Saturday, 23 February 2019

Is It Hard to Fly a Drone? No, and It’s Pretty Easy to Kill With One, Too

President Donald Trump was recently caught on camera mocking the Venezuelan armed forces’ response to a suspected drone attack during a presidential rally in Caracas last month—an incident that the U.S. itself may be critically underprepared for.

Trump has accused Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro of economically and politically mismanaging his socialist country and of cracking down on protests with force. Shortly after telling reporters that “every option is on the table with respect to Venezuela,” including “the strong ones,” Trump said Wednesday that Venezuela “could be toppled very quickly,” pointing out “how the military spread as soon as they heard a bomb go off way above their head” in reference to how two armed drones exploded at a rally attended by Maduro in August, causing bedlam.

The socialist president blamed the attack—officially described as an attempt on his life—on neighboring Colombia and the U.S. The event prompted discussion about the vulnerabilities of traditional security measures toward drones, once technological luxuries and now readily accessible devices. In the face of these emerging risks, experts are warning that Venezuela may only be the beginning if people fail to appreciate the extent of damage drones capable of inflicting on society.

“Drones are seen as super large, high-flying, sophisticated military aircraft or they’re seen as toys,” Joerg Lamprecht, CEO and co-founder of Dedrone told Newsweek. But in reality, he said, “you have a small cruise missile for the masses.”

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