Backyard Drones

Americans must be cautious about experimenting with the availability of military machinery.

The rapidly evolving technology of this age has proven to enhance our daily lives in innumerable ways; however, with new machinery comes unprecedented consequences. Today, drones, unmanned aerial vehicle capable of feeding back real-time video to their operator, are nascent to becoming the next revolutionary technology. With all the advantages that this mechanism offers, there are dangers that will follow as well.

The drones originated in the military field and transformed the means of battle, as they eliminate the risk of losing soldiers in combat because the armed aircrafts can be radio-controlled from long distances. With its high precision and long-range control, drones are extremely effective in carrying out attacks on enemy ground; but the simplicity in achieving missions with little risk lead us to wonder whether or not the use of drones is ethical.

Now, drones are being reintroduced to their home country of America, as they put aside their vicious reputation to make their way to integrate into our society. President Obama wants these “unmanned aerial vehicles” to be used in civilian airspace, police departments to study crime scenes, farmers to watch their crops, Hollywood to produce films, and builders to survey construction sites. Last March, drones were even released to civilians in the form of toys—miniature helicopters controlled by smartphones. Clearly, drones are finding their way into various aspects of our lives.

The drones’ integration into our homes leads to a major concern: the invasion of personal privacy. The price of convenience is the disclosure of personal information.  It would be comforting if we could ensure all drones were in the hands of righteous people; but that certainly will never be the case since drones will be widely available to people of various intentions. Hence, our fears will be taken to a whole new dimension, beyond just physical dangers like nuclear attacks or environmental disasters, but to the threat of a persistent and invisible being.

In addition to their invasion of privacy, drones have been under perpetual debate for their unethical use in the military. Despite their successful missions, U.S. drones have killed innocent civilians in foreign countries and executed covert missions in Pakistan, a country that is not an enemy. According to various news sources, the Obama Administration has conducted signature strikes targeting, not even most-wanted adversaries, but anyone who behaves in certain suspicious patterns.

Furthermore, the United States’ use of drones to carry out attacks is paving the way for a global battlefield. As other countries begin to adopt drones into their own military, these omniscient vehicles will become a ubiquitous threat, endangering citizens and eradicating the safety of our own homes.

Americans have a tendency to accept new technologies without careful consideration for their potential consequences. It is inevitable that drones will be the next transforming technology, not only in the military, but in the American home, and countries around the world. Thus, it is imperative that America become aware of the number of potential dangers and use them with caution.