I suspect that ultimately it’s likely impractical To kill people by drone as compared, on a cost basis, to other more pedestrian means of killing people.
Drones may be cheap, but drones that can lift more than 2 kilos aren’t. The logistics of getting a drone near enough to the intended target to kill them are going to be hard. While the “cool” factor is high, I suspect guns, bombs, hard men, threats and bribes are more efficient.
It certainly would strike fear into the hearts of men otherwise protected against more pedestrian threats, which is probably part of the point.
To attack Russian bases they even use swarms of suicide planes: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/01/12/the_poor_man...
Admittedly, drones with IEDs can be used as a terror device, to kill someone in a group of people, but as a targeted means of killing I can’t imagine it being better than a mortar or RPG.
Someone does not need to kill you in your vehicle or your house -- they can start a major fire while you are in there, drop a defensive hand grenade while you're playing with your family in the back yard, touch you with some high voltage wires, dust you in some ultra-potent synthetic opioid.
A lot of people DO leave their windows open, and it is beyond the point anyway, as windows can be blasted away with the first drone, and while you naturally will inveatigate, the second drone will get you -- just immagine 4 AM, you are sleeping, boom the first drone blasts your windows open, 5 seconds later the next one detonates a defensive grenade in your bedroom.
This is obviously for higher value targets, but I'd say an assasin has a much greater chance of evading capture from a mile away, than doing the deed in person.
You need to know you're running from something to run from it. Do you have set of mirrors or cameras to conveniently monitor what's happening above your car?
To discuss specific implementations of an attack would seem to violate both a personal code and what I imagine to be the spirit of HN.
Thanks for throwing up the Ethics flag.
Discussing/brainstorming this in a public forum is volunteering your brainpower in support of murderers.
If you think that you in a few moments on the back of a napkin will come up with something that someone funded and fuelled by an ideology that they are willing to die for can't with months of planning, then that's arrogance of an epic scale. This is as ridiculous as don't talk about hacking/spoofing/phishing because otherwise the bad guys won't figure it out.
There are occasions for discussing mechanisms by which one might construct such a weapon. I feel that this moment isn't one of them. Just because we can talk about it (and must be willing to defend the right to talk about it) doesn't mean that we should do so in this context.
This is a total head in the sand mentality.
You mean writers forums?
Got armored glass? If no, then two drones will do the trick.
> I don’t have a great car, but I’m pretty sure it can outrun an off the shelf quadcopter.
Not if you stop at stop lights.
More realistically, the thing that gets VIPs assassinated is a predictable schedule. Assassination drones up the ante quite a bit, because one can park a drone in the bushes by your favorite coffee shop in the off chance that you’ve decided to get a latte today, while it’s much harder to successfully hide men with guns in a similar position.
> but as a targeted means of killing I can’t imagine it being better than a mortar or RPG.
I think you’re probably right that an RPG shot at your vehicle is worse for your survival odds, but I think you’re missing the element of risk. The problem with assassinating someone with an RPG is that you’ve got to get within shooting-back range. The chances of you getting shot before or after starting an assassination attempt is pretty high, which means that a successful defensive strategy is to create a wide cordon around the VIP to make attempts too risky. With a drone you don’t have to be anywhere close to the target, which allows for you to make an attempt on a hypothetical VIP with no personal risk whatsoever. If they spot your drone and shoot it down, you’re only out a cheap drone and some explosives, which is much better than getting shot at personally.
Again, for a soft target this is silly, men with guns are used to hurt and terrorize soft targets the world over; they’re cheap and reliable. But as a means to harass hardened targets, drones create new possibilities.
depends which shelf... $544 buys you a drone that goes 145 mph. $322 for 99 mph.
With enough explosives to reduce it to rumble from outside?
>How will a drone attack me in my car? I don’t have a great car, but I’m pretty sure it can outrun an off the shelf quadcopter.
It can only outrun it if (a) it can see/hear it coming, (b) it can move freely (e.g. not in congestion)
Do you never run into traffic or stop at red lights in your car? If you do, there you go.
I wouldn't assume you'd always see the drone coming, even if you hear it it can probably strike in just a few seconds, before you realize what it is.
If the attacker wants to avoid being identified a remotely controlled drone is better than an RPG, and probably more accurate as well.
Mortars are also large and heavy and require a crew to serve as well as spotters to direct fire which means you need to have people closer to your target and working communications.
All of this complicates the logistics considerably which makes them less effective and more dangerous to their operators.
Effective mortar attacks can be fairly easily countered in the long term by jamming radios, cutting brush and removing other natural hiding spots and by killing experienced mortar crews.
Drones can be piloted by nearly anyone and with basic consumer grade equipment they can also be piloted from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection.
Well you can’t order C4 on Alibaba either. But if you can get C4 you can likely get a mortar.
Mortars and mortar rounds on the other hand aren’t as easy to get and require trained crews to employ.
Weapons don’t grow on trees, they are easy to get as long as there are conflicts in the region which are sponsored by superpowers or other patrons with sufficient resources that facilitate those shipments once those end they become rarer and rare.
ISIS was doing just that a few years ago. There were/are plans floating around on the Internet for stabilizing fins for common mortar rounds - 3D print those, and you’re 90% of the way there.
But, that's not really how the economics of violence works. It's more of a whatever-works, and whatever you can get your hands on element. Guns, bombs, hard men, threats and bribes are still in use. Infantry still exists, even though ICBMs exist. They don't have to choose.
This is quasi military conflict we are talking about. Air power, however meager is a game changer in military conflict. At the fully militarized level, drones have seen a lot of use. They can be deployed everywhere that full air power is impractical, either for tactical or political reasons. A drone base can be orders of magnitude smaller than a traditional air base, even a floating one.
A 2kg payload (or even 200g) is enough to carry a grenade. Grenades kill. It seems likely that drones will be used this way.
They’ve been in documented use over 7 years at this point. Why are they less effective than Facebook posts at killing people?
When a cooler conflict comes around, think whatever the 2020s, 2030s equivalent of the troubles is, drones will certainly rack up a much greater market share of the casualties by virtue of the lower background noise. They just aren't that useful in a "low but still tons of real armaments around for use" intensity conflict.
It just doesn’t work very well.
Drones still require someone to turn them into weapons going after bomb makers is an extremely effective strategy because while there are a million guides on the internet on how to make an IED or a suicide vest the actual amount of people capable of making them is extremely small the world isn’t HN.
These bad guys are groups with caches of weapons and skilled bomb makers in their numbers.
Why in 7 years havent They just put the two together?
What in our arm chair analysis are we overlooking?
Much of the military equipment in circulation is decades old, you have RPGs from the 70’s being in use.
The logistics for drones isn’t there yet, the human capital isn’t there yet either I would give it 5-10 more years till these drones will be prevalent in nearly every conflict.
In each of these theatres we have documented heavy use of drones for recon.
The problem is nothing to do with logistics or skillset.
Hobby grade drones (even the heavy lift types which can manage 20kg payload) are not viable weapons. Their payload is too small, their accuracy too imprecise in practice and the economics of a stolen car’s payload being 1000x that of a medium-large hobby drone renders these a plot line in a movie rather than a real thing.
Age of military equipment has nothing to do with anything.
For sure. ISIS and Syrian insurgents have used them for targeting and dropping what are essentially hand grenades with fins on them.
The "Not-Russians" fighting in Ukraine used them ruthlessly effective artillery spotting. At least one UKR armoured column was halted due to extremely effective on-target artillery fires.
But then again, I don't have flagging rights yet, so who am I to judge?
A M-67 fragmentation grenade weighs 400g, with a lethal radius of 5 meters.
A bullet still obviously remains cheaper than a single-use drone + grenade + modifications to it.
Considering IED drone effectiveness, I think it's just a question of developing tactics and maybe custom tech. It doesn't sound complicated to have a drone descend vertically at such high speeds that even if you notice it and disable its motors it's too late; fuse set to airburst. Exciting time to be a narco weapons engineer.
Truly we are blessed with unequal distribution of technical skill between the terrorists and the rest of us. If a real, world class engineer took up terrorism, they'd never be found and could do _a lot_ of damage.
I don't know what specific model is shown in the picture but if it is a DJI Mavic Air 2 then it only weighs 570 gram and can only fly for 34 minutes.
When you compare a quadrocopter with a real life bomber then practically no bomber on earth is lighter than the bombs it is carrying. A B-52 can carry 30% of its weight in payload. So that would give us at most 171g for the bomb the Mavic Air 2 is carrying but even this is optimistic because it was not designed for this use case.
The idea of "cheap" drones carrying bombs is basically an urban legend. You can certainly build a good bombing drone for $5000 to $10000 and fly many missions and thereby kill hundreds of people with it but that same money can also buy guns and lots of ammo as well.
I did some searching, letter bombs were using 50g of RDX  and were able to kill a person so driving (and exploding) a drone with 171g of RDX into someone is more than enough.
If you take its 18km of reach (while I doubt the controls are able to go that far although with a 4g sim card this could be doable) you get a poor mans cruising "missile" for $1k. And there is nothing preventing (except the price) launching few of them.
I think that those drones are posing a real threat even more as probably the drug cartels have the money to realize it, if they can afford to build parallel cellular network , they surely can also perform this.
Their use case probably is not killing an average Joe but rather assassinations on high profile targets that are heavily guarded. And quite frankly I am really interested how bodyguards can tackle this as drone can literally fall from the sky, without any electricity being used so jamming (or frying electronics if feasible) wont work here. I think this is going to become a real nightmare in the future.
 4g of RDX: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6Qj1qSZDKg or 100g of "something" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_664jlLwqI
Also, no way the FAA would issue waivers for this sort of mission. /s
I would imagine that replacing the motors and adding larger battery while keeping the control system shouldnt be an issue.
Also within an article there is a picture of a box with 4 motors, if lower part would be made from something like copper, it could be used as shaped charge  or adding shrapnel would also be an option. Or just make it to carry the normal hand grenade. The noise is surely an issue if you dont keep the distance, so I would imagine that you fly high over the target and then go into free fall.
In either case, this has a potential to become something really nasty.
Anyway, enough of this talk, it is surely an interesting technological challenge and interesting debate, but there are some really sick people on this planet and I dont want to give them any ideas. Also I bet there are some red lights blinking in some 3 letter agency somewhere :D :D :D
Achieving the precision of someone holding a letter would be remarkably challenging. Source: racing drone pilot for 5+ years.
Why hasn’t it happened? What is the part of the movie plot imagination that doesn’t translate quite as well to real life?
Printing the air frame is a huge cost saver.
Cheap motors are everywhere, plenty of places to scavenge tiny hobby motors (doesn't have to fly super fast or lift 2000 grams)
Cheap arduino's for brains and motor control, not much to it.
You can get away with having a tiny lipo battery for powering the motors since it's a one way trip for the drone anyways...
With the right choice of materials you could get a drone BOM down to $100-150 [not included transmitter remote control]
Needless to say, having a cartel budget you can really pump up production to few 100 a week if needed....
Making sumthing that's going to be used for a one way trip isn't hard, when your objective is to make a impact on target.
This is the new battlefield.
Ukrainian army uses similar simple drones to throw grenades at rebels as well . And interestingly enough Chinese develop similar drones , so I think they will be more and more common in future conflicts.
BTW: 3 millions citizens of USSR were at Germany side in WWW2. Do you think it was civil war?
>BTW: 3 millions citizens of USSR were at Germany side in WWW2. Do you think it was civil war?
No, because those collaborationist have stayed mostly in the rear (e.g. see deployments of the SS "Galizien"), while on front lines fought forces from the invading countries. Also it's a matter of ratio. USSR was invaded by a 3.8M strong force, so even if you include those collaborationist, more than 50% of the invading force were foreigners. Meanwhile in today's DNR/LNR militia more than 90% of personnel are Ukrainian citizens (well, de jure, most of them don't think about themselves as Ukrainians anymore) and by a very strange coincidence in all recent prisoner swaps Ukrainian citizens were swapped for Ukrainian citizens. A very strange "Russo-Ukrainian war", don't you think?
To get a sense why it's a civil war, just watch footage from the early days of the conflict . You can see that moving military forces have been actively blocked by simple folk who understood, that this unlawful deployment will simply result in Ukrainians killing other Ukrainians for political gain of the fresh-installed government.
BTW I do think that Chechen wars can be viewed as a civil war, even though the rebel forces were supported by Saudi and Kuwait money, and foreign mercenaries have actively participated in it.
It's worth what, on the order of $1000? Strap 100 g of explosives to it, fly it to the target's face and detonate. It does not need 34 minutes of fly time.
Grenades weigh about that much.
Then he put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger (because his uzi attack had failed to kill the target)
Anyway, hard to beat the classics. Until the drone can lie in wait, identify the target itself, home in on it and explode at point blank range, well then we haven't gotten close to the traditional approach.
ID target and activate drone bombing protocol.
We know this is hard, witness that nobody has accomplished it yet?
My only surprise is that this sort of thing doesn't happen more often. We already see drones used for drug smuggling and privacy violations, as well as the use of drones to carry IED payloads.
Drones are an amazing tool but as with any tool, they can be used in nefarious ways.
Is there any indication of netting being used as protection against drones?
Or would netting be to obvious that there was a target worth targeting?
Nets tend to be a sort of one-hit thing, so if you miss you're out of luck. They're obviously not ideal around airports and other infrastructure.
drones open the door to all sorts of malfeasance that used to require state level backing to accomplish and counters are only coming into play if not concept
An octocopter/ordinary drone can't do this - their electric goes out and they fall from the sky.
For a glider you'd need an actual flyable airplane model (something like this: https://laughingsquid.com/a-15-foot-long-radio-controlled-ai...), and these are expensive as fuck - a single engine alone will run up well into four digit range, if not five digits (something like the JetCat P1000). And at that point, you could also go ahead and buy an outright RPG, should be far cheaper to acquire depending where you are, or buy a couple junker cars, load them up with fertilizer bombs, and distribute them where one expects the target.
ISIS used the X-UAV Talon. This is a off-the-shelf 1.7M wingspan drone plane available for about $150 without electronics (which are around $50-$200 depending on how elaborate you want to get).
It's capable of 100km+ flights.
Here's a pic of one after being shot down in Iraq
Since you lack all imagination, the drone could position itself directly above the target before cutting off the engines and fall silently.
A small-ish plane frame could easily deliver a grenade from sleepy suburbs 10km straight to the Oval Office with only few minutes of warning (assuming somebody could actually detect it in time at all). We're just lucky nobody seems to be bothered to do that.
there was a hunter drone product doing exactly that from above. can't google it now, maybe there was no business.
The only counter measure against those will then be an EMP system, Blinding lights to disable cameras, etc.
The next evolution for public speakers or gatherings would probably be completely online.
As for EMPs, a drone that isn't remote controlled could feasibly be put in a Faraday cage. I'd make a prototype, but I don't really want to contribute to future assassinations.
There just aren't any good countermeasures, I'm afraid. I'd imagine fully online works well but even that is seriously limited.
You'd pay around 2500$ for a 60lbf jet engine, and around 3000$ tops for the rest of the drone. That's around 5500-6000$, so for a hundred drones you'd pay 600 000$, or about 60% of the cost to train one soldier, and around one 0.8 millionths of the yearly US defence expenditure. For 100 drones. That means with the US defence budget you could make 120 000 000 such drones.
Sure, against the current crop of electric consumer drones, it's not much of an issue. But there's the tech to make a 500km/h drone that's fully autonomous and encased in a Faraday cage for less than 10 000$ a piece. That scares the crap out of me.
Small drones aren't really part of the same threat profile, near as I can tell.
They're not bigger than a large camera drone, they're just much faster.
The US military has absolutely nothing that can stop a legion of a thousand or more "mini cruise missiles" such as these. Not a chance in hell.
Morso, flak cannons are less effective against small targets due to a smaller amount of debris.
Finally, there's no reason for the drones to be that close together. You can have them 30 meters apart , flying at an altitude of 20 meters or so. What then?
Finally, there's targeting. How are you going to target reliably a threat you've never seen before that's a similar size to a lot of birds?
Just imagine what destruction a terrorist can create if he can launch a 100 drones, from miles away, to attack a filled stadium.
Bigger problem is, if you’re a politician and this scenario plays out during a rally, you just blinded your own supporters by shining a metal-melting laser at a shiny bauble while it was just above their heads.
Anyways, I'd love your source.
Most of my search results today are CGI propaganda pieces, the closest I can find is this from 2013, which is just a normal non-shiny and probably non-spinning missile, but from 1.5km and being destroyed 4s after launch: https://youtu.be/kgUnDeED9MM
You cannot have millions of drones everywhere, but the enemy just has to be lucky and send a million drones to attack you.
Also, you can have advanced tactics, like releasing the swarm, but programming them to hide and attack at random. With a good enough drone, you can create a almost impossible to evade booby-trap. Especially if you are in a war field.
Smaller batteries since they don't need to travel far.
Nets or or even nothing instead of explosives, they need to stop drones not people.
The above two mean a lighter air frame.
The above 3 all mean more speed with the same motors (probably good) or less capable motors (seems like a bad plan).
Communications only need to be short range. Autonomy is plausible (but requires solving friendly fire).
Counter drones like anti-missile missiles need to be bigger than one would think and require much more energy, because they need to be much faster and more maneuverable than the drones they are hitting. That means bigger motors, higher discharge batteries, and a stronger airframe.
I'm fairly certain they would be more expensive than the attackers drones, and you would need around two orders of magnitude more of them than the attacker.
Here you can see one of them in action:
They work okay against mortars and dumb munitions, though.
Hanging out on photographers forums, there's people who have been able to edit out details by substracting up to seven stops, with current consumer tech and optics, and improvements are coming every few months. Canon just demonstrated a sensor with 20 stops of dynamic range. Coupled with IR sensors, far UV sensors, and different wavelength filters to filter out lasers, there's really not much that can be done anymore. Except for kinetic or directed energy approaches, but they are incredibly expensive and incredibly vulnerable to saturation.
If drones are wired to explode in case of landing or power failure, active measures cannot be taken when the drones are over crowded areas or near high profile targets.
The alternative would be to destroy them from far away areas. And that is really really hard.
I guess we have to come up with special guns and ammunition that can create a wall of destruction for drones.
There’s a myriad of possibility. Flak guns, modified chaff, glue, directed energy, hunter killer drones, etc.
 The person defending something, not you. Your comment makes it clear you believe in defence at any cost.
If you're at a point where you need to take specific action in defense of a drone, you are already have crossed the rubicon where you are in conflict, and the outcome of that action may include harm to others. Any other constraints around the application of violence is wishful thinking at best -- there are too many variables in these scenarios.
The obvious solution that will happen is heavier licensure requirements and criminalization of unlicensed operation. You'll have toys and professional devices, and there will be a presumption that a drone is bad unless proven otherwise.
3x the views, at least.
Leaving weapons unattended like that is a recipe for disaster. Even worse if they're network-connected (look at the tons of insecure IoT devices already out there).
That is a far cry from the consequences of leaving a M240 around, which is both man portable and consumes the incredibly common 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge.
Which is something the US actually tried. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bat_bomb
In this particular context, if you're thinking of WWII, it's kind of odd for a person not to think of and compare the concept to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fu-Go_balloon_bomb
This could be due to some agenda to shame the Allies for their involvement in WW2, or it could just be because WW2 is really the only time in history it was done on that scale and the Allies happened to win the conflict.
I'm going to go with principle of charity and assume the latter...
My next thought is that programmers do have an opportunity to take moral stands against some of these things. We can't stop someone somewhere from building these terrible things but we might be able to make it harder by preventing huge problematic privacy invading data sets from existing.
Drone swarms are coming once the technology gets mature enough, mostly in speed and carrying capacity.
> Said to be the first defense system of its kind in the world, the Light Blade system will target incendiary balloons and kites, which have started countless fires in the southern border vicinity communities in recent years, as well as drones.
I always thought drones would bring down the violence in Mexico, since it would be easier to keep your distribution network under the radar.
If you don't have to recruit hundreds of people to actually drive the drugs across the border, and can fly it over the fence in the middle of the night, what would be the reason for anybody to be shooting anybody.
Whoever's turf you were operating in wouldn't even know you were operating on their turf because your whole operation could be just two white-collar-type guys keeping a really low-key presence. The rise of the narco-technocrats.
But, I guess it didn't go that way.
Talk about blowing smoke. Border patrol saw these guys using a catapult to hurl drugs over the border and took their catapult. Where's the "ingenuity" on the part of the authorities?
I think a catapult is a great idea. Now I want to design a pumpkin chucker that hurls a steerable projectile for extra precision.
Mexico is a country with a massive informal economy. For every McDonalds that operates in the formal sector, there are millions of small business operators who are totally off the radar.
The cartel is the McDonalds. The narco-technocrats are the thousands of taco carts off the metro crammed into every corner of Mexico City.
Two technocrats, sure, they wouldn't break the bank. But it's not tremendously difficult to get a package across the Guatemalan border, drive it up to Tijuana, and have your cousin with a drone fly it across the border where your other cousin picks it up on the other side.
There's no overhead. There's no need to pay protection money. There's no need to pay off police. There's no psychos in your organization calling attention to you.
This is the same thing that happened with black tar heroin distribution in the United States. A low-key family operation run by guys from the same small town in Mexico. They were revolutionary because they flew completely under the radar. No guns, no violence. Just earning a buck to send home to mom and dad.
Ref: Dreamland by Sam Quinones
The combination of drones for assassination and Bitcoin for payment could force everyone with money or power into a bunker or armored vehicle for the rest of their life.
This is going to be a major problem for the golf industry. It's the ideal target environment - high-value targets, no place to take cover.
Imagine a drone being so sophisticated that it can calculate the sniper shot gunning for you and can even deflect the bullet or take the direct hit for you. Same for suicidal bombs. If the enemy drone explode on impact, your drone can kamikaze theirs.
The economics of defence are such that kamikaze anti-drone drones won't work. Either they'll miss the vast majority of the time, or they will be hideously more expensive than the drone they're defending against.
Star-Tracker Algorithm for Smartphones and Commercial Micro-Drones -https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7070887/
The short distance drones can travel is a big problem, you can backtrack to the launch location.
Committing murder for money is mostly unheard of outside of Hollywood.
It happens but it's generally somewhat crazy people or people copying Hollywood. This is more the real reason it wont happen. Society doesn't like murder and will pull out all stops to discontinue it.
Then decided to kill a specific person instead of just bombing the entire building where they apparently knew that person would be
I never bought into the premise that it should be more scary than if a terrorist group was to steal a sophisticated military strike weapon today.
We have drones carrying missiles that can kill a person in the passenger seat of a car without killing the driver by deploying swords after launch, I think we leapfrogged DJI drones with facial recognition and grenades in terms of brutality
My bet would be that this is a PR stunt and what they are really trying is to discourage people from catching drones that transport thousands of dollars in drugs to steal the cargo. Beware!, They could have a bomb included! so let them pass without shooting down it, specially in urban areas. Once the police and population take the message, the delivery drones will be safe.
Of course the concept of drone-bomb, once released, is like pandora's box. A double edged sword that could harm both parts.
The natural answer from the enemy cartel after being bombed would be to intercept as many enemy drug-delivery drones as possible with a, lets name it, "falcon-fly drone", attach a package bomb and a postcard with a magneto and let it to continue their route.
And if you are the police you could attach a beacon instead to convert it into a "Judas drone" and release it. Even better if you can catch again the drone in route or release the beacon automatically after a few minutes, the narcos wouldn't suspect that now you have a velocity and a vector. That would help you to trace a possible point of origin and maybe delivery over the same straight line.
How will you regulate the possession and distribution of IMUs and electric motors?
Hell most of the parts you need to build a drone are available in a used cellphone and many of the rest can be 3d printed.
This fella in Texas was selling .50-cals and miniguns straight to the Cartels for years. There are likely many, many more like him.
Mexican think tanks have spent years trying to figure out how the hell to stop the massive flow of weapons into Mexico from Texas and Arizona.
US think tanks too, notably David Shirk at USD has done a bunch of work on this.
Everything sounds simple in theory until you think of the consequences.
Can't stop it at the source anymore.
Typically, I think, laws against possession of such homemade illegal goods are enforced as add-on charges to other crimes, unless you are selling them.
You're going to run into the same situation with drones. It is easy to imagine some super complicated drone based attack scheme when there are far simpler and more effective methods of taking care of a target involving firearms.
For instance; https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/cen-v073n022.p006
If you show up at a farm store to buy certain fertilizers in unusual quantities, that interaction will likely be reported or otherwise flagged.
Frankly, I’m surprised it has taken 3 years for them to be used for kinetic attack by exceptionally well funded narcos.
Illicit use of drones has happened and will continue to grow.
How do you even stop something like that?
Shotguns, firing a net, anti-drone drones and also interfering with signals are all on the table.
Reading that the "counterforce" against which they train resembles a BATF unit more than a military unit made me guess they might be hoping to contract for cartels, but that supposition was dashed upon finding that (at least on US soil) the cartels are far fonder of the bomb than the bullet.
Sixteenth-century vehicle borne improvised explosive devices: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellburners
Guaranteed acre-feet of press coverage; for the titillation of Euros who exoticize && Other the culture of the rural America.
When you put two layers of improvisation into a weapon the odds of it working are very low. Building an effective homemade grenade is difficult. Delivering it with a noisy machine that limits the size of the grenade multiplies the odds of making a spectacular but ineffective attempt that will only get you noticed.
But it does increase the odds that some consultant will get hired by DHS to write an unreadable report about this supposed threat.
What worries me is that in a close future they might develop their own autonomous Software to do the assassinations and sooner or later the software "leaks" to outside world. Then with a few thousand dollars you can program your own assassination tools. More sophisticated entities will develop the swarm version to do mass damage.
Will there be a proliferation fears of software similar to nuclear proliferation?
Gee what great, totally-not-editorialized analysis from yet another military think tank pr writer.
Really wish one of these would go publicly traded and report revenue, leading to real price discovery of these operations and ability to manage risk.
There are permissionless systems they can use now to list shares, and if they have a liquidity issue they just need to take over a dam and generate some electricity for themselves for their crypto mining hardware which will convert to currency.
I know I know, multiple topics for people to disagree with so I don't expect this to lead to a conversation about solutions today, I'm just making a note publicly that I perceived the possibilities before it happened.
The people there accept it and it is cheaper and you still get the resources for all eternity, which is all you really wanted.
In accordance with British commercial law, the foreign corporation returned with the British Navy and took it over. And then kept pushing the drugs successfully.
In case this isn't obvious, no, there's no trustless way to make an entity distribute its real world profits to holders of a crypto token. We're talking about mafias here, groups which specialize in hiding money streams. Only enforcement from a real world judiciary system can enforce dividend distribution.
Is this a roundabout way of trying to associate cryptocurrencies with a prerequisite of trustlessness for everything that uses them?
This is just corporations using permissionless architecture, there have been companies doing this on blockchains for almost 10 years. I used to own shares of SatoshiDice for the daily dividends it paid onchain from 2012-2013.
The market enforces the behavior. A cartel that pays nice dividends will have a better share price and deeper secondary market, allowing them and their employees to always sell shares for more money. A corporation that doesnt perform well for shareholders doesnt have the same market.
I think I’m the one specifically drawing no distinction between criminal groups and liquidity, because they are unrelated concepts.
Then all the token holders have an interest in preventing non-tokenized transactions.
This is all ridiculous (and evil of course) but it has a certain internally consistent logic to it.
Why would they adopt a new system given they've got such a good grip on current one?
I think people are conflating which crypto is used for what here lol, but thats predictable. There would be two cryptocurrencies involved: the share, and the cash-surrogate as profits.
Forget about the problems, think solutions and it will be easier to iterate towards and perceive a system that works.
Charles Bowden wrote a bit about how absolutely terrifying it was to be anywhere in the proximity of these organizations.
By formalizing it, you would be essentially giving a formal role to guys who cut people's limbs off with chainsaws and post videos of it on LiveLeak.
Fighting the cartels leads to unimaginable violence, and leaving them alone just leads to them infiltrating every single level of the Mexican government, and carrying on with the violence anyway.
It is the sorrow of the country to be situated by an accident of geography between the single biggest market for meth and cocaine on the planet (who also happens to sell lots of military-grade weapons to anyone with a pulse), and the largest cocaine producing region on the planet.
We vilify and drone people with the same belief systems merely because they are not associated with an existing state, non-state combatants.
There is simply no distinction I can lean on that would lead me to avoid formalizing reality. The concept of the state simply isn't legitimacy to me, it is just consensus. Cartels already have that consensus and act like public enterprises in their region.
Do notice, I’m not arguing for anything to occur, I am recognizing that nobody has to ask permission to achieve access to the capital markets and noticing how that fits types of organizations that are not welcomed in established capital markets.
However, I would argue that there is definitely not a consensus. The Mexican people are fighting with their lives against these organizations.
Mexico has a central government that is weak in some respects. Their judicial system is not what it needs to be. Certain transnational criminal organizations have taken advantage of this to establish enclaves of power.
That does not mean that they are recognized as legitimate political entities by the Mexican people and should be given some formal recognition of authority by the Mexican government or the country's neighbors.
Say my neighbor is in my front yard waving an AR-15 and screaming at me that trash day was yesterday and I need to bring my garbage cans in. I'm sure as hell not going out there to talk to him, but that doesn't mean I recognize him as the new de-facto mayor of my front yard. He's just the lunatic in my front yard screaming at me who I'm going to do my best to avoid, and hopefully at some point the cops will show up and get him out of my yard.
All organizations can access the capital markets now. It a waste of public resources from the “legitimate” states to try to whitelist transactions so stop burdening everyone over that because its pointless. The end.
I am curious how the market will value these enterprises if they begin giving steady dividends. The price discovery is fascinating.
The violence and territorial wars in Mexico since the early 2000s are as I understand it a direct consequence of the demise of the Colombian Cali and Medellín cartels, with numerous groups trying to fill the power vacuum left.
What you describe often is happening on a local level, but there will always be outbursts of violence somewhere as soon as someone threatens the "peace". Getting drugs into the US is just way too lucrative a business. The fighting will just keep shifting places as long as this is the case.
What do you mean to say?
"By some estimates, Sinaloa had grown to control 40%-60% of Mexico’s drug trade by 2012 and
had annual earnings calculated to be as high as $3 billion."
This is solved by obtaining cryptocurrency and issuing that to shareholders whose record of ownership is tied to a cryptographic tradable share such as using the erc20 standard or erc1404 standard (for programmers that haven't really had an opportunity to see whats going on, these are just classes you can inherit, for design patterns that lead to fungible tradable assets), but obtaining enough cryptocurrency has been a challenge for an organization operating at this scale, as the electronic payment system generally isn't an option even when HSBC is helping, and the physical cash system for crypto system still isn't large enough.
These issues are solved by purchasing computational hardware instead to mine the equivalent amount of cryptocurrency. Mining is not very profitable because there are many people that don't mine for a profit, are the hints obvious enough. It can be at a huge loss as long the haircut on conversion to money is still better than the 20-30% haircut people tolerate in reintegrating illicit money to licit money without the advent of crypto. Regardless, it uses energy and a cartel is in a position to create energy. Either way, mining is extremely profitable for people with low energy costs, the idea of someone mining in their residential unit has been a misnomer for most of the decade.
Mining doesn't need to report your location. This is as simple as using a VPN to reach the mining pool. And if you have enough hardware not to need a mining pool then in many networks your IP address is not reported to the cryptocurrency network, but a VPN can still be a practical privacy measure for this, as you typically don't want cryptocurrency communities to know that you control much of the network.
The energy use itself will be the main giveaway, but only if someone finds an issue with the energy use.
"Mining or not" is still a red herring, its "can cartel obtain enough crypto or not to pay shareholders"
Regardless, in this model the newly minted cryptocurrency is paid out shareholders on record, the record being a share asset minted via the erc20 standard or erc1404 standard. Anybody would be able to buy a cartel share, and it wouldn't necessarily be flag worthy that some cryptocurrency was sent to an address that happened to have a cartel share. Either way it is down to the shareholder to further clean that crypto if they feel like they need to.
If something about this doesn't seem viable I think you also need to understand that not everyone needs fiat currency. These same shareholders don't necessarily ever need to go to a bank, as there are many investment opportunities in the parallel crypto economy, and enough people willing to exchange physical goods for cryptocurrency. The physical economy always being a tiny fraction of the investment economy. Not all shareholders need to worry about banks.
In the meantime, we get a clearer view of the universe of investible assets, and the drug market. Its only been one century of trying to draw a distinction between publicly traded companies as a higher standard of business processes and validation we respect, and marginalizing all others. Before, the East India Companies were the hottest things to trade, and were taking over countries specifically to sell them drugs. So people looking for yield won't draw a distinction, and the technology supports not needing to ask for permission.
A fascinating idea, thanks for sharing
Miners earn in aggregate
$3.8 billion in ether @ $430 and an average of 3 Ether per block
$3.9 billion in bitcoin @ $11,500 and an average of 6.5 bitcoin per block
(Transaction fees are a significant portion of block revenue now due to the heavy activity on these networks, with Ethereum blocks often having more fees earned than the block reward)
So there is about $8 billion worth of cryptocurrency earned by miners each year, at current exchange rates and activity levels. Cartel just should not exceed 50% of that. Market can tolerate much more and they would be in fierce competition with other miners.
We live in a world where people want the exchange rates to double or increase by an order of magnitude, which means that 8 billion figure becomes 80 billion, it should be clear that we are on the cusp of a market becoming highly attractive to larger incumbent organizations.
^Takeover bid* I believe they call it.
Hostile takeover bid is even a thing, and legal.