Smile: a 'friendly' media drone coming to your neighborhood!

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Crescent International

Jumada' al-Ula' 20, 1436 2015-03-11

Daily News Analysis

by Crescent International

Not only the US military but even the media including European have resorted to using drones. If the military drones incinerate people with hellfire missiles, the media drones will capture you in all your 'natural' glory. Nobody will be able to hide anymore; not even in their bedroom or bathroom. Get used to it: Big Brother is really watching you!

Washington DC, Crescent online
Wednesday March 11, 2015, 17:07 DST

The military use of drones to terrorize Muslim populations in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, and other locations has been amply discussed in the news.

What is even more alarming is the “normalization” of drones where they are now being used in all domains of civilian life.

For instance, most of the mainstream news organizations are using drones in their operations, which is opening the door on a host of legal questions regarding civilian rights, safety and privacy.

“Drone journalism” now refers to the use of “unmanned aerial vehicles” (UAVs) or “unmanned aerial systems” (UAS) for journalistic purposes.

News stations such as the BBC, Russia Today, and France’s TF1 have bought drones and are now training their cameramen to be remote controlled pilots.

However, some of the European media sites are also implementing laws that limit the use of drones in ways that infringe on civilian privacy.

France and Spain have strict laws banning their use over populated and high-security areas without special permission.

Three BBC journalists were arrested in Switzerland in February after flying a drone over a restricted zone. Three more from Al-Jazeera were detained for an unauthorized flight over a Paris park last month.

The legal restrictions in the United States, however, are extremely flimsy, which encourages widespread use of drones by media organizations.

Even more problematic are the close links between the US government and the major media organizations—given the over-reach of US spy agencies in recent years, co-opting different sectors of government and civil life for the purpose of carrying out integrated warfare, there is danger that media drones could be used by the US government in order to expand its surveillance over the globe.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which has prohibited the use of drones in the US media thus far, took the step of legitimizing drone use by announcing that it would work with CNN in order to devise a program for use of drones by a media organization.

Predictably, the US media is portraying this expansion of the US drone program as a triumph.

Ten media organizations have followed CNN in 2015 to test the use of drones: these include well-funded, establishment newspapers such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Gannett Co., Advance Publications, A.H. Belo Corp., the Associated Press, Getty Images, NBC Universal, E.W. Scripps Co. and Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Smile; you are going to be captured on drone video soon in the privacy of your bedroom or even the bathroom. And if you are lucky, you may even have the pleasure of seeing yourself on the evening news in an entirely natural pose!

END

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