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[liberationtech] Drones for Human Rights

Nabiha Syed nabiha.syed at
Tue Feb 7 08:34:38 PST 2012

All --

Just wanted to chime in and say that we've created a list-serv -- the
drone-list -- for discussing and disseminating news about drones, whether
it be in the humanitarian relief space, military, journalism, surveillance,
or otherwise.

If you're interested, please do sign up here:


Nabiha Syed
First Amendment Fellow
The New York Times Company
620 8th Avenue
New York, NY  10018
Email: nabiha.syed at

Ph: 212-556-5187
Cell: 714-200-3983

On Mon, Feb 6, 2012 at 8:34 PM, The Doctor <drwho at> wrote:

> Hash: SHA1
> On 02/02/2012 08:26 PM, Chip Pitts wrote:
> > A group at Singularity University here in Silicon Valley this past
> > summer launched a start-up that uses drones for humanitarian
> > applications, such as to deliver medical supplies in developing
> > countries lacking roads:
> I found the reference in question.
> It is in _Wired For War_ by Dr. P.W. Singer (hardback edition),
> chapter 13 (Open-Source Warfare: College Kids, Terrorists, and Other
> New Users of Robots at War).  In fact, the story opens the chapter,
> which I will summarize:
> In 2005 a newly graduated political science student named Sam Bell set
> out with two colleagues to buy a military-grade robotic weapons system
> for the purpose of intervening in the genocide in Darfur.  They raised
> approximately half a million US dollars in a year's time and, after
> looking into hiring a PMC (Private Military Contractor) to fly their
> UAVs on surveillance missions into Sudan, but balked at the price
> (around $200 million US dollars per year for such a contract).  They
> wound up not going with that plan because the risks outweighed the
> potential benefits.
> Apparently, PMCs own military-grade UAVs, and tailor the prices of
> their contracts to how old the models are.
> Looking up what GI-NET (Genocide Intervention NETwork) is up to these
> days may provide more useful information.
> I would also suggest that interested parties do some research on what
> the open source UAV community is up to these days - there are many
> projects publishing blueprints and source code for working units, from
> the Vulture to the OccuCopter.
> - --
> The Doctor [412/724/301/703]
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> "The monster never sees the monster in the mirror." --J. Michael
> Straczynski
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