Since the Patriot Act dropped in the aftermath of 9/11, it seems like the government has been more concerned with power-grabs than keeping us safe. Not even the President of the United States can point to a single time the National Security Agency (NSA) has stopped a terrorist attack through the widespread data collection on US citizens — an action that a federal judge added was “probably unconstitutional” and “almost Orwellian.” They certainly did nothing to prevent the Boston Marathon bombing earlier this year.
Nevertheless, the current White House — led by a President who once said his administration would be the “most transparent” in the history of the US — has stood by NSA metadata collection and has upped the use of drones to alarming degrees. In fact, even though the President once condemned the use of drones on US soil, the FBI recently admitted to using them “for surveillance.”
Now a group of 21st Century “birdwatchers” are attempting to fight back.
The project creators point out that “most drones are used today by military powers for remote-controlled surveillance and attack, and their numbers are growing.”
“The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) predicted in 2012 that within 20 years there could be as many as 30.000 drones flying over US soil alone,” the creators state. “As robotic birds will become commonplace in the near future, we should be prepared to identify them. This survival guide is an attempt to familiarize ourselves and future generations, with a changing technological environment.”
The Drone Survival Guide contains the silhouettes of the most common drone species that are currently in use as well as those that will be used in the near future with each indicating nationality and whether they are used for surveillance only or for deadly force.
All drones are drawn in scale for size indication. From the smallest consumer drones measuring less than one meter, up to the Global Hawk measuring 39.9 meters in length.
The guide contains tactics for hiding from drones and interfering with drone sensors. To piece together the Drone Survival Guide, the creators utilized various online sources, including Health Ranger’s intelligence analysis of military drones from Mike Adams and Al-Qaida’s 22 Tips for Avoiding a Drone Attack, published originally by the Associated Press in February 2013.
To keep the document widely available, it can be downloaded in .pdf or .doc formats. If you’re a bit of a language guru then you can get a free copy by providing a new translation and they’ll send you the print version FOC.
“The Drone Survival Guide is collected and translated as a form of civil initiative, not for profit and without government or commercial funding and/or support,” the project creators note.
First of all, what kind of a screwed-up world are we living in that we’ve got to use something that originates from Al-Qaida (the 22 tips) for avoiding the invasion of privacy from our own government?
Two, it’s refreshing to see that freedom is still valued so much that people like Edward Snowden would throw away their comfortable lives and go on the run just to blow the whistle on the NSA and other Big Brother activities. The fact that the Drone Survival Guide is now available in 25 languages and that there is a concerted, non-profit effort to make sure it gets translated and dispersed by any means necessary, is just one more indication that people are fed-up enough to stop this before it gets any bigger.
Maybe it doesn’t work, but we can hope (and vote), can’t we?
The English/Pashto edition can be ordered on reflective, aluminum paper. It is offset printed on Chromolux ALU-E mirrored paper, which is also great for confusing drone surveillance if plastered to your roof, with a size of 48 cm x 33 cm. The guide runs about $15 in US money (includes shipping). Orders can be paid via Paypal or international money transfer. Just follow our BUY link.