• New Algorithm Keeps Drones from Colliding in Midair

    Researchers create a trajectory-planning system that enables drones working together in the same airspace to always choose a safe path forward.

  • Mapping CBP’s Expansion of Its Surveillance Tower Program at the U.S.-Mexico Border

    EFF is releasing a new map and dataset of more than 290 surveillance towers installed by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) along the border with Mexico. The tower systems are able to automatically detect and track objects  up to 7.5 miles away and assist agents in classifying objects 3 miles away.

  • Lawmakers: “Clean Reauthorization” of Surveillance Authorities a “Nonstarter”

    Key U.S. lawmakers are warning the country’s top intelligence officials that they could soon find themselves without a much-talked-about surveillance authority unless their agencies are able to prove they can be trusted.

  • Section 702’s Unconstitutional Domestic Spying Program Must End

    On its face, Section 702 allows the government to conduct surveillance inside the United States so long as the surveillance is directed at foreigners currently located outside the United States. And yet, the NSA routinely (aka “incidentally”) acquires innocent Americans’ communications without a probable cause warrant. Then, rather than “minimize” the sharing and retention of Americans’ data, as Congress required, the NSA routinely shares such data with other government agencies, which retain it for at least five years.

  • Security Vulnerabilities Detected in Drones Made by DJI

    Researchers have detected security vulnerabilities, some of them serious, in several drones made by the manufacturer DJI. These enable users, for example, to change a drone’s serial number or override the mechanisms that allow security authorities to track the drones and their pilots. In special attack scenarios, the drones can even be brought down remotely in flight.

  • China’s Militarization of Meteorological Balloons

    Beijing’s spy balloon is a clear example of an emerging technology developed for military and intelligence operations but that crucially evolved out of civilian and scientific programs. China’s balloon-technology programs contain sober lessons about Beijing’s incremental acquisition of foreign intellectual property and its technology partnerships with Western research institutions.

  • Spy Balloon Reveals China’s ‘Near Space’ Military Program

    Chinese spy balloon drifting across the United States this month was a demonstration of a little-noticed program which has been discussed in China’s state-controlled media for more than a decade in articles extolling its potential military applications.

  • What China’s Surveillance Balloon Says About U.S.-China Relations

    The question of what information the Chinese were trying to uncover using a balloon – when China’s many satellites could glean this same information – is intriguing. A far more important issue, however, is what this episode says about the ability, or more accurately inability, of Washington and Beijing to manage a future crisis. Worryingly, it appears that neither the United States nor China is prepared for a serious crisis.

  • EFF's Atlas of Surveillance Database Now Documents 10,000+ Police Tech Programs

    The EFF has created a searchable and mappable repository of which law enforcement agencies in the U.S. use surveillance technologies such as body-worn cameras, drones, automated license plate readers, and face recognition.

  • Drones Employed in the Ukraine War

    Unmanned systems have revolutionized modern warfare – and pilotless aircraft have had a significant impact in the war in Ukraine.

  • Western Tech in Iranian Drones Is Helping Russia in Ukraine

    Iran boasts that its advanced Mohajer-6 combat drone, now used effectively by the Russian forces in Ukraine, is an example of Iran’s “indigenous” ingenuity. But the core electronic components of the Mohajer-6 contain parts produced by companies from the United States and the European Union.

  • Intrusive Surveillance and Interrogation of Portland Demonstrators by DHS Agents

    DHS surveillance of 2020 protestors in Portland, Oregon was broader and more intrusive than had previously been knows. DHS agents created individual dossiers on many of the protestors, dossiers which included lists of friends and family, travel history, social media postings, and other records unrelated to securing federal property or homeland security. Documents also reveal that Trump appointees at DHS endorsed baseless conspiracy theories in justifying what Senator Ron Wyden D-Oregon) called “violations of Oregonians’ civil rights.”

  • Better Regulating Drone Use Requires Communication, Not Surveillance

    In 2018, Congress gave the DHS and DOJ sweeping new authorities to destroy or commandeer privately-owned drones which pose a “credible threat” to a “covered facility or asset” in the U.S. as well as intercept the data it sends and receives. The definition of “credible threat” was left entirely to the discretion of DOJ and DHS.

  • A Drone Wing That Could Learn How to Sense Danger Faster

    The small domes that you press on your soda’s to-go cup lid may one day save a winged drone from a nosedive. Patterns of these invertible domes on a drone’s wings would give it a way to remember in microseconds what dangerous conditions feel like and react quickly.

  • Drone Piloting Proficiency Takes Flight with Certification Course

    Competent drone piloting is critical when lives are on the line; these devices are used in numerous law enforcement operations including search and rescue and counter IED (improvised explosive device) efforts.