US Secret Service Testing Technology against Hostile Drones

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Secret Service Project

Everyone is talking about drones and while entrepreneurs look for ways to incorporate the unmanned aircraft into their businesses practices, the US government is worried this technology can pose a threat to security and privacy.

The Secret Operation

The US Secret Service has been flying mysterious drones over Washington, which is normally a strict no-fly zone. The test has been a part of a classified government test aimed at finding ways to jam hostile drone signals and knock the devices off the sky.

An official has anonymously provided information about the Secret Service plan to test drones between 1 am and 4 am (for a couple of weeks) for law enforcement and protection efforts. The plans are not intended to go public, which is why the information gets attributed to an anonymous source, Mashable reported.

The biggest threat that the government is concerned about lies in the fact that some of the consumer-level drones designed to carry video cameras are powerful enough to also carry a grenade or small explosives.

The government aims to find ways to quickly detect a drone flying near the White House and jam its signal to interrupt the control over the aircraft. Secret Service has informed the public about the testing in advance so that people are not alarmed but has declined to provide additional information on the number of aircraft used, the length of the test and its exact purpose.

What do the Security Tests Mean for Businesses?

Researchers from the Homeland Security Department’s science and technology directorate are coming up with strategies to prevent unauthorized drones from flying inside security locations. They aim to strike the balance between the security issues and the blossoming commercial potential of the unmanned aircraft.

Protection against hostile drones has been the topic of heated discussions for some time. Jeremy Gillula, a staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told Mashable there are three main ways to stop a drone. The first involves blocking the radio signals that connect the aircraft to the controller. The second option is to confuse the control signals. The third way is to physically disable the drone.

Some of the drone manufacturers have programmed the technology to recognize certain areas as off-limit and avoid them. Alternative, policemen can physically stop the drones by catching those in a net.

The development of preventive measures against drones might actually be good news for the companies that want to incorporate the unmanned aircraft into their business operations. Drone enthusiasts are eager for the government to issue specific regulations on the usage of this technology.

The mass use of drones is very unlikely to take place before privacy and security concerns get addressed in an adequate manner.

Jesse Young