Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Due Process and Due Diligence

I know most people are posting stories today about the liberties we enjoy as Americans. But I came across this story today. As you may be aware, our government has decided it has the power to spy on us in this country with aerial drones, to "keep us safe", just as they do in other places. But of course, Constitutional arguments aside, is this even good technology? Not according to the news story.
Todd Humphreys and his team at the University of Texas at Austin's Radio Navigation Laboratory have just completed a successful experiment: illuminating a gaping hole in the government’s plan to open US airspace to thousands of drones.

They could be turned into weapons.

With his device -- what Humphreys calls the most advanced spoofer ever built (at a cost of just $1,000) -- he infiltrates the GPS system of the drone with a signal more powerful than the one coming down from the satellites orbiting high above the earth.

Initially, his signal matches that of the GPS system so the drone thinks nothing is amiss. That’s when he attacks -- sending his own commands to the onboard computer, putting the drone at his beck and call.

Humphreys says the implications are very serious. “In 5 or 10 years you have 30,000 drones in the airspace,” he told Fox News. “Each one of these could be a potential missile used against us.”
There's so much I could say about this, from the failure of modern technology to replace people to the failure of a government to protect the interests of its people. Neither due process nor due diligence are being practiced here.


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