An Oregon company wants to make technology that would detect and warn
against domestic drones.
Imagine you’re at home. Out of the corner of your eye, you spy a drone.
It’s hovering just outside your window. What’s it doing? Taking
pictures? Spying on you? But, more important, what would you do?
That’s the type of invasion-of-privacy concern posed by Domestic Drone
Countermeasures (DDC), a company is Portland, Ore., that sells
anti-drone technology it says will protect people from domestic drones,
which have become increasingly available for prices as low as $500 online..
DDC is trying to raise $8,500 through the crowdfunding site Kickstarter
for a Personal Drone Detection System. The system consists of three
boxes that together create a “mesh grid network,” also called a
“Detection Grid.” It would warn users about domestic drones with sensors
that, through Wi-Fi, trigger an alarm or send alert messages to your
tablet or smart phone.
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DDC, currently in the process of securing patents for its technology,
does not intend to counter military drones, as those “fly too high and
are too sophisticated,” the company states on its Kickstarter page.
Rather, it aims to defend against ordinary people who may have access to
“There are legitimate uses for domestic drones. But there are still
concerns about invasion of privacy and surveillance by various
entities,” says Amy Ciesielka, founder of DDC, in the group’s
Founded in 2013, DDC is dedicated to not only selling its anti-drone
products, but also to spreading awareness of domestic drone usage – from
police departments using them for surveillance to individuals mounting
drones with GoPro cameras for home videos.
The trouble is there aren’t yet many laws to regulate daily drone usage.
Last month, a drone crashed into the side of a skyscraper in downtown
St. Louis, causing authorities to begin tracking down the owner. And in
a recent interview with 60 Minutes, Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), a
staunch critic of drone technology, explained that the Federal Aviation
Administration does not yet have rules to regulate smaller, domestic
“When is a drone picture a benefit to society? When does it become
stalking? When does it invade privacy? How close to a home can a drone
go?” Senator Feinstein, who had a drone crash outside her house, said in
The UK, for example, has laws prohibiting the use of recreational drones
near buildings and all domestic drone usage must be cleared by the Civil
Aviation Authority, notes The Guardian.
Although DDC is branding itself as a kind of do-it-yourself drone
defense company in the absence of official laws regulating this issue,
it remains to be seen whether its project will be funded – you only
receive Kickstarter funding if you raise enough money to meet your
stated goal – and whether anti-drone technology will even catch on
before lawmakers do.
“Only technology can counter technology,” DDC states in its promotional
Kickstarter video. That is, if people really see a need.