Drones + Internet = Dronenet

01The Dronenet is a powerful new technology that, like the Internet, could prove to be a huge threat to your privacy and freedom.

The Dronenet is a “short distance drone delivery service built on an open protocol,”  a  network of drones controlled via Wi-Fi  that would carry things the same way the Internet carries data.

It’s an approach that uses “uncontrolled airspace” and incremental purchases of cheap, standards compliant pads/drones to roll itself out (very similar to the way the Internet was able to piggy back on the old telephone system).   Since the drones would be lightweight and low powered, they’d be cheap and easy to build and operate.  They wouldn’t fly that high, and could enter homes and travel through city streets.   As a result of this open approach and decentralization, it’s something that could grow VERY fast.

Matternet is a startup company working on implementing just that for delivery of high-value goods (pharmaceuticals, electronics) to developing countries and/or rugged locations where the roads are so few and/or terrible that UAVs become the superior option. Their idea is for drone transportation to – literally – leapfrog trucks in those areas in the same way the cell phones leapfrogged land lines.

There are numerous advantages as it would allow for fairly cheap, small-scale package delivery, making it easier for people to work from home and to send or receive mail and small packages.  It would result in new businesses and reduce the use of delivery trucks thereby cutting delivery costs for most businesses. and consumers.

But like all technology, it could also prove to be a reliable cheap alternative for  Homeland Security, The National Security Agency, the IRS, the State Police, the local police, local government agencies, criminals, terrorists, your neighbors, etc. to spy on you.

The same drone that could easily be rigged to deliver a package could also be set up to drop a bomb, fire a missile, carry a small gun,  surveillance cameras, bugs,  chemical weapons, etc.  It could be used to disrupt protests,  or to assassinate people.

Another big problem is that, unlike traditional surveillance cameras, dronenet could easily be deployed in rural areas. Authorities could drop it out of aircraft at night.  It might be posted in a particular region to see which rural families own guns, grow organic gardens, or are homeschooling children.  Dronenet could be used to control rural activities such as hunting, fishing,  or use of the national forests.

Criminals might use dronenet to distribute drugs or enforce some sort of protection racket.  Perverts could use it to spy on people in their homes.  Terrorists could use it to deliver bombs or spread chemical or biological weapons.

And, while this  may sound a little  farfetched,  how many Americans would have thought that the U.S. would be using remote-controlled planes to  assassinate terrorists or those the government perceives to be their enemies?   Yet that’s exactly what’s happening.

We need to be aware of dronenet and start preparing for its effects because it is coming whether we want it to or not.


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