this come to be? It seems people with drones have been missing them. Indeed, during the South Carolina floods there was footage of drone users going around security cordons to play with their drones. I say play because so many people took photos and videos of the floods that no image could be remotely saleable. Add to this that emergency services have complained about drones hampering while recording their work.

There have been complaints about drones from pilots whose planes have had to divert away from areas where drones have been causing a hazard to women complaining of voyeurs videoing them. Clearly a very unsavory group can afford and own drones. The volume of complaints has increased tremendously so now drone registration is here.

I've never owned nor used a drone. The only use I can see for a drone is to inspect rooves for damage instead of scampering up ladders. In terms of flying, they're not exciting unlike a model aeroplane which requires all kinds of skills, as they fly themselves.

The biggest problem with drones are
1. Owners have no liability insurance so its hard to get compensation for damage caused by a crashing drone.
2. Owners will be hard to trace in the event for example a paedophile flies a drone from a van to a neighborhood half a mile away and videos children. The video is back at his van before the drone is and the drone is expendable. He can fly it to get the video and simply abandon the drone.
3. Terrorists could use drones as delivery methods for biological and chemical weapons.
4. Nosey parkers sending drones into places they shouldn't and causing problems.
5. Espionage of all kinds. Pepsi could fly a disposable drone into coca-cola headquarters to spy out new secrets as an example.

At the moment drones can't carry much weight - the consumer level drones anyway - though people have weaponized drones. In the future, Amazon etc are thinking of drone delivery. With that power of drone, weaponization is very possible.

Weaponized drones have another issue. Its possible since all drones use software for drones to be taken over and controlled by hostile groups. Indeed, a Terminator style future with armed drones controlled by hostile groups used to attack a country is very possible.

Drones have much wider implications than to photography. The genie is out of the bottle and Pandora's box is open!

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