As geopolitical tensions rise – and natural disasters become an ever more frequent occurrence – drones are increasingly used as tools of diplomacy.  While the deployment of drones after a natural disaster for mapping or delivery is generally accepted as much needed help, could those same deployments also be used for surveillance or intelligence gathering later?   If so, do drones represent a less-intrusive way of gathering data, or a threat to an individual nation’s sovereignty?

Small UAS themselves offer a new means of international diplomacy.  Commercial drone donations to Ukraine have offered a way of providing military support and aid without directly providing weapons, a more neutral position for global companies and nations.

International spying is nothing new.  Drones, however, have made intelligence gathering safer, more effective and more subtle.  In cases where military drones are deployed in international airspace, the purpose is clear and the aircraft…

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Source: dronelife.com