The day after I blogged about how people are going to be out there shooting down down drones before long, Motherboard published a piece about a new ad campaign for a shotgun suppressor, marketed by Utah company SilencerCo. The campaign features none other than Johnny Dronehunter, Defender of Privacy, as it's main protagonist. While fictitious, the fact that SilencerCo chose to use this theme is a revealing reflection of American attitudes about privacy, and the perceived threat that emerging surveillance technology poses to the same. Here's the video trailer featuring Johnny:
Motherboard had reported earlier on Gnat Warfare, an Arizona company that lets people shoot at drones on a roving gun range, for $4,000 a pop. More expensive than clay pigeon shooting, but looks like more fun.
In addition to good old fashioned gun violence, there will also be cyber attacks directed against drones, like the one that Iran claimed it used to down a US surveillance UAV in 2011. The US asserted that the cyber attribution was a bluff, but who really knows? In any case ,operators of surveillance drones (may they use them wisely) will need to protect them against both physical and cyber threats. Actually, it doesn't really matter what benevolent or nefarious purpose the drone is being used for, or whether the operators are military or civilian. They'll still be dealing with the same basic set of threats. Journalists, amateur photographers, and Amazon.com would all do well to give this due consideration.