Anti-drone: Google boss Eric Schmidt has warned about the spread of drone technology
The head of Google has warned drone technology proves a serious danger to global security and privacy unless an international treaty is put into place controlling the technology fast.
Eric Schmidt today said that the technology for armed unmanned planes will soon pass into the hands of terrorists posing huge security concerns across the globe.
He also said that ever expanding drone technology is making smaller and cheaper models, including nano-drones, which could be used by nosy neighbors spying on each other in a dispute.
‘You’re having a dispute with you neighbor,’ he told The Guardian. ‘How would you feel if your neighbor went over and bought a commercial observation drone that they can launch from their back yard. It just flies over your house all day. How would you feel about it?’
On Thursday, Idaho’s Republican governor signed a law restricting the use of such pilot-less aircraft by police and other public agencies in a bid to protect privacy rights.
The state now requires law enforcement to obtain warrants to collect evidence using drones following in the footsteps of Virginia, which also introduced such a measure.
‘We’re trying to prevent high-tech window-peeping,’ Idaho Senate Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder, sponsor of the measure told Reuters.
Law enforcement agencies have been known to use small drones, which cost as little as $30,000, to locate marijuana farms and track fugitives.
Schmidt also warned that deadly armed drones could soon be used by terrorists following the proliferation of state drone strikes over recent years.
‘I’m not going to pass judgement on whether armies should exist, but I would prefer to not spread and democratize the ability to fight war to every single human being,’ he said.
‘It’s got to be regulated. It’s one thing for governments, who have some legitimacy in what they’re doing, but have other people doing it…It’s not going to happen.’
He added that drone technology will become more and more normalized part of warfare.
‘It’s probable that robotics becomes a significant component of nation state warfare,’ he told the newspaper.
Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt, center, and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, right, brief journalists after they arrived at Beijing Capital International Airport from Pyongyang, in Beijing Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013. Schmidt urged North Korea to shed its self-imposed isolation and allow its citizens to use the Internet or risk being left behind economically. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)
China’s Wing Loong drone, closely modeled on the U.S. MQ-9 Reaper, on display at the China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai. Photo: Courtesy David Cenciotti