Peek protection: Now you can block that drone

A new consumer device can prevent the airborne variety from recording sound and video over your property, but it'll cost you plenty.

By Jason Notte Mar 22, 2013 7:26AM
A Predator B unmanned aircraft lands after a mission at the Naval Air Station Nov. 8, 2011, in Corpus Christi, Texas ( Eric Gay/AP Photo)One of the familiar refrains of the recent gun control debate is that American citizens need guns to protect themselves from a tyrannical government that the American Civil Liberties Union and others fear will blacken the skies with drones.


The one problem is that, short of getting your hands on a Stinger surface-to-air missile found in Afghanistan, very few of the arms available to the American public would be able to stop or disrupt a drone. Until now.


Domestic Drone Countermeasures has told The Huffington Post that its devices can prevent a small airborne drone from recording sound and images through its onboard cameras, video recorders and microphones. The anti-drone product uses patented technology. Its countermeasure equipment already exists and is perfectly legal. Domestic Drone Countermeasures is just putting it into one neat little package for consumers.


At first glance, it seems it would take a special kind of conspiracy crank to go in on an item like this. After all, a spokeswoman for the Oregon company says the device will "cost as much as car, maybe an Audi." However, with NBC reporting that Miami and Houston police departments already have spy drones and The Seattle Times noting that tremendous public outcry is all that prevented Seattle police from putting drones over their city, maybe those cranks have a point.


Of course, it's not the police, military, intelligence organizations and other groups bound by things like regulations, law and accountability that most counter-drone buyers would be worried about. The Oregonian notes that camera-equipped drones are now available for as little as $300 online, and The Wall Street Journal reports that the Federal Aviation Administration will broaden the use of drones by government and corporate entities by 2015. So, a little privacy protection may be worth the splurge.


A few strings are attached, however. Because Domestic Drone Countermeasures is a spin-off of a defense computer hardware contractor, buyers need to be American citizens and have to sign a nondisclosure agreement precluding the buyers from selling the anti-drone gear abroad.


Vice President Joe Biden cited the "black-helicopter-crowd" while discussing an assault weapons ban with National Public Radio, but where drones are concerned, that crowd now shares pretty much the same demographic as the typical American consumer.


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28Comments
Mar 22, 2013 12:26PM
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"The anti-drone product uses patented technology. Its countermeasure equipment already exists and is perfectly legal."

 

All it takes is a simple law that makes it illegal to use (or perhaps even to possess) any technology to prevent audio or video functioning of a drone mechanism.

 

Remember when d-lyseric acid diethylamide (acid) was perfectly legal (1966)? Remember when dextroapmhetamine sulfate (Eskatrol) was perfectly legal (1980)? It can all change in the matter of a moment. (And you may or may not applaud the change.)

 

It's illegal today to even detect a highway radar trap. Therefore, it's hard for me to believe it would ever be legal for you or me to stop a drone from doing its airborne sneek and peek just as much as it wants to sneek and peek.

Mar 22, 2013 1:01PM
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The government has had satellite cameras for years with enough resolution to read a license plate.
Mar 22, 2013 9:36AM
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Anyone concerned with privacy should read "The Transparent Society" by David Brin. He and others have predicted all these things, and thinks there are ways for society to adapt and preserve peoples privacy.
Mar 22, 2013 12:44PM
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How is that any different than Google Map who had to stop neighborhood photography because of privacy laws?
Mar 22, 2013 1:07PM
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What is the effective range of the drone counter measures device?
Mar 22, 2013 12:53PM
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LOL, i wonder what the U.S. gooberments gonna do if "God" wants to destroy America and its gooberment?  Hey, Gooberment you have drone big enough for that one? lol
Mar 22, 2013 2:37PM
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There is no sense in discussing this.

 

Americans will NEVER have privacy again.

 

Government and law enforcement make the rules and they are always manipulated (rules) to protect them.

 

Commercial or private does not matter either; the data is aggregate for authorities.

 

Why do you think corporations no longer have to reveal themselves or how much money they contribute to politicians?

Mar 22, 2013 1:13PM
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This is nothing more than another marketing scam.  As Phil99 has said so well, a law can be created almost instantly to make anti-drone equipment illegal. So, it is my belief this is yet another scam having the blessings of our Congress to extort money from people.  And, I'm very sure the govymint will get a big portion of the money spent on this stuff. There is no need to say "If I see them over my house, I will....."  That is useless.  We are individuals and they have the military on their side. There is nothing we can do except vote and that is too late.  But, I live in the country and should I see one, I do hope I can remember to show them my a$$.
Mar 22, 2013 1:45PM
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From what I can read, from all the sources, this is no scam, and has started a new industry perhaps.

Mar 22, 2013 2:46PM
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I don't know how many times I've posted stuff about this and even my own kids make fun of me.  If this keeps on, there will be drones everywhere, not just in the skies.  They'll make them so they can come into your homes, into your churches, into your schools. They'll monitor your mail, they'll monitor your emails, ( I bet they already do)  Every aspect of your private and personal life will be exposed.  Why, in the name of public safety.  Who is responsible?  The public media.  Because they sensationalize every event they can, to gain more ratings, to sell more papers, to get more attention.  And we're fools for allowing them to manipulate us in this manner.  Wake up America, your are losing your freedoms, your basic rights, because of your stupidity
Mar 22, 2013 2:28PM
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Not that hard to make a heat seeking missile out of model rockets. You do know they have to have permission to fly over your land, right? 

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1117/can-i-declare-a-no-flight-zone-over-my-house

Know your rights, because they sure won't tell them too you.
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Doesn't it make you feel all warm and fuzzy, knowing our government can now spy on its citizens.  Reminds me of the old USSR.  All government agencies are garbage.
Apr 26, 2013 4:24PM
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All drones could/should be licensed; all would have to have an ID # clearly visible on them. If you see one flying down your street you could look them up on the web data base. If someone is violating others privacy (too often) they can have their license suspended/revoked. If there is no ID then they are fair game to take down, oh boy. My first thought was to justo take down any you see anyway, but maybe it's your friendly neighborhood watch. 
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