Government moves on drone technology

The 2013 flavor of the year has thus far been: “Don’t trust the government. It’s going to betray us.”

On campus and elsewhere, students are afraid that the government is going to roll over one day and decide it wants to raid our homes, take away our guns and criminalize petty actions.

The most recent quirk of America’s Orwellian transformation is the conversation about drones. Drones are remotely operated military tools capable of flying long distances undetected, specifically overseas. Moreover, these drones carry weaponry that have proven to accurately target and kill people of high importance.

Within the last few months, leaks of this kind of technology have been surfacing, but very little has come of it. At most, conspiracy theorists were rustled from their caves.

That is until late last week, when President Obama provided the Senate Intelligence Committee with a voice in drone usage for counter-terrorism operations against Americans overseas.

Highly advanced, unmanned vehicles, while historically an idea of science fiction, are now at our doorsteps.

With this kind of technology at the hands of our government, people everywhere are up in arms, fearing for a dark tomorrow.

Drone usage could change everything. Soon, drones will be flying around street corners, blasting J-walkers with 50-caliber rounds and launching missiles into bedrooms of teenagers who illegally download music. All because we didn’t “stop the government before it got too powerful.”

At least, that’s what the fearful want you to think.

I’m a firm believer in the advancement of technology. But not just in warfare, in everything: Computer technology, personalized cellular phones, Internet capacity, automobiles and leisure tools.

There’s no picking and choosing in moving towards the future. Being afraid of technology will only anchor us to the past.

You aren’t allowed to complain about the government’s drones when you jailbreak your iPhone and still don’t think it holds enough of your pictures.

It’s our duty to pressure the government into remaining open. Classified things are classified, sure. But when the general public begins to see the precedence secrets take in national importance, the sharing of knowledge might be the best move for the men and women in our nation’s capitol.

Bring the drones into light, I say. Make their presence known to the American people. It’s a hard truth to accept, but we now have the ability to kill from the comfort of our living rooms.

Will this make America a global threat on an entirely different level? Will this start a new kind of technological arms race? Will these drones eventually be localized and turned into tools for law enforcement?

I will comfortably tell you, “No.” The invention and advancement of drone technology will lessen casualty figures of both U.S. troops and foreign civilians. It’s a progressive step for a better future by warfare.

Citizens should never be afraid of their governments.

On the other hand, I don’t think governments should be afraid of their citizens. If we’re going to walk hand-in-hand, we’ll have to offer our trust first.

 

Reach the columnist at mschan1@asu.edu or follow him at @MorganSukotto

 

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