|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-crr03;owd" 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.