09:40 GMT29 February 2020
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    According to UK Security Minister Ben Wallace, the country will install detection systems across the country to combat the threat of drones. Mr Wallace warned that those using drones without caution or illegally would face severe punishment.

    He didn’t specify what systems could be used to address the threat of drones, nor did he elaborate on how quickly they could be deployed.

    Sputnik discussed this with Nick Mottern, the founder of Knowdrones.com.

    Sputnik: In your view, how significant is this new system announced by the UK to address the threat of drones? Is it really going to be robust enough?

    Nick Mottern: I think it's a very historic thing; and this equipment, I think, they say it's long overdue, but it also raises a very significant question about who gets to jam other people's drones. Three years ago we proposed a bill in Congress that would put very strict limits on who could fly drones and require permission to do that, and would also ban armed drones, like the Reaper drones that the US is using to attack people in other countries. More than 1.5 years ago Russia used a jamming system to down several drones — I think there were either 6 or 8 of them that were very small, but headed towards a Russian military base.

    READ MORE: Unidentified Objects Spotted Over Gatwick Amid Drone Mayhem

    That was, I think, a very important thing, too, that got very low coverage. The system that was being used in England around Gatwick apparently had come from Israel, probably the technological leader in developing drones at the beginning, and then the US really opened the skies in America and around the world with all kinds of drones without any heed to privacy concerns or to armed drones.

    So the idea that you can jam these and prevent, not only surveillance and disruption, but attack is very important. So, my view would be that people in other countries who are under attack should also have jamming systems so that this form of warfare would essentially be neutralized and no longer become a global threat.

    Sputnik: Were you surprised at what happened at Gatwick last week given what you've just mentioned about the jamming possibilities?

    Nick Mottern: It's inevitable that this kind of thing can happen because if you take a drone that was made just for hobby, it can — it's been shown in a demonstration — crash into a nuclear power plant, or it can crash into an electric power generator. The whole notion that a drone is a toy that's held by the public as something that's very fun and can deliver pizzas and Amazon packages is something that really disguises a profound assault on privacy and the infrastructure that these things can actually do at this moment. There's unwillingness certainly in the US, and maybe other places, to limit the commercial potential to sell these to the average person.

    Sputnik: Do you think other countries will follow the UK's example and install these systems?

    Nick Mottern: Governments that manufacture these drones really don't want to say "we're using these for very specific purposes". The general public doesn't have any business with this and nor does the military or the police have any business of using these permanently for surveillance and killing people. And this is a technology that definitely needs to be put back in the box.

    READ MORE: Prankster Adds Fuel to the Fire Claiming He Is Behind Gatwick Drone Mayhem

    Drone surveillance and killing should be banned and there should be strict permissions for the use of drones for very positive purposes. This should be something that is done only with permissions and a very clear limitation of what will happen when these drones go into the air.

    Sputnik: Some reports have noted that developing a new sector to regulate these drones requires using perspectives across many different cultures and disciplines surrounding public interest, that's what we're talking about. Is this now going to be able to be delivered and achieved?

    Nick Mottern: Essentially the same thing is with people owning firearms and under what circumstances people are allowed to own firearms. At this point, in the US drones are still viewed as a curiosity and something that you can have a lot of fun with. The public has to face up to a technological age that needs to be controlled rather than embraced as an amusing curiosity.

    The views expressed in this article are solely those of Nick Mottern and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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