A professor in the department of political science and international studies at the University of Birmingham in England, David Dunn explores the ways commercial drones are being used for bad intent. He spoke with senior associate editor Diane Tedeschi in March.
Air Space: What led to your research on the criminal use of drones?
Dunn: One of my longstanding academic research interests is the relationship between technological change and the vulnerabilities it creates. Phone cameras, fast processors, compact batteries, and live-streaming have given birth to a technology that gives a bird’s-eye view of the world, but the same technology can also violate the security provided by walls and fences. Criminals and terrorists have also spotted these opportunities—and drone use for criminal and malign purposes has followed.
What are some of the ways in which drones could be used for illegal activities?
Drone-mounted cameras allow reconnaissance of homes and shops from behind security fences: