When many people think about drones, the first impression is about death from the sky. However, there has been considerable change at a time when a host of companies contracted by the military have changed their models to make drones for nonmilitary applications. The recent applications include wildlife tracking package delivery, and real estate marketing. The size of the market is still very small but drones technology is flying ahead even without proper regulations, safety, and privacy. The journal article by Fisher explains the improvement of the drone market especially in the military world where it has become a necessary tool for daily operations (Fisher, 2014)
According to Fisher (2014), majority of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are still small in size, primarily used for surveillance, intelligence, and reconnaissance purposes, and they are mainly non-lethal. Most of the drones that are used today are controlled using radios and they have video cameras to take high definition pictures on the target. Most drones have incorporated the new technology of infrared sensors and GPS which have made them seem like flying robots.
Some of the advantages that come with the UAVs are force multiplication since the military require fewer human personnel to operate these systems and they can be operated remotely. There are other advantages such as special events, such as when facing armed or barricaded persons, place restrictions, and hostage situations where these drones are required. However, the rise of drones has not come easy (Heatherly, 2014).
There has been an extensive debate surrounding law enforcement especially on constitutional provisions on privacy, seizure, and warrantless search. According to Heatherly (2014), the article argues that the use of drones is not significantly different to other advanced aircraft technologies. The only difference according to the article is the absence of an onboard operator. The concerns about privacy and targeting of individuals according Heatherly is well addressed in the US Constitution.
Many people have concerns that drones invade personal privacy despite assurance from the developers. The modern drones that are developed with high definition cameras and heat sensors can detect movement and odor in the air. Developers have also made drones easy to operate and purchase increasing the chance of many people acquiring them. The article focuses on examining the issues facing the commercial drone market and how these issues have affected the growth of the market especially privacy concerns (Kaminski, 2013).
One of the negativity and bad feelings people have about drones is the association of the UAVs with the war against terrorism. The current U.S. drone strikes is a good example of how drones are being used to combat terrorism in Syria. Many people have the feeling that these strikes challenge the international rule of law and natural justice because the opponents of the drones’ strikes are usually not offered self-defense, there are issues of proportionality, civilian casualties and other hostilities. According to Brooks (2013), the vagueness and ambiguity of the international law have enabled such strikes. The event of 9/11 changed the world and the UAVs technologies have been a vital tool is combating the menace of terror (Brooks, 2013).
UAVs technologies involves many stakeholders including the government, civilians, and the military. According to Gruber (2015), each stakeholder has different view on the UAVs and how to solve the issues but the government is mandated by law to protect its citizens on any attempt that invades their privacy or violates other fundamental rights such as pursuit for justice. As the use of the UAVs expand to journalistic use and other delivery services, laws need to be put in place to promote confidence in the technology and ensure people accrue the benefits associated with it (Gruber, 2015).
Brooks, R. (2013). Drones and the International Rule of Law. Ethics & International Affairs, 28(1): pp. 83-103
Fisher, L.M., (2014). The Drones Are Coming! Milken Institute Review. Retrieved from: http://www.milkenreview.org/articles/the-drones-are-coming
Gruber, R.H., (2015). Commercial Drones and Privacy: Can We Trust States with ‘Drone Federalism’? Richmond Journal of Law and Technology. 2(4): 1-53
Heartherly, M.C., (2014). Drones: The American Controversy. Journal of Strategic Security. 7(4): 25-37
Kaminski, M.E., (2013). Drones Federalism: Civilian Drone and the Things They Carry. California Law Review. 4(57): 57-74