Commentary: If Drones Are Illegal, Then Only Criminals Will Use Them

Eric Gay/AP file photo

Drones may be used to replace "mules" in the drug business.

The mistake that privacy advocates make about drones is their assumption that no one will have drones, if drones are outlawed or their use restricted.

Of course, that is not true.

The first real commercial application of drones may be their use to replace “mules” in the drug importation business and money launders in the cash export business.

People who invest in narco submarines and tunnels underneath the US/Mexican border will likely be investing in computer programmers and autonomous drones. The business case for such an investment starts with costs, but will be driven by strategy and tactics.

A drug exchange that didn’t work out as planned


  1. Use of drone decoys will distract law enforcement from the real “mule.”
  2. Banzai charges of numerous small drones—only a few will need to penetrate our defenses.
  3. No more opening scenes from No Country for Old Men, for drones will eliminate the need for face-to-face exchanges. Exchanges can be made smaller with less personal risk to the participants. Trust will become the currency of the trade.
  4. Money laundering and border controls on currency will no longer be of use. One need merely launch a cash-laden drone to a trusted ally in either Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean.
  5. Blackmail will become an important added tool in the criminal arsenal, as dopers learn to use drones to video and identify retail buyers.

Read more at Quartz

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