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News From The Future-35

Pt 1163Pt 1164

Quadcopter drone group held in London airport on suspicion of terrorism:

Fresh from performing at Science Gallery in Dublin last night during the opening of Hack the City, an English group of urbanists, technologists and architects who created GPS-enabled quadcopter drones, were held at London Southend Airport on suspicion of terrorism and recorded under the UK’s Terrorism Act.

The group, known as Tomorrows Thoughts Today, had been performing their Electronic Countermeasures robotic ballet in the sky show at Science Gallery for the opening of the three-month Hack the City exhibition in Dublin City.

The trio, headed up by Liam Young, had created the robotic drones from components that were originally intended for police surveillance.

The drones had been swarming around Science Gallery last night to show how they can broadcast their own Wi-Fi network as a flying pirate file-sharing formation.
As they swarm, people in the audience can log onto the drone network with their phones and laptops and use the drones as a local network to upload files and share data with one another.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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  2. Jim Hunter says:

    Yeah! The only people allowed to use drones for illegal purposes is the government! Y’all cut that stuff out!

  3. Kieran says:

    Sounds perfectly reasonable to me, if someone passes through an airport with suitcases stuffed with loose electronics I would sure hope they get stopped and questioned. If they didn’t get stopped you could bet someone would start moaning that they could’ve been terrorists with bombs, it seems you can’t win either way.

    1. Leon says:

      I travel frequently with carry-on and checked luggage full of electronics, tools, wires and cables, as required for my job, and have only had issues in one case when leaving Japan – China, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong are my normal destinations.

      I’ve had one funny encounter where the check-in staff saw what was inside my bag, and flatout declared that I could not take those items on-board. I laughed, told him to get the person in-charge of luggage checks, who took a quick glance and declared it to be “no problem at all”. The only other time I’ve even had someone interested was one time after going through the security checks, where they asked me to open my carry on so they could see as the X-ray was quite a mess. One quick glance was enough to confirm that yes – there was quite a bit in there, but no – it fairly obviously wasn’t a bomb or anything threatening.

      Stopping, questioning, and labelling people as terrorists for simply having electronics is unreasonable and rather ludicrous. Only in Hollywood do bombs have a ridiculous amount of electronics.

      1. Kieran says:

        This article concerns Britain, we have a much larger terrorist threat over here than any of those places you mentioned. And these people weren’t labelled as terrorists (that would actually be libel) but were stopped, searched, and questioned on SUSPICION of terrorism, under the UK’s Terrorism Act. As for actual bombs, they can have a varying amount of electronics depending on their function, to flat out say a suitcase full of electronics couldn’t possibly contain a bomb is ignorant. I also wonder if these idiots left their li-po’s in there, because that would create a legitimate explosion possibility.

  4. Njmalhq says:

    When outlaws have more freedom than you, then you can bet your butt that freedom has been outlawed. All the little things that you take for granted, consider whether you’ll still have them a decade from now. More importantly, whether you’ll mind or care. And if you don’t mind and don’t care, what kind of historical artefact will you likely be? Actually, you probably won’t care about that either.

    1. siriel says:

      Kindly ask yourselves, America, whether the way of the world is perfect security or enterprise, which means an acceptable level of risk. Which is the American Way? Security levels defined by the ignorant becomes a danger in and of itself, indeed perfect security freezes all activity dead: by getting out of place it becomes its own worst enemy. This is simply an example of that – keegs running amok. I leave it to you to track that neologism. And if it upsets certain businesses specialising in advanced slavery, tough.

  5. [...] the piece NEWS FROM THE FUTURE – Quadcopter Art – Suspicion of Terrorism?, Leon remarks: I travel frequently with carry-on and checked luggage full of electronics, tools, [...]

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