A long time ago in a galaxy far away when people loved both the on-screen AND off screen Tom Cruise, he and Steven Spielberg teamed up to create one of the most brilliant dramatic science fiction films of all time; Minority Report.
The movie, set about 50 years in the future, is a suspense murder mystery about the introduction of the “pre-crime” program where police could predict who would commit murders and arrest them in advance.What makes this one of the best science fiction films of all time is that without preaching Spielberg depicts a world where the erosion of civil liberties is so natural that most people never even notice. Optic scanners to get off the train, cars that can be automatically turned off by police (think OnStar with a badge) and most nefariously ‘spiders’ little robotic drones that enter homes and search for suspects when the police don’t want to enter. Well if you are even remotely concerned about your privacy, welcome to the future, because the precursor to “Spiders” are here.
The United States army is set to unveil new ‘micro-drones’ in Iraq and Afghanistan, but rest assured they will be coming to a town near you soon. Most Americans have paid little or no attention to the problems associated with drone attacks in the Middle – East where U.S. soldiers remote control condor sized air craft to attack enemy bases from the comfort of offices or air craft carriers. The new drones, or Micro Arial Vehicles (MAVs)fit in the palm of your hand or more likely in your closet, your car or anywhere else the government wants to spy on you. While there is no chance that Americans would not have a conniption if the U.S. government regularly employed large drones to patrol cities for ‘crime’ it is not hard to envision the FBI and other agencies using micro-sized drones to patrol streets, searching for ‘specific suspects’. And if in the process they are essentially monitoring and recording every other free citizen walking down the street then so be it. The erosion of liberty doesn’t often occur with the loud bang of soldiers knocking down your door, it’s more likely to come with the soft buzz of a micro-drone peeking in your window.