Irish Blog Whacked

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Drones are relatively inexpensive and plenty of new models are evolving. You are allowed to operate a drone with impunity in Ireland and the only concern most people have, is their careless operations over built-up areas. But there's a bigger issue. What if the IRA develop drone technology? Aside from IRA drone surveillance in east Belfast, what if they use versions of the switchblade over the City of London to launch missiles. 

The quiet airborne IRA drones are a volunteer multiplier and  would certainly have a much less obvious noise footprint over east Belfast or London, than some of those loyalist Lambeg drums, who regularly awaken people from their beauty sleep. If I was making a long bet, in terms of what the IRA will be doing overhead Belfast or London in the near future, I'd put money on expecting a visit from a fleet of IRA drones, deployed in Irish republicans best interests.

" Rise of the Machines -

Most people see drones as a controversial weapon prowling over foreign battlegrounds.

"This is a powerful technology. No amount of hand-wringing is going to stop it", says drone expert, Peter Singer. Whether it's a floating TV station streaming live to the web, the prying lens of the paparazzi, the police chasing a criminal or a government agency spying, small domestic drones are experiencing an exponential growth. At the world's largest drone convention in Las Vegas a salesman tells the crowd, "this can be used in law enforcement, disaster relief and industrial applications. It's also very good at dusting floors. Every home owner should have one". And as the technology advances at a frightening speed, anyone with a few hundred dollars can buy one over the counter. These hobby drones can fly for miles and provide sharp video feedback to the pilot. "I wouldn't cheat on your wife!", laughs columnist Charles Krauthammer. But jokes aside, there are real fears over the "political, legal and ethical issues that play out with this", argues Singer. In 3 years time an order from the US congress will see tens of thousands of drones legally occupy an already crowded sky, raising numerous questions about basic safety, terrorism and civil liberty. As companies rush to cash in on this new billion dollar industry, experts warn, "we're not ready for this". "