Drones should be banned from private use, says Google's Eric Schmidt

From an interview with the Guardian newspaper (UK).  [UPDATE: This is actually a repost from April. Sorry about that!]

The use of cheap, miniature "everyman" drones needs to be banned by international treaties before such devices fall into the hands of private users including terrorists, the head of Google has said.

In an extended interview with the Guardian, Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google and an adviser to Barack Obama's presidential campaign, warned of the potential of new technology to "democratise the ability to fight war", and said drones could soon be used to harass and spy on neighbours.

"You're having a dispute with your neighbour," he hypothesised. "How would you feel if your neighbour 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?"

Schmidt set out the trajectory of robotic warfare and considered whether it would be confined solely to national governments. "It's probable that robotics becomes a significant component of nation state warfare," he said.

"I'm not going to pass judgment on whether armies should exist, but I would prefer to not spread and democratise the ability to fight war to every single human being.

"It's got to be regulated. You just can't imagine that British people would allow this sort of thing, and I can't imagine American people would allow this sort of thing. 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."

Views: 3100

Comment by Neuro on December 7, 2013 at 6:30pm

So it's OK for Google to drive by my house and take pictures of me standing in my front window ?......

Comment by Gerard Toonstra on December 7, 2013 at 7:25pm

He forgot to add that drones could be used by pedophiles to lure children and kidnap them.

Comment by Emery c. Chandler on December 7, 2013 at 9:58pm

drones in the hands of people is like rifles in the hands of people- completely necessary even if only used for hobby. 

Comment by AKRCGUY on December 7, 2013 at 10:23pm

Where's the Un-Like button at?

Comment by Sergios Zafeiropoulos on December 8, 2013 at 2:36am

"How would you feel if your neighbour 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?"

I would ask his how many Mah is his battery and what motor esc and props he is using because mine can only fly tops 15 minutes !!!

Comment by Stefan Gofferje on December 8, 2013 at 3:11am

... say the biggest non-government data collector and privacy violator of them all... This interview has almost satirical value...

Two "experience reports" on this by me:

Comment by Zinc Whiskers on December 8, 2013 at 4:02am

Wise words from a serial adulterer...

Seriously though...local bylaws in my area pretty much restrict them to private property already.

Fly in a school field or other city green space and someone usually calls me in.

Comment by Phil Rudram on December 8, 2013 at 4:33am

I don’t think the world responds kindly to this type of fear tactic. Google are already walking on a thin line and must be careful not to alienate the support and market it lives on. The public at large from LA to Beijing are increasingly tech savvy and resent patronising statements like that. At the Google AirShow  he was riding on the backs brains and  goodwill that he now proposes to suppress. Invention innovation and ingenuity are all parts of something called freedom we all thrive on.

So “Big Brother” watch out we are watching you !

Comment by Hollis Inman on December 8, 2013 at 9:57am

How do you ban something that you can build with off-the-shelf parts? It's like banning anything else... all it does is make it illegal to have it; doesn't mean you can't have it or acquire it.

Comment by Bill Isenberger on December 8, 2013 at 11:38am

What a paranoid knucklehead.

Comment

You need to be a member of DIY Drones to add comments!

Join DIY Drones

© 2019   Created by Chris Anderson.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service