Are Western governments prepared for the use of drone technology against themselves?

There has recently been wide coverage of news that guards at 13 nuclear plants, including some operated by the French electricity giant EDF, have seen drones flying overhead. The FT adds:

drone sightings france“Sometimes the flights appear to have been co-ordinated, like on October 19 when the craft were seen flying over four sites at the same time. Some of the drones have been large, up to two metres long, while others simpler, smaller models. They show no sign of stopping, with the latest flights occurring last weekend”.

Smuggling, theft and hostile surveillance

In an earlier article, Andrew Underwood, partner and head of UK supply chain management practice at KPMG, the consultancy said, “Health and safety issues are a big concern, but there are also question marks over theft – the potential for goods to go missing. Then there are the regulatory implications of flying drones across borders: the impact on air traffic.

David Livingstone, associate fellow for international security at the think-tank Chatham House expressed the concern that someone is considering an attack, looking to penetrate the perimeter using genuine weaponry, or planning a protest:

“Unless you know where the data are going back to, or who is controlling the drone, you don’t know if it’s just people messing around, an environmental group, terrorists, or even a nation state.”

He agreed that these incidents raise questions – at a time when Western governments are increasingly using drones to catch criminals at home and attack enemies abroad – are states prepared for the use of the technology against themselves?

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One Response to Are Western governments prepared for the use of drone technology against themselves?

  1. Pingback: Lethal Drones could be used against EU Nuclear Power

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