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Government creates dragonfly spy drones

In case Tasers are getting old, protesters have something new to fear: dragonfly spy drones. Over the past month, the drones have been spotted at rallies in New York and Washington, D.C., as reported in The Washington Post.

These drones are basically dragonflies with cameras, allowing them to scope out collapsed buildings, guide missiles, or even capture the faces of political deviants — and it’s this last item that worries us. Why does the government feel the need to videotape, and presumably identify, those who speak out against its policies and actions? Why is the government afraid of its people? Now protesters have to worry about the government watching them even more often, in even more varied ways.

Government agencies have been experimenting with insect drones since the 1970s, but none have admitted to creating the most recently sighted machines. It’s the public’s right to know, and we hope an agency will come forward. After all, there’s no exception in the Freedom of Information Act for robobugs.

Political activism aside, we have other reasons to be skeptical of insect spy drones. According to the Post, some current government projects involve live insects. Scientists insert computer chips into developing bugs (for example, moth pupae), with the hope that the insects’ nerves will form around the chip, thus allowing scientists to control them.

Such half-robot, half-insect creations sound more like the premise of a Michael Crichton novel than something the government should be working on. Videotaping people in public isn’t illegal, but it’s a slippery slope to Big Brother-esque activities. As for now, break out the flyswatters.