Drones Will be the Future Weapons of Choice for Terrorists, Burglars and Paparazzi

By Gerald Lynch on at

Drones are already making an impact in the worlds of filmmaking, warfare and tech-fuelled football rivalries. But that's just the start -- the University of Birmingham Policy Commission report has suggested that the UK is woefully underprepared for potentially malicious uses of drone technology.

Led by Sir David Omand, former head of UK intelligence agency GCHQ, the report claims that drones could be a significant tool for terrorist groups.

"The security threat posed by individuals misusing RPA [Remotely Piloted Aircraft] is a serious one, whether for criminal or terrorist purposes," reads the report. "More thought needs to be given to their employment for malign purposes in the domestic environment.

"Vulnerable targets might be hardened to withstand attack from outside, but it is entirely possible that in a public space like a shopping centre or sporting stadium, an attack could be launched from within."

Drones could be used to disperse biological agents in stadiums and shopping centres with little to deter them at present, suggests the report, while they're ready-made lookouts for burglars and secret high-flying spy cams for the paparazzi.

The report calls for "urgent" measures to safeguard airspace in Britain, but does also detail the positive potential drone use could have on the UK economy, particularly in terms of cost-effective surveillance systems. [BBC]