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How to Hide from a Drone (theconversation.com)
140 points by hbcondo714 9 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 116 comments

I don't know if it would be effective at hiding you beyond the next few years when more comprehensive systems are in place, but I think a simple circuit that randomly blinks an IR LED would be handy. Something like an an LED throwie, but with random cycling. Put a bunch of them around and you'll probably screw up most cheap CCDs by forcing them to constantly adjust their exposure. Sure, a cheap filter can defeat them... But eventually we'll be in a world where there is no escape from integrated surveillance and jamming/hiding just raises flags.

a) Having a large blinking marker draw attention to your area would already be highly noticeable.

b) that IR LED would have to be extremely powerful to overwhelm a camera that is looking at a larger area

I'm thinking more along the lines of covering yourself or your immediate area in a collection of randomly flashing IR LEDs. It's not about blending in, it's about defeating current CCD cameras. Obviously it is just going to attract attention to you when 'sensor fusion' becomes more prevalent. It's for when you want to appear as a glowing ball of light on a surveillance feed and not have your face or gait captured.

You could send something like the macrovision signal that hinders the automatic exposure correction.

The Macrovision signal was an out-of-image voltage change during the blanking interval. AGC circuits in VCRs that used the blanking interval to set the gain would be thrown off by it. So unfortunately it is not something that can be displayed meaningfully in visible light.

But, maybe you could find a different flaw in the exposure control. If not, you'll just have to be really bright.

I also thought of this and how do military hide from satellites. Do they use powerful lasers to saturate photon sensors. Since military satellites have existed for so long now military probably implemented a way to hide from them.

Ceilings, and (knowing when satellites are passing overhead) when things need to be under ceilings.

I assume that most militaries have satellites with radars that can penetrate most ceilings to see planes in hangars etc.

Most militaries also have access to some high orbit satellites that have 24x7 coverage of an area, and then some low orbit satellites which fly overhead every few hours and can grab high res shots. The combination makes it very hard to sneak a secret plane from one building to another between orbits, since the 24/7 coverage will see it (albeit at lower res).

There are materials and building techniques that do not allow radar signals to reflect cleanly which severely weakens the radar image. It just so happens the military is pretty aware of this. If the military wanted to hide from a radar scan, they would have the know how, the means, and the desire to do it.

You're going to have to define "most"

I'm pretty sure "no" militaries have 24/7 coverage of any area on the planet.

Geostationary weather satellites have 24/7 coverage with low resolution. It's inconceivable that there isn't a single military with higher resolution 24/7 coverage.

For now...

Thermal IR doesn’t pick those up.

That just makes you a more interesting target, putting a glowing marker around you.

This is the insanely stupid top voted comment I've come to expect from this site.

> How to hide from a drone?

"Shine bright IR flashlights at it in a 100m radius around your position"

Get the feeling if someone was dropping 100yr old mortars on you this still isn't a viable option.

I try my best not to get personal but this is so fucking dumb that it almost feels like malicious advice for the current hot warzones that exist right now.

TFA is not about warzones but police surveillance.

For reference here is footage from an apache gun killing a civilian reporter in Baghdad in 2007:


So I'm fairly certain this is what most drone operators will see on the screen. This video is over 13 years old though, so current optics are probably much more advanced than what was deployed in iraq. Near-future drones can also probably use 5G networks to transmit higher resolution videos. I don't think anyone can hide from this, even if they don't have anything to hide. False positives seem extremely likely and if the domestic drones won't shoot, they still will very likely be reporting a lot of crimes and violations that didn't actually happen. The guy in the video who the operators claimed was carrying an AK-47 that was also an RPG, was actually a reporter carrying a camera and laptop.

That video was taken from far distance because the drone had to operate unnoticed in enemy territory; pretty sure that they had much better optics and transmission capabilities even back then, but it had to be very far from action. The distance can be roughly measured, if the bullets speed is known, by counting the time between the shots audio (assuming it's properly synced) and when they're seen hitting the area.

Today police drones could look at your backyard from a few dozen meters, and the same qualified immunity that let them execute people in the streets would prevent you to do anything against them; those drones wouldn't even need to hide themselves.

ps. Upvoted because I noticed you were downvoted, probably by a flesh drone programmed to quench any reference to Wikileaks and the Assange cause, without whom that video would never become public.

One thing which bothers me is satellite imagery.

In the 80s, 30+ years ago, license plates were discernible from orbit. I often wonder, what if you had two distinct lenses, each with separate transmit?

EG, both operating at once. Or multiple lenses?

Now you could do things, potentially, such as use a high-fidelity lens to tag individuals. EG, license plates. Facial recognition. That sort of thing.

Once tagged, another lens, one which records the entire surface of the continental US, would track objects the size of vehicles, or even people. Determining who or what each was, would not be vital. Only high probability tracking, and those other lenses coming into play for closer viewing, to tag.

Now you're just tracking dots as they move. And once someone is tagged (phone, or license plate), they don't need to be retagged.

If not already being done, it won't be long until it is done. And once tagged, you'd never shake that tag easily.

We're all familiar with facial recognition tech used by SV giants, and we know of many things, such as gait recognition used in China. Yet what amount of tagging, facial recognition could be done, when budget was of absolutely zero concern. If computing power was of zero concern.

All you need at the images from the satellite. Ground based computing power can do the rest.

What if you had trillions in computing power to throw at this?

Well. Regardless. If it isn't a problem now, it will be a problem eventually.

This tech is available to private corporations, and almost to individuals. If you've called a solar company to get an estimate recently, they have full 3-D LIDAR maps of your house from orbit. They can map out the trees down to the branch level and then model how much sunlight will hit a given spot on your roof if you trim them. I was on the phone with a sales rep from LG yesterday and it was a bit surreal: I knew she was looking at a satellite image of my house, so I was like "We're planning to cut that whole branch off the middle tree that's shading the south roof of our house, and we're going to thin the branches of the corner tree" and she could follow along.

Much of this is also available to private citizens on Google Maps too - my home is not visible from the street, so when we were buying it, we used the satellite imagery to determine how big a back yard it had, how much parking was available, roughly how big the decks were, and we could even see the previous owner's patio furniture.

The future, imo, is sensor fusion. Cameras everywhere, in the sky and on the ground. Those cameras feed back to a large tracking system which is able to detect and track objects as they move between cameras.

This information can be crosschecked against cell phone location data and could flag anyone travelling without a phone, or with the wrong phone, for further scrutiny.

It sounds like paranoid delusions now, but I think it's what we're moving towards in 50 years or so after society has normalized mass surveillance.

Where I live we already have cameras on larger street crossings for traffic management, and along every bus line, not to mention the ones in busses, metros and stations.

What is lacking is the fusion you mention. But with ubiquitous 5G it's only a matter of when, not if.

The smaller ones clipped onto the top of traffic lights look rather eyeborgian ( https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1043844/ )

In one of the local traditions, the voters in the state all assemble in a town square to vote in person. (this year they exceptionally used ballots)


In the old days, every voter was given a special sword, and admission to the gathering was conditioned upon possession of the sword (my former landlord still has his, it might still be a requirement).

Would it be possible to develop some sort of equivalent, but as an antenna rather than a sword, reflecting on wavelengths illuminatable from the ground and observable from the air, that would allow popular votes to be taken via spy imagery? Presumably confirmation would involve multiple independent drone captures...

In the 80s, 30+ years ago, license plates were discernible from orbit. Are you sure about that? I'm not even sure about that now. Any credible information on the net, somewhere?

I thought that was movie stuff, like in https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120660/

I'm aware that this is difficult to prove, because secrecy, national security and so on, but license plates from orbit? In the 80ies?

Here is a BAE camera system that can track all cars in a large area:


> In the 80s, 30+ years ago, license plates were discernible from orbit.

This is absolutely false.


It was also known by the likes of William Safire that our satellites could "read the license plates on the cars of Kremlin officials."


If untrue, please provide a counter source to many of the like statements as cited above. (You may be right, but it seems that many believe you are wrong)

The Rayleigh limit in spatial resolution of an image forming device is given by:

l = 1.22 * λ * L / D

Where λ is wavelength, L is distance and D is optical element diameter.

For satellite at an altitude of 150 km with 2.4 m diameter mirror and 0.4 μm blue light, this gives a spatial resolution of 0.3 m. To read a number plate requires an order of magnitude better than this.

Thus an interferometric imaging system can theoretically do it ( two input scopes separated by 24m). The hard part is the atmosphere.

In one axis, and I don't think they were capable of doing it at the time suggested.


Under 'twenty questions', second column, end of column, under highlights "Big Bird" satellite.

Again, you may be right. However there are many claims that this capability existed in the 80s.

Suggest you research some of the satellites of the time, including ones which worked on film, and jettisoned rolls of it for terrestrial pickup.

> Suggest you research some of the satellites of the time

Suggest you do the same.

Here's the "Big Bird" satellite you referred to: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/KH-9_Hexagon

> The cameras could scan contiguous areas up to 120 degrees wide, and achieved a ground resolution better than 2 ft (0.61 m) during the later phase of the project.

The sources you cite are, to put it nicely, propaganda. The physics simply doesn't agree that this was even remotely possible at the time.

Another commenter correctly pointed out that these claims would violate the diffraction limit by more than an order of magnitude, and that's assuming zero atmospheric interference, which is absolutely not the case.

Why do you think film is relevant here? These satellites are not noise-limited like your phone vs. an SLR, they're diffraction limited. This is an optical resolution limit that has nothing to do with the photon capture medium or the size of the photographic plate. The only way to do better is to increase the effective area (of the mirror, not the plate) or to decrease the effective wavelength.

They were not doing interferometry with these satellites, and certainly not the multi-axis interferometry you'd need to be able to resolve centimeter-thick lines in text.

LargoLasskhyfv added a link with an awesomely detailed PDF.

I'll say two things here.

First, I'll still say "post film manipulation and processing may have enhanced imagery, and they were constantly modifying this gear from what I've read in that PDF."

Second, "Big Bird" was decommissioned in the mid 80s.


There's no way it wasn't replaced with something else. What was that?

An example, is the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KH-11_Kennen system, which wikipedia says was launched in the 70s, has multiple iterations, and is still being used.


Shows some of these versions, and blockIII seems to have very nice resolution. Launched in 92, supposedly.

And yet, as these all of the programs? I doubt it. For example "Big Bird" (KH-9) and KH-11 were used in parallel. I bet others existed too.

I'm going to say that throwing out "No, it couldn't be done" in the 80s is hard for me to believe. Was it done?

Well if not, it was very close to the 80s, as in the very early 90s.

> Another commenter correctly pointed out that these claims would violate the diffraction limit by more than an order of magnitude, and that's assuming zero atmospheric interference, which is absolutely not the case.

Yet this comment was refuted, and you have not addressed that fully.

> Why do you think film is relevant here?

As per the timeline, my comment with the film reference was written prior to any discussion about noise, or diffraction.

It was simply there to demonstrate the lengths gone, 2 decades prior to the 80s, in the 60s, to get imagery back to Earth.

I was curious how they did it in the early days, as video transmission technology was nascent. It quite certainly would have been a potential massive blocker on quality, from satellite to surface. Film seemed to solve that aspect of things in those early days.

I found this highly interesting. Film, from multiple lenses, the ultimate sneaker net (yes, it's analog, but still...)

Anyhow, over the years I've seen so many technical issues overcome, with sideways attacks on the problem. When people start saying "But... impossible!", I tend to have a high degree of skepticism.

I will say this though. Yes, it certainly could have been propaganda.

Doesn't mean it was, but I certainly do agree the potential is there.

> Again, you may be right. However there are many claims that this capability existed in the 80s.

I wouldn't be surprised if they could do that but there was no proof around to demonstrate it. The military tend to be very secretive about what they can do because by revealing it they would implicitly give hints on what they cannot do.

Weren't U2, blackbird and other spy planes highly classified? It could possibly be that airplane footage (by planes that at least in theory could be legally intercepted / shot down) was passed off as "magical" sattelite intelligence?

Thanks for this. Especially the PDF link.

To anyone reading this:

Pages 100 onward, you get to see diagrams of how it was built, and pics of the retrieval system and info on methods.

Page 120 onward talks about that return unit in more detail.

Page 122 I found interesting, details about measures to prevent the return unit from falling into enemy hands.

Page 128 is a good summary image, with some details on the lower right.

Page 165 onward, especially 168 have actual shots. 168 looks better than the first Google Earth images, and you can easily make out and identify how many 'things' the enemy has.

Sadly I have no more time currently to read, and more sadly some details are still redacted. Understandable, when I ponder the nature of some of those redacted parts. EG, privacy, current contractors still employed, tech methods still used on newer gear, at time of declassification.

Do we even have capabilities to prevent another nation from just doing this on American citizens? They are probably doing everything you've described right now in China on people in China, but I wonder how long it will be until the Chinese point there cameras at Americans as well, if they haven't already.

> if they haven't already

Gary Powers was shot down in 1960.

>That video was taken from far distance because the drone had to operate unnoticed in enemy territory

That video is not taken from a drone at all. It's from an AH-64 Apache, a manned attack helicopter with a flight crew of two.

That was such a disturbing video. These men controlling these weapons are just entirely dehumanized. After they mow down the journalists, an unarmed van appears to try and load up the wounded and take them to safety. Then they beg for clearance from command to blow up the van "Come on, let us shoot!" a direct quote; they literally beg to kill them. Then they get their clearance and just blow it all apart.

War is truly the worst thing there is.

Compare https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Button,_Button_(The_Twilight_Z...

From https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24786278 on "authoritarian followers":

> "Authoritarian Aggression. When I say authoritarian followers are aggressive I don’t mean they stride into bars and start fights. First of all, high RWAs go to church enormously more often than they go to bars. Secondly, they usually avoid anything approaching a fair fight. Instead they aggress when they believe right and might are on their side. “Right” for them means, more than anything else, that their hostility is (in their minds) endorsed by established authority, or supports such authority. “Might” means they have a huge physical advantage over their target, in weaponry say, or in numbers, as in a lynch mob."

on a lighter note:

> "Believe it or not, researchers are not allowed to organize murderous mobs to study hostility. So we have to study authoritarian aggression in subtler ways."

There were two children inside the van. There needs to be harsh accountability for these professional murderous psychopaths.

I don't think the fact that there were children there materially changes the nature of the crime. The adults were innocent as well. Growing older should not mean your life is automatically worth less.

Anyway, holding the soldiers accountable won't actually fix the problem. I think what happened here is the natural outcome of conditions created well before that group of soldiers arrived in the scene.

Holding the soldiers, individually and their superiors, accountable would not make the problem worse.

Instead, those responsible for revealing it have spent considerable time, and still are, in jail.

> Instead, those responsible for revealing it have spent considerable time, and still are, in jail.

Not entirely true: Chelsea Manning was released in 2017.

> Chelsea Manning was released in 2017.

After her sentence was commutated by Obama, otherwise she would be in prison until at least 2045.

She was recently placed back in jail for refusing to testify against Assange (instead referring the prosecution to her prior testimony), though she was released again after a year.

I wouldn't take a bet against her ending up back in jail for a similar attempt at intimidation once the sham court in the UK sends Assange to the US to be executed for distributing the above video to the world.

Agreed. To me the most disturbing part of the video is how the soldiers have become distended and desensitized from killing. They talk as if they are playing a video game.

I mean, they are, since murdering a human has exactly the same consequences to them as playing a videogame (none).

Even in the old days, I believe Lyudmila Mikhailovna was fairly desensitised, at least after the first hecatomb.

Bonus clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuPX8mjeb-E (IIUC the song backing this patriotic video was, as composed in the 1980s, anti-war)

This doesn't look like drone footage to me. From the flight pattern (left hand circle), this looks more like an AC-130 gun ship. Drones carry rockets/missiles, and this is clearly a large caliber machine gun being used.

It's an Apache helicopter

That was something I thought as well, but I doubt Apaches fly that kind of pattern though. They wouldn't let a target get lost behind a wall while making lazy circles. Also, the sound of an Apache gun sounds like the sky is ripping open. Not 100% on anything other than it's not a drone.

I thought that footage was taken from the Apache itself?

From memory there were two helicopters?

The idea that we all live as future fugitives now seems like something worth changing. If your plan is to hide, does it really matter how well? The best way to defeat drones is to engage in culture and policy making, and to vote.

The next best way is to use RF to triangulate their C2 location and either jam it or destroy it.

"Hide." Kids today, no valour.

I have no faith in what my vote can do in regards to things like this.

Paying attention doesn't do much. If the government wants to pass something, especially in the name of national security, it will get passed.

And to top it off, Hillary literally put the idea on the table that it would be just fine to drone strike journalist Julian Assange: https://archive.vn/DrLRO

So no, zero faith for things like laws to keep the government in check.

I would take this claim with a giant grain of salt. Assange was in an European city not on a farm in a middle eastern country. Ethics aside, this would be very difficult to operationalize even if it was seriously considered.

You can take it with whatever grain you wish, but it doesn't change the fact that the government will throw all rules out the window when they want to get their way.

A quote: “We came, we saw, he died!” she exclaimed."

- Hillary on the murder of Colonel Qaddafi


(A NYT sourced article, just for you)

Then what? If you can't vote to get the change that you want, what's the alternative? Violent revolution and hoping that the new boss is better than the old boss?

I'm so tired of this kind of useless cynicism. Voting matters, especially at the local level. You can get involved in your party at local levels, too. How do you think all these politicians get into the political class to begin with, in free societies?

Or should we overthrow our democratically elected government, because you believe cynically there's no point in voting, they're going to do whatever they want anyway, and install a dictatorship or Party and hope that we get a benevolent one?

Or are you suggesting that the Socialist Utopia is right around the bend, if we all just give up on voting and... I don't know, what's the point of your comment?

It's not useless cynicism, it's a sober approach. Understanding that the influence of politicians is delimited by their knowledge, the as well as monied, and bureaucratic interests.

I vote in every election I can, national to local. But ultimately you have to understand that in most cases, unless you're willing to dedicate your life to political advocacy (an exhausting route filled with small corruptions, traps of necessity that threaten your principals, and unpleasant people) you're choosing to adjust the angle of the rudder within a certain margin, not the trajectory or shape of the ship.

I think that I see a lot of “convenient delusions” posted.

Here’s my current theory...

I think people want to be seen as virtuous. Stuff is bad. People want positive change. Either they don’t know what to do or making change is too hard. So they say that change is impossible.

Based on the really high rates of obesity, I think more people know what to do, but it’s hard, and they don’t do it. I know what I should do (eat less, exercise) but I don’t.

I don't deny that voting matters. And I still vote for those who share my ideals.

But my point is that voting isn't everything - the government can do whatever they want in the name of national security. Which is an obvious problem, but something that they can scare monger people into agreeing with.

#1 Pursue electoral reform to ensure you are democratically represented. Elections can't change policy for the long term without a proportionally representative democracy.

> The next best way is to use RF to triangulate their C2 location and either jam it or destroy it.

That doesn't do jack when the drone is autonomous.

If it's autonomous you can skip the triangulation step. The drone and C2 are co-located.

Agreed. Autonomous just means free range spare parts.

Whilst I’m sure there are opsec protocols that can do something to protect you from modern (military style) drones, it’s very very very hard to stop an adversary with a nearly unlimited amount of money and incredible technological superiority from keeping their eyes on you once you’re in their sights.

Yet military UAVs lose track of lots of targets during engagements in theatre. Foliage (thick), buildings and culverts do the trick. Mixing in crowds does the trick too (in low light).

Yet, the US has pretty much been kept at bay from Irak and Afghanistan, go figure... In general, the US army is not equipped for guerilla-style warfare, and especially not on US soil. Local PD are another story on this point, but far less equipped.

On one hand it’s clear that a guérilla campaign is fully capable of resisting a first class army for a long period of time; this has been clear since the 1970s. What people tend to ignore is that the defenders do this while sustaining much higher casualties. Oh, and civilian casualties are typically an order of magnitude higher because high explosives aren’t very discriminatory.

On one hand, that’s an interesting discussion about modern warfare. On the other it is not a convincing argument about how you shouldn’t be too worried about the US military, because while a guérilla campaign might be able to stop them, it would only work after getting hundreds of thousands of people killed in your country. Not exactly a comforting argument.

> On the other it is not a convincing argument about how you shouldn’t be too worried about the US military

Another argument is that the US military is likely to be split in case of direct intervention on US national soil, including in support of the National Guard or local PD. Same goes for the National Guard or local PD - ACANB [All Cops Are Not Bastards]. Not to mention the +350 millions firearms (and associated ammunitions & gears) owned by Americans.

>What people tend to ignore is that the defenders do this while sustaining much higher casualties

Is this supposed to be a good thing for the defender? The us has been there for more than a decade and the defenders weren't running out of combatants.

I mean, there’s no way to look at tens of thousands of deaths and declare it to be a good thing. I say it because usually in common discussion people forget that the defenders in this scenario hold out despite higher casualties, not due to the lack of them.

> I mean, there’s no way to look at tens of thousands of deaths and declare it to be a good thing.

Yes, there is. It was called the Russian WWII front where the Russians sent to the meat grinder by the tens of thousands held back the German army until winter and supply issues decimated them. It is a viable strategy to deal with a lack of equipment.

Whether or on it is acceptable to say on HN is another story.

I’d call that necessary or the lesser of two evils, not good.

> I’d call that necessary or the lesser of two evils

Which is literally the very definition of _good_ -

"In most contexts, the concept of good denotes the conduct that should be preferred when posed with a choice between possible actions"

-- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good

I prefer my politicians to bow down to US demands and not start a war in the first place.

For now...

See also training facilities in for instance Fort Polk, or the german Schnöggersburg, where that is only the largest, but not the only one.

Also things like https://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2019/7/29/d... come to mind.

In general, maybe. Here's a specific case: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24520757

> It’s smart to avoid using wireless devices like mobile phones or GPS systems, since they have digital signatures...

Could someone explain how a GPS receiver (especially one which doesn't utilize DGPS of any sorts) would have any sort of digital signature which could be measured from a drone?

Detection and Localization of Multiple R/C Electronic Devices Using Array Detectors[1]

Locating Noncooperative Radio Receivers Using Wideband Stimulated Emissions[2]

A Practical Superheterodyne-Receiver Detector Using Stimulated Emissions[3]

1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6857348

2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/6329437

3. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/5699393

The book Spycatcher details how, in the 50s, MI5 developed systems to detect radio receivers. They fitted out vans and drove past embassies to determine the frequencies different embassies were tuned into. I think they also tested with fitting out aircraft, but it’s a long time since I read the book.

Of course there is also the opinion that tv detector vans were a hoax and would never work, so ymmv :)

A good friend of mine had the chance to see such a van while working for the French Navy. The operator even showed him a (somewhat blurry) real-time view of my friend's Mac desktop in the building next door... (This happened in the early 90s in Toulon arsenal).

That sounds like Tempest, and I somehow doubt that they actually showed him that.

It's not that Tempest was ever a secret, There was advertising for countermeasures (metal screens for Windows, just like you have in your microwave) in the mid 1980s.

Spy satellites aren't a secret either but it was big news when Trump revealed their resolution capability.

Why not? They didn't explain how it works. And he was an officer at the time.

They are analog signals right, rather than digital signatures. I think the author has conflated GPS receivers with smartphones that use them.

There's a few ways to detect radio receivers, some of them based on listening for incidentally radiated intermediate frequencies (which have to be a multiple of the received frequency) from the amplifier in the receiver: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TV_detector_van

It would be a heck of a trick to detect a GPS receiver that way, though. Probably be easier just to listen for the RF noise from the switching regulator in the power supply.

> Probably be easier just to listen for the RF noise from the switching regulator in the power supply.

Natural things give off very little RF... Pretty much anything electronic gives off far far more. It doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility for a military to use antenna arrays to try to track every nearby electronic device of any kind. Sure - identifying the device might be tricky, but you gain a lot of intel simply knowing where electronic devices are clustering and headed.

Most of the methods listed there were listening for the EM of the TV being on, not the reciever antenna. Technically, it sounds like they wouldn't be able to tell the difference between pirated TV and watching a movie on the VCR.

I think the reasoning for those TV-sniffing trucks at the time were not what you watch, but that you could watch at all, i.e. you had a device capable of watching TV and to pay your damn dues for that "privilege".

That is one of those sentences in an article where you wonder...

"Did the author know very little about the subject, or does he know exactly what he has written?"

My guess would be that they use the same technique as radar-detector-detectors. Essentially sniffing out the RF radiation emitted by an RF receiver


Any antenna is both a receiver and a sender, like a mic/speaker.

From Garmin website, first category (wearables), first item:

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/702902#specs: CONNECTIVITY Bluetooth®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®.

From Garmin website, featured items:

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/711488: CONNECTIVITY Bluetooth®

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/707174/pn/010-02427-02: CONNECTIVITY Bluetooth®, ANT+®

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/713363: CONNECTIVITY Bluetooth®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®

Older school hiking GPS:

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/699779: WIRELESS CONNECTIVITY yes (Wi-Fi®, BLUETOOTH®, ANT+®)

The weighting scale apparently has no wifi, so that's drone safe. Though not quite portable.

some people are already living that future. Good description of a population dealing with the drone threat on a daily basis :


"With the threat of drones omnipresent, officials, army personnel and even civilians have had to alter habits.

In Martuni (which Azerbaijanis call Khojavend), Avanesyan, the mayor, eschews what he considers a less secure but more modern smartphone in favor of a primitive Nokia, which would reveal less information to an adversary. Similarly, soldiers near the front line are proscribed from using GPS or taking any photos with their phones. Drivers tape up headlights or smear mud on their cars to obscure any markings that could make them a target. Gatherings are discouraged, with people urged not to spend too much time in one place and to designate an emergency shelter."

How would you even know if a drone is in the sky? Many can operate very high in the air that would never be detected.

If one has to be worried about drones, one should expect them to be there at any time.

In some places of the world, hiding from drones could be a matter of life and death. But if someone uses techniques for evading drones, and other people around are not, couldn't he be alerting the drone that he might be a potential target?

If enough people were to use identically looking umbrellas it would be very hard indeed to track individuals passing below bridges and roofs. In Tokyo there is already a prevalent style for umbrellas: The transparent model you can see in the 1982 cult film Blade Runner.

I think a better approach for these asymmetrical power scenarios is to come up with ways to very cheaply and anonymously destroy drones.

The approaches in this article seem like they would be quickly developed around. The visual cues only work temporarily until the software gets retrained and it’s dangerous to test if the drones are using updates to defeat the anti-AI t-shirts and whatnot.

Drones are pretty expensive (few thousand). So if they can be destroyed for $1, that’s probably the only way to really stop them.

Slingshots and shotguns are probably too easy to use and get away with it. But maybe some cheap drone, autonomous, that just flies into the expensive drones and crashes them.

Where I live slingshots with armrests are forbidden(now). If you are cought with one it's a violation of current weapons laws, and you'll get fined and a record.

Funny thing is, crossbows and bows in general are not :) Maybe because they are larger and difficult to carry concealed.

Had much fun with a slingshot(without arm rest) as a kid, using steel balls out of old ball bearings and glass marbles at distances up to about 50 meters with very surprising results against brick and concrete walls. Made large parts of them simply chip off, or deep dents into trash bins, traffic signs, and similar things.

"Stand over broken glass"? "Keep an umbrella handy"? Really?

Here's a video of some rioters using umbrellas as cover to mask their approach and launch an attack on police.


Seems pretty effective on the ground, but the drone footage shows what they're actually up to.

Start at 2:30 - very interesting - although perhaps mostly to do with ground surveillance?

The umbrella tip seems to have been adopted in Hong Kong.

Soon the government will pass legislation making opaque umbrellas illegal.

Is it either clickbait-level advice or snowden-level advice? :)

Missing from this conversation is the use of drones as weapons. We’re used to thinking of drones as tools of government surveillance. But ISIS and Iranian backed groups have been using off-the-shelf drones with 3d printed parts to make airborne IEDs. It’s not hard to imagine white supremacist militia groups using them in the United States to carry out terrorist attacks.

>It’s smart to avoid using wireless devices like mobile phones or GPS systems Is this a thing? Thought a GPS system is passive ...

tl;dr: carry an umbrella

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