The eye in the sky

Most of us have grown up watching movies or reading novels about the world of spies and private investigators. We have marveled at their ingenious methods of getting valuable information, without being caught. Improvements in technology recently have made spying on people a whole lot simpler. 

Most of us have grown up watching movies or reading novels about the world of spies and private investigators. We have marveled at their ingenious methods of getting valuable information, without being caught. Improvements in technology recently have made spying on people a whole lot simpler. 

Changes in technology such as tiny cameras and social media have played a role. There is however, a new kid in town and it is in the form of a drone. This is essentially, a flying object that is controlled by a person with a remote control on the ground. They usually have high powered cameras built into them to help people to spy from the sky.

Many investigators have realized the potential of drones and their ability to easily obtain valuable information. If two people are meeting in a public place, for example, a drone can be a helpful way to discreetly watch them. The idea is to stay at about 50-75 feet [15-23 meters] above so nothing can be heard. Drones are also helpful for aerial surveillance of locations that are hard to access on foot. And if a school or church is worried someone might be stealing or vandalizing property, drones can film the property.

Drones can now be bought quite cheaply by all members of the public. A high-tech Drone capable of covertly spying on people can be bought for as little as $200. In the US in 2013, a woman reported that someone was using a drone to spy on her. “I initially thought its noisy buzzing for was a water sprinkler on this warm spring day. After several minutes, I looked out my third-story window to see a drone hovering a few feet away.” Her husband asked the drone operator, who was standing nearby, to move along – but the operator claimed to be acting within his legal rights.

There is obviously concern about the accessibility and use of drones in daily life. People’s drone operations might soon become legally questionable. Earlier this month, Obama introduced a law that would extend property rights into airspace, meaning that drones flying over private property would be considered trespassers. 

In all likelihood, the use of drones will be restricted under a more comprehensive set of rules and regulations soon enough. But in the meantime you can be sure that people will be still enjoying their stealth like spying capabilities. So just remember, always close those curtains before you go to sleep!

Prepared by: Jonathan Zur

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