A Research-Based Introduction
Edited By Alexander Siedschlag
7 Use of “Drones” in Homeland Security: A Comparative Perspective on Use of Security Technology and Its Legal, Political, and Social Aspects
Use of “Drones” in Homeland Security: A Comparative Perspective on Use of Security Technology and Its Legal, Political, and Social Aspects
ANDREA JERKOVIĆ & ALEXANDER SIEDSCHLAG
The increase in surveillance technologies evokes new debates between supporters and opponents in a variety of fields,1 and has recently especially done so regarding the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAV, commonly known as “drones.”2 A few years ago, use of drones would have been primarily associated with the use of, for example, Predator and Reaper-class systems for “targeted killings” in the Global War on Terror. Today a much more differentiated perception exists, also in the public, following increasing media coverage on domestic use of drones in business (such as Amazon’s exploration of drone-based parcel delivery) as well as in homeland security and emergency management (including border surveillance and disaster relief support), with criticism also being more differentiated.3 We should specifically speak about unmanned aerial systems, or UAS, since we are talking not only about a flying object but about big data—sourcing and processing of information from interconnected systems—and about payloads (detection, surveillance, and other possible technology) carried.
Future regular use of UAS in homeland security will increasingly include Earth-observation-based techniques for critical infrastructure designation, such as in the context of big events, thus supporting mainstreaming of situational awareness and common situational picture generating processes across jurisdictions and agencies.4 For example, UAS are useful in...
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