PBS' NOVA to Premiere Documentary on 'Rise of the Drones'
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
The documentary will tackle both the military and civilian side of drone technology, exploring how the military trains drone pilots at the Holloman Air Force base in New Mexico, as well as the role drones will play in domestic law enforcement.
There are controversies in both of these worlds. Are drone strikes in accordance with international law? Are they killing too many civilians? "We’ve entered an era where we’re conducting an array of operations using unmanned systems that in a previous generation we would have called war, and we would have treated like war," Peter W. Singer, an expert in the future of warfare, says in the documentary. "When you’re conducting more than 300 air strikes in a country, you’re conducting an equivalent of at least an ‘Air War’ campaign. But we don’t call it that now."
On the civilian side, most of the questions are related to privacy and security. Can citizens' privacy be respected when there are thousands of eyes in the sky? "I think anybody that can use a device to peer into your activities even if it’s the air outside your window or the air above your property, I think there is a right to privacy," Rep. Rand Paul tells NOVA. "The worry is that in two [to] three years we will have 30,000 drones crisscrossing the sky accumulating all this information."