Enlarge (credit: Customs and Border Patrol) Thousands of people took to the streets of Minneapolis on Friday to protest the death of George Floyd, a local black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest. All the while, a Customs and Border Patrol drone kept a careful eye on the unfolding unrest. The drone, using the tracking signal CBP104, took off from Grand Forks Airforce Base at 9:08 am Central Daylight Time and shortly afterward headed directly to Minneapolis, this feed…

Enlarge / A World Health Organization advisory. (credit: World Health Organization) The Department of Homeland Security is reportedly issuing alerts to wireless telecom providers and law enforcement agencies about potential attacks on cell towers and telecommunications workers by 5G/coronavirus conspiracy theorists. The DHS warned that there have already been “arson and physical attacks against cell towers in several US states.” The preposterous claim that 5G can spread the coronavirus, either by suppressing the immune system or by directly transmitting the virus over radio waves, led to dozens of…

Enlarge (credit: Richard Newstead / Getty Images) A Minnesota man is facing two felony charges for shooting down a drone, The Free Press reports. The incident began when an unnamed man flew a drone over Butterfield Foods, a producer of meat products—including chicken—in the Southern Minnesota town of Butterfield. The man later told a sheriff’s deputy he was trying to prove that chickens were being slaughtered because of the pandemic. Two employees approached the man and asked him what he was doing. Soon afterwards, someone else shot the…

Enlarge (credit: Stuart O’Sullivan) More than 34,000 people have deluged the Federal Aviation Administration with comments over a proposed regulation that would require almost every drone in the sky to broadcast its location over the Internet at all times. The comments are overwhelmingly negative, with thousands of hobbyists warning that the rules would impose huge new costs on those who simply wanted to continue flying model airplanes, home-built drones, or other personally owned devices. “These regulations could kill a hobby I love,” wrote Virginian Irby Allen Jr. in a…

Enlarge / An artist’s concept of how Gremlins would fill the skies, launched from manned motherships. (credit: DARPA) The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been conducting research into a number of types of swarming drones that could be used on the battlefield. The latest of these is the “Gremlins” program—an effort to build relatively low-cost unmanned aircraft that can be launched from a “mothership” transport aircraft and then be recovered by the mothership after their mission is complete. This past week, the Defense Department conducted the…

Enlarge The Interior Department is preparing a new agency policy that would drastically limit the use of unmanned aerial vehicles made overseas, The Wall Street Journal reports. The new policy is due to be formally announced today. The agency worries that information collected by drones could be “valuable to foreign entities, organizations, and governments.” The agency has around 800 drones. According to the Journal, agency officials have admitted that all of them are Chinese-made or contain Chinese parts View original article at Ars Technica

Enlarge / TEHRAN, IRAN – (ARCHIVE): A file photo dated September 18, 2016 shows Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani during Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s meeting with Revolutionary Guards, in Tehran, Iran. (credit: Anadolu Agency / Getty Images) The assassination by missile last night of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force commander Major General Qasem Soleimani and four other senior Iranian officers has triggered vows of revenge from Iran’s Supreme Leader and other members of Iran’s leadership. Those vows have raised concerns about both…

Enlarge / Wing Aviation, a “moonshot” project of Google’s Alphabet, delivers a package to a customer in October 2019. Wing was the first drone operator sanctioned by the FAA to deliver packages to customers, but a large scale deployment of technology like this depends on better location tracking systems. (credit: Logan Cyrus/Bloomberg via Getty Images) The Federal Aviation Administration is implementing a new system that will allow comprehensive nationwide tracking of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)—commonly known as drones. The new system will enable regulators, law enforcement, and other…

Enlarge / Saudi defence ministry spokesman Colonel Turki bin Saleh al-Malki displays pieces of what he said were Iranian cruise missiles and drones recovered from the attack site that targeted Saudi Aramco’s facilities, during a press conference in Riyadh on September 18, 2019. US officials have now said that the US responded with a cyber attack against Iran’s “propaganda” infrastructure. (credit: FAYEZ NURELDINE / Getty Images) Reuters reports that the United States launched a “secret cyber operation” against Iran in September, following the alleged drone and missile attack…

Enlarge / A “Black Fin” uncrewed submersible vehicle and two weaponized radio-controlled cars, produced from off-the-shelf hardware by the Portuguese navy’s Unmanned Vehicle Experimentation Cell. (credit: IHS Markit / Jane’s Defence Weekly’s James Rands with permission) You don’t need a huge budget like the US Department of Defense’s to harness emerging technology for mayhem. During NATO’s Recognized Environmental Picture Maritime Unmanned Systems (REPMUS) event last month—an uncrewed systems exercise held on the coast of Portugal—the Portuguese navy revealed its own in-house robot and drone capabilities, including some developed…