Most hobbyists consider their drone to be a terrific tool — a lot less dangerous than a hammer and way more fun.

But there are times when we wonder about the drone’s dark potential. What could it do in the wrong hands? Out of a sense of good citizenship, though, most drone users are unlikely to share those thoughts in public.

Well, feel free to vent because the Association of the United States Army voiced your worst fears.

In a new report, it suggests the growing use of drones for crop dusting shows they can equally deliver chemical or biological warfare (CBW) agents.  What’s more, the software that enables multiple drones to swarm and co-ordinate is likely to encourage the proliferation of these poisons.

Pranks or mock assassinations?

Lieutenant Colonel Claude A. Lambert, a Strategic Planner at US Army Materiel Command, points out a few worrisome events where drones could have caused havoc:

  • A drone crashed harmlessly near German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a rally in 2013
  • Authorities found a drone possibly tainted with radioactive cesium on the roof of the Japanese Prime Minister’s office in 2015
  • I’ll add a more recent one: A drone caused a seven-minute interruption at a Chicago Cubs game last month when it landed on Wrigley Field.

Depending on your view, these are either jolly japes or mock assassinations. Militaries have to take the darkest view of human nature. So Lieutenant Colonel Lambert calls for a national US strategy to detect and identify drone threats. He doesn’t have easy solutions, though.

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