You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >
WeGov

Putting the International Spotlight on Killer Robots

BY Carola Frediani | Tuesday, December 3 2013

Campaigning in London to create a worldwide ban on killer robots (image: Stop Killer Robots/flickr)

Imagine an unmanned robot surveying enemy land and deciding, based on algorithms rather than human control, when it should and shouldn't drop a bomb or release a cascade of bullets. These "killer robots," once a topic restricted to an elite group of scientists, military analysts and visionary science writers has now reached a global audience through the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, a movement that, very strikingly, seeks to preemptively ban them. Most weapons bans are reactive, taking place after it has exacted a massive toll. Read More

First POST: Privatization

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, December 2 2013

The latest ups and downs of HealthCare.gov; PandoDaily.com absurdly accuses Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras of "privatizing" the Snowden Files; and will robot watchmen and drone deliveries be coming to your neighborhood soon? Read More

WeGov

Drones Provide New Perspective in Coverage of Thai Protests

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, November 27 2013

Between 100,000 and 440,000 demonstrators swarmed Democracy Monument earlier this week. (Wikipedia)

Throngs of Thai demonstrators have flooded the streets of Bangkok and forced the closure of five government ministries in their attempt to “overthrow” their government, led by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Two English language news sources—The Nation and The Bangkok Post—have gotten a new perspective on the current political upheaval. Their coverage of the demonstrations is accompanied by sweeping photographs taken from drones.

Read More

First POST: Malala, Malia

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, October 14 2013

The Snowden backlash is getting bigger; Malala tells the Obamas (and Malia) what she thinks of US drone strikes; and HealthCare.gov mess gets the New York Times' front-page treatment; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: #DearCongress

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, October 1 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: Public protest at the government shutdown starts to surface via the #DearCongress hashtag; the health insurance exchanges launch; Occupy Wall Street launches a debit card; and much, much more. Read More

Drones and Aerial Robotics Conference Coming Oct. 11-13 to NYC

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, September 30 2013

By Sarah Lovejoy (Own work)

Now's the time to register for the Drones & Aerial Robotics Conference, taking place October 11-13 at NYU and co-curated by PDF co-curator Christopher Wong (who is also the executive director of the Engleberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy at NYU School of Law). Imagine a near future in which autonomous robots roam the skies, performing everything from law enforcement, to communications, to crop dusting, shipping and logistics. Sound implausible? Perhaps—but that is the future that the aerospace industry and a new class of entrepreneurs are busy preparing. Read More

First POST: Nihilists

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, August 8 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: The latest twists in the NSA scandal, advice for Republican would-be techies and wannabe innovative cities; why Samantha Power will break our hearts; and much, much more from around the web. Read More

WeGov

Build Your Own Disaster Relief Drone

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, June 26 2013

The OpenRelief Drone (carrierdetect/Flickr)

Anyone with a thousand bucks and some engineering know-how can now build their very own drone. Unlike those controversial ones used in the “drone war,” these are made for disaster relief.

Read More

Lawmakers Ponder the Dawn of a Drone-Surveillance State

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, March 20 2013

Senate lawmakers on Wednesday grappled with the question of how they can preserve the privacy rights of American citizens as domestic uses of unmanned aircraft take off both in the private sector and in the world of law enforcement. Read More

WeGov

Finding Names of the Dead in Pakistan's Drone War

BY Naheed Mustafa | Thursday, March 7 2013

Dronestagram of North Waziristan, following a January 3 drone strike that killed 3-4 people.

America's secret drone campaign in Pakistan's remote tribal areas is meant to target militants, but frequently kills civilian bystanders as well. The White House argues that the campaign is a necessary and effective means of fighting terror, while watchdog groups struggle to learn more about how and why American intelligence officials kill with "aerial vehicles." But both sides predicate their arguments on one deeply flawed assumption: That we cannot know the names of the dead. Read More