State University of New York Institute of Technology
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Ethics Newsline Blog #2

This week I decided to do a blog about the article "Ethics of Drone Surveillance Questioned in Senate Hearing" which can be found at the link:

http://www.globalethics.org/newsline/2013/03/25/drone-surveillance/

In summary this article talks about some of the ethical situations pertaining with unpiloted drone aircraft used in both military and homeland affairs. The United States Senate learned that the are too few moral and legal guidelines reguarding these advanced tools.

The author stated that surveillance has been reasonably well-covered from the law, however there are some gaps left by not anticipating drone aircraft. He quotes a New York Times article that suggests that drone technology could fall into the hands of drug dealers, pedophiles, and nosy neighbors since the technology is becoming cheaper. This statement does hold true, but in my opinion the technology is already widely available in the fact that someone could easily walk into a retail store buy a radio controlled helicopter (which some already have cameras already installed) and creep their choice of people. To be honest, a radio controlled helicopter is more conspicuous than any drone I've seen.

 

Let's also not forget about the positives from drones. One of the author's quotes from U.S. News states that drones are a cheap and effective public safety tool. Drones have been invaluably effective at finding missing persons and monitoring for large physical threats. They also make surveying much easier.

Is it true that the technology could be used for negative reasoning? Yes, I would say so. However, if used correctly and ethically, drones can become invaluable tools for the greater good.


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