In 2001, air force Predator drones flew 7,500 hours. By the close of last year, that number topped 70,000. As the tempo of robotic air operations has steadily increased, crashes have, not surprisingly, become more frequent. In 2001, just two drones were destroyed in accidents. In 2008, eight drones fell from the sky. Last year, the number reached 13. (Accident rates are, however, dropping according to an air force report relying on figures from 2009.) original

I’ve been wondering what could be stopping countries who are supposedly enemies of America from fighting fire with fire and by developing their own killer robot armies of the sky. When the drone strike assassinations started happening more frequently, I began to interpret the arrogance of American foreign policy as a sign that drone technology is the result of the highest of the most high in weapons tech.

But then the surveillance drone got captured by Iran. Iran claimed to have hacked the remote connection to the captured drone by jamming the device’s connection to GPS. Since that made me excited about being able to hack a drone if I ever see ’em being used for counter insurgency where I lived, I spent a few hours researching the possibility of hacking a GPS connection.

Guess what? It’s apparently unlikely that the current fleet of GPS satellites are capable of providing adequate encryption to prevent jamming of the signals being sent back and forth by the satellites to a drone. While the satellites are capable of providing some encryption, the resources are typically inadequate to meet the needs of  existing infrastructure. So, that means the same kind of signal that we all use on our mobile phones is probably part of the same data stream that flies the drones.

So, why don’t other countries use drone strikes on us? Apparently it’s a waste of money. There’s also the whole bullshit immorality of the tactic. There are international laws that deal with things like targeted military strikes on civilians.

I think about how the US government has caused so much havoc all around the globe


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