According to Goldman Sachs research, the expected global consumer drone market is forecasted to reach US$14 billion by 2023. With the rapid rate at which drones are expanding, and the number of drones entering the market is increasing with the increase in the selling rate each year, it is nearly impossible to get the exact figures of sales, and this figures may even grow even faster than experts estimate. With this increase in drone sales, it is impossible to nail down the legality of when and where these drones can be flown. This can lead to a high increase in the illegal use of drones. The only way to curb this illegal use is to install drone jamming devices on these drones before reaching the market. Let’s look at some of the illegal ways drones are used in the world.
Common Ways Drones Are Used Illegally
- Prisons – Drones are now one of the smuggle contrabands (apart from pornography, drugs, weapons, cell phones, and several others) into prisons, sometimes through the prisoner’s window. Even though there are risks attached to the smuggling of contrabands into prisons (potential jail sentence if caught and huge fees), this has not reduced the tactics in recent years, and they are devising other methods. The general method is now with the use of drones, and they use them to track guard changes, take pictures, survey the ground to formulate an escape plan. However, the best way to reduce this is by installing prison solutions technologies in every prison.
- Terrorism – There is an article based on the use of drones for terrorism titled “Terrorist Drone Attacks Are ‘When’ And Not an ‘If.’” ISIS is now planning to start using hobbyist drones loaded with explosives or chemicals to attack civilian populations. The main reasons why drones may be used by terrorists are their portability, inexpensive models and their ease of availability. Drones are easy to use even by an 18-year old boy. Apart from bombs, radioactive or toxic material can be sprayed to the city with drones by terrorists.
- Interference with planes – Despite the rules of not flying drones above 400 feet except traffic control consent is obtained or within five miles of an airport, there are still cases that drones are flown close to the airport. These drones can suck into the plane engine to cause a plane crash or complete engine failure. This is a general problem for airplanes around the world. However, with the use of drone detection, interference with planes will be reduced or even eliminated.
- The risk to emergency services – Although this may not be illegal use of drones it has been reported that in the US Forest Service, drones are interfering with firefighting aircraft. This will not only cause a distraction to the first responders, but it could also affect the lives of the people as their jobs will seem to be more difficult for them to do.
- Illegal Surveillance – Originally, drones were used by the government officials and the military personnel to undertake surveillance, but the technology is now being used to undertake illegal surveillance by other people. They can use it to record audio and visual content illegally. To conceal their actions, these people are now making similar and smaller drones.