Recent advances in drone sales and the almost non-existence of any finite regulation for their use has also led to the potential increase of using drones for illegal purposes.
The question is, if there is little official regulation for drone usage, what is considered illegal use of a drone? To answer that, we’ll take a look at the 5 most common ways this can be accomplished. They include:
- Aircraft Endangerment
- Delivery of Prison Contraband
- First Responder Interference
- Invasion of Privacy
As of now, regulations state that drones must be flown under 400’ and outside of a 5-mile radius of all airports. This regulation is not only a security regulation but a safety one. In the event of a drone being sucked through the engine of a passenger plane, the end would not be pretty.
Unfortunately, a large number of drone operators either aren’t aware of this regulation or simply don’t care.
Delivery of Prison Contraband
Thanks to the stealth of drones, especially the smaller one, a vast array of items can now be smuggled into prisons, often directly into a cell via a well-placed window.
From drugs and weapons to cell phones and porn, anything that can be easily attached and lifted as the payload is a possibility.
First Responder Interference
Not just a pain, but also a danger, first responders like fire-fighting pilots are reporting an increase in drones interfering with fire-fighting efforts.
The issue became so serious that California had to pass a law allowing first responders to damage or destroy any interfering drones present during an emergency situation.
Invasion of Privacy
As applications of drone use increase, this particular subject seems to get increasingly fuzzy.
Currently, the FAA specifies that drones should not be flown overhead of people, stadiums or other events that draw a large crowd without the proper permit.
California has gone as far as passing a paparazzi drone law as an effort to maintain the privacy and safety of celebrity children.
If you are unsure of the regulations in your area, you could always go the route Kanye West has taken and add a pack of trained eagles to your property for extra protection.
By far the scariest item on our list. We have already been made aware that there are a number of applications drones could be used for in a military or incursion setting. What’s more unsettling is that they could be utilized in both domestic and foreign terrorist attacks. These include:
- Bombing Remote Targets
- Chemical Weapon Disbursement
- Swarm Attacks
Bombing Remote Targets
Targeting any location from a distance will become much easier with advanced payload and range options.
Chemical Weapon Disbursement
Already used for crop dusting in agriculture, these specially equipped versions could also be made to disburse a chemical or bioagent over a large area with little to no effort.
By far the simplest threat to carry out. All it would take is to purposefully fly a basic drone into the engine of an aircraft to create complete engine system failure.
Just like a hive of angry bees or a nest of irate wasps, swarming involves using a large number of drones at the same time.
While this particular application created an impressive Half-Time display during Lady Gaga’s performance at the Super Bowl, it can also be used to attack any target from every direction at once. Making defensive capabilities all the more difficult.
Overall, as often happens when new technology begins to become more attainable, someone will find a way to use it for illicit means. Being aware of these possibilities makes it easier to take measures against them.