alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.


Report shows police drones expanding as media shrinks

Police drones are expanding, but are the media asking questions?

Keep reading... Show less

We Should Ban 'Killer Robots' to Protect Fundamental Legal and Moral Principles

When drafting a treaty on the laws of war at the end of the 19th century, diplomats could not foresee the future of weapons development. But they did adopt a legal and moral standard for judging new technology not covered by existing treaty language.

Keep reading... Show less

Mass Poisoning and Domestic Military Attacks: Secretive Pentagon Documents Predict Dystopian Dangers in the US

For almost 20 years, U.S. drone warfare was largely one-sided. Unlike Afghans and Yemenis, Iraqis and Somalis, Americans never had to worry about lethal robots hovering overhead and raining down missiles. Until, that is, one appeared in the skies above Florida.

Keep reading... Show less

Trump's On-Going Drone War Is Far Worse Than You Think

They are like the camel’s nose, lifting a corner of the tent. Don’t be fooled, though. It won’t take long until the whole animal is sitting inside, sipping your tea and eating your sweets. In countries around the world -- in the Middle EastAsia MinorCentral AsiaAfrica, even the Philippines -- the appearance of U.S. drones in the sky (and on the ground) is often Washington’s equivalent of the camel’s nose entering a new theater of operations in this country’s forever war against “terror.” Sometimes, however, the drones are more like the camel's tail, arriving after less visible U.S. military forces have been in an area for a while.

Keep reading... Show less

Trump Administration Mulls More Secrecy on Drone Strikes

The Trump administration is considering overturning a key Obama-era policy which sought to make counter-terrorism operations more transparent, even as it ramps them up.

Keep reading... Show less

The Pentagon's New Partner for Building Drones Should Make Us All Nervous

On Tuesday, a privacy and security report published by Gizmodo revealed that Google and the Pentagon are collaborating on developing drones. Known as Project Maven, the Department of Defense pilot project involves analyzing, combing through, defining, and categorizing visual data amassed by aerial drones. It wouldn’t be too far off to say the project would function as the Pentagon’s all-seeing eye.

Keep reading... Show less

This Man Uses Drones to Expose Factory Farms - and His Videos Are Going Viral

Mercy For Animals has conducted over 60 investigations on the ground in four countries. But did you know about our six drone investigations? That’s right. Thanks to Mark Devries, MFA’s special projects and drone investigations manager (and the director and star of this documentary), we’ve used high-tech drones to expose just how dangerously vast and insidious factory farms are.

Keep reading... Show less

Police Use of Drones Is Guaranteed to Have Costly Consequences

Drone technology has gone from a novelty of war overseas to a part of an increasingly militarized domestic police toolbelt, and the fear of mission creep is growing. The unmanned machines cleared a number of major regulatory hurdles October 25, when President Donald Trump signed an executive order ordering federal agencies to launch a pilot program examining the loosening of restrictions on flight height, battery power and nighttime operations for private drone use. 

Keep reading... Show less

From Helping Farmers to Saving Wildlife, Here Are 7 Ways Drones Are Being Used for Good

When you hear the word drone, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Probably the fact that they are used by the U.S. military for missile strikes. And that association is giving drone technology a serious PR problem.

Keep reading... Show less

Killer Drones in the Empire State

At dusk I stood on a residential street with trim lawns and watched planes approach a runaway along the other side of a chain-link fence. Just a few dozen yards away, a JetBlue airliner landed. Then a United plane followed. But the next aircraft looked different. It was a bit smaller and had no markings or taillights. A propeller whirled at the back. And instead of the high-pitched screech of a jet, the sound was more like… a drone.

Keep reading... Show less

What Have We Done: Executive Power, Drones, and Trump?

The news is rife with President Trump’s threatened and actual military misadventures: in Syria, Yemen, and North Korea. But these military actions take on a new gravity considering the vast and secret powers Trump inherited.

Keep reading... Show less