picture: first surveillance drone experimentation in JFK Airport (August 2011)
Since the Technological Security Act of 2012, drones are everywhere. Their implementation in the public space was fairly easy as most people were amazed by this multitude of flying objects that was intelligently avoiding them. With time, they barely saw them anymore and only tourists and children were still paying attention to those silent flying machines.
The first ones implemented were strictly dedicated to surveillance as the Congress fermly stipulated in order not to worry the population. However, the riots in November 2012 in Detroit followed by what is now known as the Brooklyn insurrection in April 2013 pushed the legislative power to elaborate and vote the Civil Peace Preservation Act that saw a whole new arsenal of various drones to appear in public space. The anti-riots one, for example were distributed in two categories: dissuasive and lethal. That is how we just assisted to the largely documented debate around the recent death of Melvin Jones in New Orleans, apparently killed by mistake by a lethal class Drone Epsilon. Nevertheless, as proven during the trial that opposed Jones’ family and the Louisiana State, the very concept of mistake is inapplicable to a machine and thus cannot be claimed as the object of a judiciary procedure.
This embarrassing story cannot hide the reality: Drones are here and they are now indivisible from our security strategy. The debate around them mostly concerns their field of action and only few radical activists are still advocating for their absolute withdrawal from the public space. Among them, Professor Carolyn Youn even argues that it might even be too late as drones already gathered enough artificial intelligence in order to revolt against their creators if the latter would attempt to restrain them…
Caroll Herman. The New York Times : December 04th 2016