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Ed Webb

Drone warfare's deadly civilian toll: a very personal view | James Jeffrey | Comment is... - 0 views

  • Both Pakistan and Yemen are arguably less stable and more hostile to the west as a result of President Obama's increased reliance on drones. When surveying the poisoned legacy left to the Iraqi people, and what will be left to the Afghan people, it's beyond depressing to hear of the hawks circling around other theatres like Pakistan and Yemen, stoking the flames of interventionism.

    I fear the folly in which I took part will never end, and society will be irreversibly enmeshed in what George Orwell's 1984 warned of: constant wars against the Other, in order to forge false unity and fealty to the state.

  • in Afghanistan, the linguistic corruption that always attends war meant we'd refer to "hot spots", "multiple pax on the ground" and "prosecuting a target", or "maximising the kill chain".
  • encroachment of drones into the civilian realm is also gaining momentum. President Obama signed a federal law on 14 February 2012, allowing drones for a variety of commercial uses and for police law enforcement. The skies above may never be the same. As with most of America's darker elements, such as its gun culture, there's profit to be made – the market for drones is already valued at $5.9bn and is expected to double in 10 years.
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  • Technological advancements in warfare don't have a good track record in terms of unintended consequences
Ed Webb

Embryos involving the genes of animals mixed with humans have been produced secretively... - 0 views

  • ‘The problem with many scientists is that they want to do things because they want to experiment. That is not a good enough rationale.’
  • ‘The reason for doing these experiments is to understand more about early human development and come up with ways of curing serious diseases, and as a scientist I feel there is a moral imperative to pursue this research.
  • Human-animal hybrids are also created in other countries, many of which have little or no regulation.
Ed Webb

Boy of 12 hauled out of class by police over David Cameron Facebook protest - - 1 views

    "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face- forever."
Ed Webb

Student protests and the storming of Tory HQ - a story in social media | openDemocracy - 0 views

    For Dystopia class: note the use of a new storytelling tool, worth considering for your own presentations, perhaps. Also, since several of you have blogged about education, what do you think about this demo?
Ed Webb

From Helmand to Merseyside: Unmanned drones and the militarisation of UK policing | ope... - 0 views

  • the intensifying cross-overs between the use of drones to deploy lethal force in the war zones of Asia and the Middle East, and their introduction within western airspace, need to be stressed. The European Defence Agency, for example, a body funded by the UK and other European governments,  is lobbying hard to support the widespread diffusion of drones within UK and EU policing and security as a  means to bolster the existing strengths of European security corporations like BAE systems, EADS and Thales within  booming global markets for armed and military drones. The global market for drones is by far the most dynamic sector in the global airline industry. The current annual market of $2.7 billion is predicted to reach $8.3 billion by 2020 and $55 billion is likely to be spent on drones in the next decade. A specific concern of the EU is that European defense and security corporations are failing to stake claims within booming global drone markets whilst US and Israeli companies clean up.
  • what scholars of surveillance term ‘function-creep’ is likely to be a key feature of drone deployments
  •  it is startling that the main concern so far in public policy debates about the introduction of military-standard surveillance drones into routine police practice in Western countries has surrounded the (very real) dangers of collision with other aircraft.
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  • the widespread introduction of almost silent, pilotless drones with military-standard imaging equipment raises major new questions about the way in which the UK as a ‘surveillance society’. Is the civilian deployment of such drones a justified and proportionate response to civilian policing needs or a thinly-veiled attempt by security corporations to build new and highly profitable markets? Once deployed, what ethical and regulatory guidelines need to be in place to govern drone deployment and the ‘targeting’ of drone sensors? Above all, are transparent regulatory systems in place to prevent law enforcement agencies from abusing radical extensions in their powers to vertically and covertly spy on all aspects of civilian life 24 hours a day?
Ed Webb

CCTV vigilantes: Snoopers paid to catch shoplifters from home | Mail Online - 0 views

  • This is the privatisation of the surveillance society – a private company asking private individuals to spy on each other using private cameras connected to the internet.
  • The cameras are already there – we just link to them so people can watch them. It is not entertainment, it’s a tool for crime-fighting
Ed Webb

Surveillance does not make us safe | openDemocracy - 1 views

  • Surveillance is about power– rarely safety or security
  • The possession of great powers by the state should prompt a principled determination to ensure that the permissible exercise of such powers is strictly defined, regulated and monitored so as to guarantee that any intrusion into liberty and privacy of the individual is fully justified by an obviously superior community interest.
    I agree that Surveillance can be used for safety and security reasons. I mean we can't deny that video's of robberies and such haven't come in handy for catching the bad guys. However, I also agree that it has a lot to do with power. It's so easy to take surveillance too far and impede on others' privacys. It's scary...
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