Increased Use of Drones for Illegal Communications

Drones are becoming increasingly popular among many people and organizations, especially prisoners. Prison cameras have caught drones suspending black packages and traveling towards a prisoner’s window so the inmate can receive it. Police officers who found the packages in prison cells discovered drugs and/or cell phones in the packages.

In order to prevent this, American organizations involved in Research and Development, like MITRE, have discovered countermeasures for drones. By detecting the radio communications between a drone and its operator, systems developed by technology companies can jam the drone’s communication abilities and/or its GPS system. The system then takes command of the drone and lands it.

The military already uses these countermeasures in order to defend against drones from terrorist groups. However, these countermeasures aren’t widely used nor accepted within the U.S. because it conflicts with existing laws. According to the FCC, intercepting drone signals is considered an illegal wiretap. Interfering with a drone’s software without permission goes against anti-hacking laws. Also, since drones are considered aircraft, the law of interfering with an aircraft in flight applies to drone countermeasures.

If these laws can be bent in the military, then American companies should try to find a way around those laws to increase safety. The new technology that currently exists can and should interfere with drones’ abilities in order to ensure the law is being followed, which would lead to more American security.



2 thoughts on “Increased Use of Drones for Illegal Communications

  1. Very good topic, I’d like to read up more on it. Private, civilian drone utilization is such a new phenomenon, that the legal/social/political ramifications and particulars are largely untrodden topics. Definitely ripe for a larger discussion, nice post.


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