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How to deal with drone pervs?

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Before we get started, we know that the vast majority of drone owners (hopefully including yourself) use their UAVs responsibly. There are, however, quite a few dicks out there. There has been a lot of hysteria in media around this subject but we do try to cover any and all topical drone stories that come our way fairly. Cheers!

An Australian women claims that her estranged ex-husband used his drone to spy on her in her backyard.

ABC reports that the mother-of-three was having a BBQ with friends when a drone suddenly appeared above her and hovered for a sustained-period before shooting up and crossing the road. She told ABC that she believed it was her ex-husband because he had tried every other means to get close to them and had repeatedly broken a court-imposed Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) to stay away from her and her children.

Putting things into context

The above is just one woman’s experience but there are many other stories like it and in most instances, the victims are women. Earlier this year we brought you a story of a woman in Wellington, New Zealand, who had a drone loiter outside her window at night. Late last year in Port Lincoln, South Australia, multiple women similarly complained that drones were flying by their house at night (most countries have laws prohibiting night-time flying). Victims of such crimes describe feeling fear and anxiety that the drones will return and a sense of no longer feeling safe and secure in their homes.

We should point out that any modern technology can be misused, particularly when in the hands of people who are unhinged or mentally ill. That point aside – there is enough anecdotal evidence to say that drone spies or pervs are a problem. In one sense – it really isn’t surprising that some people abuse their drone ownership. If nearly anyone can get their a hold of such technology, you would expect at least a small percentage of those people to be nitwits and do stupid crap like flying next to airplanes or perving on others.

How should we combat drone pervs?

If a drone is loitering outside of your house – the very first thing you should do is try and identify who the pilot is. Most of the time they should be close by. If you can see them, go and ask them to stop filming. The majority of the time, they should immediately stop and if for any reason they don’t, you can report them to the police.

If you can’t see the operator but the drone remains by your house – take a photo. That way, even if it flies away, at least you will have evidence of the make and model of the UAV and proof it was right outside your house. This will be useful if you ever need to press charges.

Call the police. By the time they show up, it’s pretty unlikely the drone will still be hanging around. With a photo, or better still, a video – if the problem arises again for you or someone else in the neighborhood, police will have evidence of a pattern of behavior that could sting the pilot when they (most likely he) is caught..

Anti-drone devices?

We’ve brought you many stories before about ways that organizations combat rogue drones. There are drone killing devices, ways to hack them and bring them down and even good old guns. All anti-drone solutions have their problems. Very few private citizens outside of mega-rich celebrities are going to be paranoid or rich enough to afford their own drone killer (see image below). So what about guns? Well – many Americans (and some people in other countries) have a gun available but shooting randomly at drones has all sorts of issues with it. Firstly, it’s illegal and if you get found out you could be charged with destruction of property. One Californian man was arrested for shooting a drone he said was spying on his daughter. It seems like a bad ass idea but we’d say – never shooting your gun at a drone is a great rule of thumb.

Drone Killer devices are a great way to get rid of pesky UAVs but they are impractical and out of reach for most people.

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