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Songs on the Security of Networks
a blog by Michał "rysiek" Woźniak


This is an ancient post, published more than 4 years ago.
As such, it might not anymore reflect the views of the author or the state of the world. It is provided as historical record.

Oh 28C3 and Telecomix, why u so inspiring!

On the Congress in Berlin there were a lot of quadcopters, hexacopters and other flying and – what is more important here – hovering drones. Mighty cool stuff, mighty cool people. This sparked an interesting discussion with a fellow Telecomix agent pwntus, which basically led us to a simple statement of fact:
Quadcopters and similar, hovering-capable drones will be soon banned, probably as weapons, probably under “anti-terrorism” laws.

Why, you ask? That’s why!

Suddenly, everybody with a few dollars is able to directly oversee (pun intended!) Police actions: film them, stream them, document them real-time and with almost no way of the Police actually knowing they are being filmed.

Certainly, this will not play well with the Police, as already for years they fight (and, unfortunately, so far win) with citizens’ rights to videotape and record their actions. Something that should be obvious in a democratic society – citizens being able to supervise how their rights are being defended by the Force – is slowly becoming tagged as a “terrorist” activity. On the other hand, the police has no problems with spying on citizens, but that’s just one of many signs of hypocrisy therein.

Now, back to *copters. They will get banned, and will get banned as “terrorist devices”. You will hear arguments that, for example, they are able to help “terrorists” plant explosives or create havoc and are very hard to take down once airborne.

The funny part is: we had flying drones in the form of RC planes and copters for years upon years and nobody thought about banning them. Moreover, these would be much better-suited for the supposed “terrorists”, as they are bigger and more powerful – able to carry a bigger amount of explosives, on a longer distance, faster and therefore harder to intercept.

I am willing to bet, however, that these will not be even touched by the ban that I and pwntus envision.

Because what those devices are unable to do is hover near-silently and almost undetected and videotape, register and stream audio and video for prolonged periods of time. Which is near-useless of “them terrorists”, but extremely helpful for activists documenting Police actions.

Hence, the only real reason – make no mistake about it – for upcoming banning of *copters is that they are the perfect tool the populace can use to document Police brutality and other missteps of the law enforcement. The “bad terrorist device” argument will be only a smoke screen, albeit a very effective and trumpeted one.

And as soon you hear about plans to ban *copters and drones, you know you are closer than ever to a police state. And that it’s about time you do something about it.

Seems it already begins.