Category Archives: Drones

Drones Uncategorized Weaponized Robots

Experts Warning Us Of Robots

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robotTesla’s Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Google executive Demis Hassabis, and professor Stephen Hawking are among over 1,000 artificial intelligence experts who have recently signed an open letter warning the world about the dangers of weaponized robots and a “military artificial intelligence arms race” currently taking place between the world’s military powers.

According to the letter, “AI technology has reached a point where the deployment of [autonomous weapons] is – practically if not legally – feasible within years, not decades, and the stakes are high: autonomous weapons have been described as the third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms.”

“The endpoint of this technological trajectory is obvious: autonomous weapons will become the Kalashnikovs of tomorrow. The key question for humanity today is whether to start a global AI arms race or to prevent it from starting,” the letter continues.

The current military technology available to the world’s governments is already a massive danger to the planet and everyone that lives here, and it is obvious, as the letter states, that the addition of artificial intelligence could make the global arms race significantly more threatening.

Many people have a hard time grasping how close this scenario is to becoming a reality, but the industry’s leading experts, who have a deep knowledge and understanding of the technology and how it is developing, can see the danger represented by military applications of artificial intelligence.

How this situation can actually be handled is extremely complicated because there is actually no ability for the general population of any country to ensure that their governments don’t develop military Robots.

According to the Guardian, Toby Walsh, professor of AI at the University of New South Wales, has suggested that the United Nations oversee a ban of these weapons, however a ban of this nature would only ensure that the countries in control of the UN and NATO would have exclusive access to weaponized AI. This is similar to the way the United Nations currently bans nuclear weapons while allowing larger NATO nations to continue developing them.

The solution to this problem will not be enacted by any of the governments or government-affiliated agencies that will benefit from the development of military AI, but a letter from over 1,000 of the industries leading experts is a start towards actually finding a real ground-up solution.


Drones Uncategorized

Ban Warrantless Drone Surveillance

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Two California bills under consideration this year would restrict the use of unmanned aeriFor Other States: Take steps to stop warrantless drone spying by clicking HERE.al vehicleFor Other States: Take steps to stop warrantless drone spying by clicking HERE.s (drones) by government officials, banning their use in surveillance by law enforcement without a warrant based on probable cause.

Assembly Bill 37 (AB37) was filed by Assemblywoman Nora Campos (D-San Jose), and Assembly Bill 56 (AB56) was authored by Assemblyman Bill Quirk (D-Hayward). The bills are virtually identical outside of some technical differences that do not affect the privacy protections in the legislation.

Under these bills, government agencies are banned from using drones except in specific situations. Law enforcement agencies can only use drones for surveillance when they have obtained a warrant based upon probable cause. Those agencies could also use drones in non-spying situations, such as assistance for search and rescue missions, surveying environmental disasters like oil spills, and to inspect state parks and wilderness areas.

Such prohibitions would bring nearly all nefarious use of drones by government agencies to an end in California.

Other government agencies would be able to use drones for “to achieve the core mission of the agency provided that the purpose is unrelated to the gathering of criminal intelligence.”

Before using drones, these agencies would have to provide appropriate notice to the public, which would “at a minimum, consist of a one-time announcement regarding the agency’s intent to deploy unmanned aircraft system technology and a description of the technology’s capabilities.” And even that information would not be made available to law enforcement agencies without a warrant based upon probable cause.

“Images, footage, or data obtained through the use of an unmanned aircraft system” would be required to be “permanently destroyed within one year” with limited exceptions.

Although drone use would still be permitted in specific circumstances, these bills set a nearly-total prohibition on their use in areas of great concern, warrantless surveillance.

OffNow director Mike Maharrey noted that California is ready to join a growing chorus of states putting strict limits on drones. “Already, a number of states have passed similar bills into law, and we are expecting more in the coming weeks and months,” he said. “Legislators and the general public from left to right want to see a dangerous future stopped before it happens.”

Maharrey said that this kind of bill has significant ramifications at the federal level because Washington D.C. is pushing and funding drone use at the state level. He noted that the federal government serves as the primary engine behind the expansion of drone surveillance carried out by states and local communities. The Department of Homeland Security issues large grants to local governments so they can purchase drones. “Those grants, in and of themselves, represent an unconstitutional expansion of power.”

“The feds want to push these on the states, and if the states refuse, it’ll foil their plan,” he said. “They already spy on Americans so much that Rand Paul said it numbered in the ‘Gazillions’ after a secret meeting with intelligence officials. If the feds can get the states to start buying up and running drones over our cities, they’ll certainly want access to all that surveillance information in the future. It’s important that states begin drawing a line in the sand now – no aerial spying here.”

“If enough states pass bills like these, it’ll foil their plans before they ever take off.”

ACTION ITEMS

For California: To support AB37 and AB56, contact your state assemblymember and politely urge them to support and co-sponsor both important pieces of legislation. Afterward, contact your state senator and politely urge them to introduce similar legislation in their chamber to ban warrantless drone surveillance. You can find their contact information HERE

For Other States: Take steps to stop warrantless drone spying by clicking HERE.