Friday, January 24, 2014

When Fact is Stranger Than Fiction: Insect Drones and Big Brother

What the ... Insect Drones? Is this for real?

Here is the story that I saw floating around the internet:

"No. It's an insect spy drone for urban areas, already in production, funded by the US Government. It can be remotely controlled and is equipped with a camera and a microphone. It can land on you, and it may have the potential to take a DNA sample or leave RFID tracking nanotechnology on your skin. It can fly through an open window, or it can attach to your clothing until you take it in your home."

As a writer of speculative and science fiction, I was like "Wow! I can use that in a story!"

But the non-writer part of me was creeped out. I mean, what kind of "Big Brother" kind of bullshit could this be used for?

But a bit of poking further into the story gave me a bit of relief. But only a bit. 

According to Snopes, "One of the current areas of research reportedly being undertaken in the scientific/military field is the development of micro air vehicles (MAVs), tiny flying objects intended to go places that cannot be (safely) reached by humans or other types of equipment. One of the primary military applications envisioned for MAVs is the gathering of intelligence (through the surreptitious use of cameras, microphones, or other types of sensors); among the more extreme applications posited for such devices is that they may eventually be used as "swarm weapons" which could be launched en masse against enemy forces."

"The specific mosquito-like object pictured above is, however, just a conceptual mock-up of a design for a MAV, not a photograph of an actual working device "already in production." And although taking DNA samples or inserting micro-RFID tracking devices under the skin of people are MAV applications that may some day be possible, such possibilities currently appear to be speculative fiction rather than reality."

While no government official or agency will admit to currently having such technology, there are anecdotal accounts of dragonflies hovering over protesters at rallies and even at the Republican National Convention.

Let's hope that, for now, spy "bugs" remain fiction.

What say you? Do you think these "bugs" already exist? Or is it the work of overactive imaginations? Chat about it below in the comments section.

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In other news, ONLY 8 MORE DAYS until Emily's Heart officially launches! *squee* Make sure you come back often as I'll have lots of announcements, launch news and giveaways galore all through February :-D

A tiny teaser from Emily's Heart:

From Emily's Heart by Natalie Wright

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