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Drone World

Get Ready for New Legal and Ethical Problems

Get Ready for a Raft of New Legal and Ethical Problems

Technology is a double-edged sword. Every new development comes with a general realization that the people who engineered it didn’t quite think things through. Did you know that there is now a website entitled Drone Law News? Did you know that a drone flying at 2,300 feet had a near miss with a U.S. Airways Jet flying from Charlotte, NC to Tampa, FL? The newer drones have capabilities that are capable of causing nightmares, such that according to a Pew Research Center poll, “63 percent of respondents said using drones for personal and commercial purposes would be a change for the worse.”

And now, according to a friend of mine who is a motion picture cameraman, it is possible that the Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 disappearance could have been due to the plane carrying LiPo (or Lithium Polymer) batteries such as are used to power some drones in their cargo hold. These batteries are capable of combusting and causing fires that are difficult to put out, especially when a aircraft’s cabin fills up with smoke and passengers and crew start passing out.

Over and above all these personal and commercial considerations, we have seen now for several years a growing use of drones on the battlefield. They are useful for assassinating terrorists such as Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen. Also they have a reputation for causing havoc and carnage at wedding parties in the Islamic world.