The Peril of Drones Essay Example

It is only a matter of time before the USA is attacked using UAVs, also known as drones. The Government will spy, law enforcement and the hobbyist alike will invade privacy, radical and domestic terrorists will make weapons and use them with dangerous results as the world has already witnessed. Even though Drone technology has a definite upside in that it does save lives and help with numerous other tasks, drones should not be sold to the public because drones are being weaponized to deliver deadly results and drones are violating 4th amendment rights by recording without proper authorization. 

Drones and the Public

Drones should not be sold to the public. One reason for concern is right next door; the hobbyist, flying a drone over someone's backyard while they are sunbathing or having a private party, invading one's privacy. In a review written by Alexandria Tomanelli, she writes, "In July 2015, a father in Kentucky shot a drone that was hovering over his yard while his teen daughter was sunbathing" (p. 879). Owners of drones have already shown that not all people can handle the responsibility of operating a drone without invading the privacy of others. Drones are here for the duration and must be strictly regulated. Furthermore, there are laws and regulations for crewless aircraft, and these crewless aircraft are being used to spy on citizens regardless of the legalities.

Drones and the Fourth Amendment

Drones are very appealing to individuals of nefarious intentions, and they will take advantage of any opportunity to deliver terror to America's doorstep, and the threat does not stop there. In an article named, The Sky Police: Drones and the Fourth Amendment, written by Jessica Dwyer-Moss, (2018) she states, "The Fourth Amendment provides that "[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated" (p. 1051). There are numerous cases in the courts referencing violations of Fourth Amendment rights.

One example would be Dow Chemical Co. v. United States, (1986). Because Dow Chemical would not grant access to the EPA, The EPA decided they would spy from the sky, a blatant violation of fourth amendment rights. The court decided that the "Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") 's aerial surveillance of a chemical manufacturing plant did not constitute a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment" (p. 1055). Cases like this are substantial evidence that Government entities will do as they please and take their chances in court. It is a well-known fact that the Government and law enforcement alike will spy and infringe on fourth amendment rights. The right to privacy is rapidly deteriorating for the ordinary citizen and the threat of terror is imminent.

Drones are Weapons

The list of incidents involving drones used as a delivery method for terror is growing at an alarming rate. As Gray Jr. (2019) states, "One-way drones might be used to commit mass casualties is by converting them into a weapons platform, attaching explosives, radioactive material, a biological weapon or chemical weapon as a payload" (p .5). An example of drones used as weapons would be the attempted assassination of the President of Venezuela last summer, CBS Evening News (August 6, 2018.) One more example of how easy it is to weaponize a drone was when radioactive material delivered to the roof of the Prime minister of Japan, lastly, one drone made its way to the white house lawn not long ago. Drone technology has a very definite upside in that it does save lives and help with numerous other tasks; however, when this technology reaches the hands of immoral people, bad things will ensue. In an article written by Card, (2018), he writes, "Unfortunately, greater commercial accessibility to UAV technology will make UAVs more attractive as a delivery method for terrorist attacks, and policymakers should consider different courses of action to combat this emerging threat" (p. 80). When drones fall into the wrong hands, they become weapons of devastation and deliver catastrophic results.


The hobbyist will intrude whether it be in someone’s backyard or the airways over a restricted zone, the Government, like law enforcement, will spy and infringe on 4th amendment rights, without warrants or provocation. Some people are not trustworthy with the high-tech drones; therefore, drones should be, at the minimum, treated as weapons when purchased or not offered to the public. By keeping drones from terrorists and people of evil intent, this problem can be addressed by restricting access and imposing harsher regulations. Drones come in all sizes, and even the small drones can be harmful in multiple ways. Drones can be small, lightweight, compact, and still able to deliver anything from privacy infringements to catastrophe. 


Card, B. A. (2018). Terror from above: How the commercial unmanned aerial vehicle revolution threatens the US threshold. Air & Space Power Journal, 32(1), 80–95. Retrieved from

Dwyer-Moss, J. (2017). The Sky Police: Drones and the Fourth Amendment. Albany Law    Review, 81(3), 1047–1070. Retrieved from

Gray Jr., K. E. (2019). The terror threat of unmanned aerial vehicles and techniques to defend against them. Police Forum, 4–12 Retrieved from



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