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Drones Used To Smuggle Drugs Into Prison

Unknown Lamer posted about 5 months ago | from the prisons-upgraded-with-anti-drone-missles dept.

Transportation 137

Daniel_Stuckey writes "Over the weekend, a 28-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of using a small quadcopter drone to smuggle an unknown quantity of illegal drugs into a prison in Melbourne, Australia. While it's certainly not the first time small-fry UAV technology has been used by a mid-level mule to airmail drugs into the clink, it does suggest a growing trend in the highest-tech of prison highs. Here, then, is a brief history of drone-assisted prison drug smuggling In November 2013, guards at Hull jail in Gatineau, Canada, spotted a small drone flying over the prison's walls [beware the autoplaying videos]. An exhaustive search of both Hull's grounds and the immediate vicinity turned up nothing by way of whatever contraband the drone might have been toting around.

Nevertheless, it didn't appear to be one-off incident 'This sort of thing happens often in prisons all across Quebec,' Stephane Lemaire, president of Quebec's correctional officers' union, told the Ottawa Sun. 'Usually the drones are carrying small packages of drugs or other illicit substances.' The problem, Lemaire added, is that 'the drone can be controlled from more than a kilometer away, and the [Hull] prison is surrounded by forest.'"

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137 comments

solution (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about 5 months ago | (#46452763)

Solution [flowershell.com] .

Re:solution (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 5 months ago | (#46453109)

That's un-American.

You need at least a Phlanax CIWS to get the job done in the USA.

Re:solution (1)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about 5 months ago | (#46454925)

Its funny how one of the shells is called "Columbine". The flower is known by two other names: Aquilegia and Granny's Bonnet. The former is the title of the Wikipedia article.

Re:solution (1)

chihowa (366380) | about 5 months ago | (#46455065)

Columbine is by far the most common name for the flower, though, and is in fact the namesake of the town in Colorado. Also, Wikipedia seems to list most plants by their genus or genus and species. If you look hard enough (not you in particular), you'll find offense anywhere.

That leaves an interesting idea. (3, Interesting)

arcade (16638) | about 5 months ago | (#46452771)

This is quite an interesting idea. DYI drones are getting more and more common - and there are plenty of people with electronics background who can make the control interface.

Make the commands sent to the drone be sent encrypted/signed - allowing automatic handoffs between controlling terminals.

It would be pretty easy to make drones do the 'chore' of crossing international borders for you. Just put out a couple of 'base stations' that are quiet unless the drone is coming by .. and which directs the drone when it is close.

I'm wondering how well prepared border control / custom agents are for taking down fast moving drones that sweep in pretty low.

Re:That leaves an interesting idea. (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about 5 months ago | (#46452803)

I'm wondering how well prepared border control / custom agents are for taking down fast moving drones that sweep in pretty low.,

You're basically describing skeet shooting right there.

Re:That leaves an interesting idea. (3, Interesting)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | about 5 months ago | (#46452819)

I'm wondering how well prepared border control / custom agents are for taking down fast moving drones that sweep in pretty low.,

You're basically describing skeet shooting right there.

And it's not physically possible to set up a human skeet shooter every hundred meters on the entire bloody border. Expect this to lead to some sort of arms race whereby we start allowing automated skeet shooting, anti-drone drones, or something else entirely that is just as scary.

Or we could just stop the whole waste of money that is the war on drugs. But that would be dumb.

Re:That leaves an interesting idea. (4, Informative)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 5 months ago | (#46452843)

I'm sure some criminals have already looked into the use of drones; R/C planes or quadcopters navigating by GPS are more or less off-the-shelf these days. They probably found them unpractical as they have a small payload and range.

Getting stuff across the border isn't all that hard for criminals anyway, unless you're talking really bulky stuff one has to truck in (booze etc). Even sending stuff by airliner isn't that hard; you're ok if you send 10 drug mules and 5 make it through. The quoted "street value" of seized coke is crap, its actual value at that stage is bugger all.

Makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46453563)

It would makes sense, since large drug operations are after quantity. Drugs and other contraband are 4-5 times more in value among prisons then on the streets. However that's within the prison, I'm not sure what the mule is getting, if they're getting street value or if the are getting -2-3 times more for delivering inside the prison grounds, tobacco, prescription drugs, street/illegal drugs, black market drugs, even at this small scale it wouldn't seem like a worthwhile venture if your not doubling or tripling the money, compared to street value.

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46453309)

So you think the answer is to allow prisoners to have drugs? Are you on drugs?

Re:What? (1, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | about 5 months ago | (#46453569)

Prisoners already have drugs.

What he's talking about is stopping spending billions of dollars on a 'battle' that makes about 1% difference to the drug supply chain.

For more information see King Canute.

Re:That leaves an interesting idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46453567)

I'm sure they could come up with something like Bill Gate's blue laser mosquito point defense system only to target drones.

Re:That leaves an interesting idea. (2)

rjune (123157) | about 5 months ago | (#46454399)

A 12 gauge shotgun loaded with #4 birdshot would work quite well for prison guards to take out drones.

Re:That leaves an interesting idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46455307)

A 12 gauge shotgun loaded with #4 birdshot would work quite well for prison guards to take out drones.

Why limit the fun to prison guards? Sounds like every duck hunter's dream to me...

Re:That leaves an interesting idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46453243)

Make the commands sent to the drone be sent encrypted/signed - allowing automatic handoffs between controlling terminals.

It would be pretty easy to make drones do the 'chore' of crossing international borders for you. Just put out a couple of 'base stations' that are quiet unless the drone is coming by .. and which directs the drone when it is close.

GPS modules are cheap compared to the rest of the drone. You just program the route beforehand. You might want to make the landing manual. That way the receiver can decide to let the drone keep moving if it has attracted the attention of law enforcement.
The drone doesn't have to send anything and can keep a low radio profile.

Re:That leaves an interesting idea. (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 5 months ago | (#46453255)

I'm wondering how well prepared border control / custom agents are for taking down fast moving drones that sweep in pretty low.

It's irrelevant. Drug dealers won't be using this because:
a) It's complex, requires skilled operators
b) The payload is small
c) Getting drugs across the border is a solved problem

Re: That leaves an interesting idea. (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 5 months ago | (#46453675)

My drones are fully autonomous. It needs no base stations, just give it gps cords, take off, switch to auto mode and go home.

I've tested flying to destination, drop package and return to base. Works like a charm and for $500 it could carry a few grand worth of more expensive drugs. Probably not a cost effective pot mule though.

Look at ardupilot.

Re: That leaves an interesting idea. (1)

DarkOx (621550) | about 5 months ago | (#46454355)

The problem is getting paid.

1) Load drugs on drone
2) Drone flies to destination
3) Recipient unloads drugs
4a) Recipient considers attaching agreed upon bundle of cash for a moment
4b) Recipient decides instead to curb stomp drone
5) ???Profit???

Re: That leaves an interesting idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46454737)

That's not exactly the chain of command here. It's low level flunky on outside ->drugs & drone -> low level flunky on inside -> higher level flunky on inside -> distribution on inside -> payment from prisoner to higher level flunky and payment to 'cartel' (or whomever). There will be accountability throughout the entire process. (And I'm omitting the payback to the guard(s) which can happen at a couple of levels.)

Re: That leaves an interesting idea. (2)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about 5 months ago | (#46454891)

The drugs are probably smuggled in by gang members who are delivering to fellow members already behind bars. The pay is having someone on the inside to keep the gang alive and strong as drugs give them control inside the prison. This can help recruit new members as well as ensure snitches or rival gang members are dealt with in the can.

Re:That leaves an interesting idea. (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 5 months ago | (#46454029)

This is quite an interesting idea. DYI drones are getting more and more common - and there are plenty of people with electronics background who can make the control interface.

Make the commands sent to the drone be sent encrypted/signed - allowing automatic handoffs between controlling terminals.

It would be pretty easy to make drones do the 'chore' of crossing international borders for you. Just put out a couple of 'base stations' that are quiet unless the drone is coming by .. and which directs the drone when it is close.

I'm wondering how well prepared border control / custom agents are for taking down fast moving drones that sweep in pretty low.

Border patrol (and just about every other agency with an enforcement mandate) is already exploring UAV use, what we will see eventually is an air war where unauthorized UAVs are simply shot down automatically.

Re:That leaves an interesting idea. (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 5 months ago | (#46454785)

The Drone Wars (TM)

Coming to a Cable Channel near you. Or maybe Netflix. Or Amazon. Or YouTube. Who the Hell knows?

Stop the drones. (-1, Troll)

mjwx (966435) | about 5 months ago | (#46452783)

Warden: We need to stop these drones.
Mayor: Get me the army.
/phone rings.
Officer: Bonjour, armee l'quebec.
Mayor: We need your best Anti-Air regiment, double time.
Officer: Sir, this is the Canadian army, we don't have anti-air weapons. Sorry aboot that.

Re:Stop the drones. (1)

fisted (2295862) | about 5 months ago | (#46453359)

Eh?

If that the only crime a drone commits then good (4, Interesting)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 5 months ago | (#46452789)

Personally I am shocked that throwing drugs to a few people in cages is the only crime a drone has committed. It strikes me that a crime committed by a drone has the huge advantage of being low risk as compared to committing those same crimes in person. Arson, terrorism, bank robberies, break and enters, murder, and why not go whole hog and even go petty thuggery and do some muggings?

Most of our existing justice system is based upon game theory. The idea is to dissuade criminals from doing their various crimes by causing them to balance the benefits of a successful heist against the penalties when they are caught. A simple example would be that bank robberies are very easy and generally net a fair amount of cash; and if done properly should be fairly low risk. So the idea is that you make the penalties huge with the hope that regular bank robbers will eventually slip up and then face a monster penalty. So even the average sociopath will think twice before saying, "stick'em up". But if you can reduce that risk to something resembling zero then your average intelligent sociopath should be out there causing all kinds of criminal mayhem.

I am willing to bet that before 2020 that we will see some very interesting crimes committed by drones, I am not talking crime of the century (although that is possible) but something where the drone was put to a very innovative use.

While what I am suggesting will be fun to read about; I am much more scared of the terroristic possibilities; again right now the only people who do the game theory on terrorism and think that the benefits outweigh the risks are either very stupid or very fanatical; these are circumstances that have generally kept terrorism as a fairly infrequent event. But again if you are changing the math so that being caught is no longer a near certainty then drone terrorism may very well become attractive to a slightly greater number of fruitcakes. I don't think there will be a tsunami of attacks but I am willing to bet that you will see a multiple of 2 or 3 times the number of serious attacks in normally stable countries.

But the sad part is that for the most part this type of technology will probably catch the public imagination and there will be all kinds of restrictions put on drone technology. The reality is that it will simply be another tool used by criminals and terrorists as the shoes they wear or the cellphones they call with.

Re: If that the only crime a drone commits then go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46452891)

What's to stop a terrorist from loading some C4 and rare earth magnets on one of these and attaching it to a plane while it's taxiing at a busy airport?

Re: If that the only crime a drone commits then go (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46452935)

What's to stop a terrorist from doing anything miserable to their fellow man? Did you ever actually believe the TSA dog & pony show was accomplishing anything? If you want to behave like a cunt, there's nothing stopping you from leaving this planet in infamy. Even that little retarded kid Adam Lanza was able to leave a path of devastation on his way out the door.

I think it's a good thing too. I don't want to live in a world that has been so effectively locked down that nobody can do anything dangerous. That level of pre-crime bullshit sounds absolutely miserable, and the police industrial complex required to achieve it would bankrupt the country. If people can't get away with murder/criminal homicide, there's nothing standing in the way of tyranny.

Re: If that the only crime a drone commits then go (3, Informative)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 5 months ago | (#46453583)

Terrorists are dumb. That is the only thing saving humanity. Even people with half of an working brain can come up with ideas for tremendous destruction. But people smart enough to think them up are smart enough not to be conned into being a terrorist.

I am self censoring myself from giving you some trivial examples of how great harm can be done without undue risk to oneself, not because I am afraid terrorists will read slashdot and carry out these diabolical deeds. But because NSA might be reading it. :-)

Re: If that the only crime a drone commits then go (1)

DarkOx (621550) | about 5 months ago | (#46454325)

Right,

The "terrorists" we all have to be so afraid of think setting off some small firecrackers in the car with a propane cylinder is going to destroy Time Square.

The fact is only really deranged individuals want to be mass murderers. Most of time such a serious mental condition does not correlate with the mental facilities needed to acquire the education (sit attentively thru HS Chemistry) and create an effective plot.

Once in a while you get a Collide Shake Mohammad (sp?) but most of the time you get a propane cylinder and hand full blackcats.

Re: If that the only crime a drone commits then go (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 5 months ago | (#46453611)

What's to stop a terrorist from loading some C4 and rare earth magnets on one of these and attaching it to a plane while it's taxiing at a busy airport?

Simple - planes aren't magnetic.

You'll have more success if you make the drone hover in the takeoff area and wait for it to be sucked into an engine.

Re: If that the only crime a drone commits then go (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 5 months ago | (#46454209)

Our just put some fast acting adhesive on the bomb and drop it on top. But there are far easier and far less noticeable ways of doing the same thing.

Re: If that the only crime a drone commits then go (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 5 months ago | (#46453617)

Aluminum bodies.

Re: If that the only crime a drone commits then go (2)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 5 months ago | (#46454721)

What's to stop a terrorist from loading some C4 and rare earth magnets on one of these and attaching it to a plane while it's taxiing at a busy airport?

Level of effort.

Much easier to just detonate bombs at Grand Central Station at 5pm on Friday.

For that all you need is some IEDs and cell phones and America would immediately borrow 11 billion dollars from China to install checkpoints at the entrances to all commuter stations.

Re:If that the only crime a drone commits then goo (5, Insightful)

Nemosoft Unv. (16776) | about 5 months ago | (#46453181)

While what I am suggesting will be fun to read about; I am much more scared of the terroristic possibilities; [...]

Congratulations, you have been properly brainwashed. Any type of technology can be used for both 'good' and 'bad'. A spear can be used to kill a wolf that attacks you, a mammoth for food and clothing, or your rival in the clan. Gunpowder can be used to build roads, conquer a fortress or send a bullet flying at the speed of sound. An airplane can be used to travel quickly to your vacation spot, bring relief goods to a disaster area or yes, crash into a building. Drones can be used to monitor nature parks, deliver packages or point a laser at a target for a bomb to strike.

So there is no point in being scared; if people want to hurt you, they can. That's just part of living. However, I do agree that newer technologies are more insidious: with a spear you have to stand face to face with your opponent, but with a drone you can kill someone from a long distance without seeing him.

And all this talk about terrorist-this, terrorist-that only got you into a mindset of fear, and that is exactly what a terrorist wants (and if you believe some, your government as well). It doesn't really help too that every little incident is blown out of proportion, even if it happened at the other side of the planet. Fear can be a very powerful weapon, one without buttons or triggers or even blood flowing; but it can also be defused easily. So it is time to overcome your fear and come out of your cave. Be careful, but not frightful.

Re:If that the only crime a drone commits then goo (2)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 5 months ago | (#46455073)

Actual my fear is that some bozo will do this every now and then causing a lockdown on any relevant robotic technologies. So actually my fear is that TSA types will declare servos a forbidden technology or some other such stupidity. So that saying "the only thing you have to fear is fear itself." is perfect. I fear a bureaucracy fueled by fear.

Look at Britain, they have this "knife culture" fear driven by the press and then run with by politicians. This makes my Swiss army knife a serious problem there. Also their police are legally less constrained when it comes to stop and frisks so I suspect that many person has fallen seriously afoul of the law for being a gadget nerd.

I am willing to bet that before 2020 that we will (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46453241)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2654580/

Re:If that the only crime a drone commits then goo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46453517)

... drone terrorism may very well become attractive ...

Well the obvious act has already been done; assassination but using a missile not a revolver. Flying takes a lot of fuel so carrying the weapons to commit mass murder is not possible with the current batch of personal drones.

Re:If that the only crime a drone commits then goo (2)

Joce640k (829181) | about 5 months ago | (#46453665)

While what I am suggesting will be fun to read about; I am much more scared of the terroristic possibilities;

I see the government propaganda is working.

Question: What exactly is stopping "terrorists" from running riot all over the country right now?

Lack of drones? Nope.

The TSA? Nope.

Heavily armed response teams all over the place? Nope.

The only logical answer to the question is that there aren't any terrorists.

Re:If that the only crime a drone commits then goo (3, Interesting)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 5 months ago | (#46455085)

Exactly, my fear is an overreaction when one finally does.

bad example (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46453701)

A simple example would be that bank robberies are very easy and generally net a fair amount of cash; and if done properly should be fairly low risk. So the idea is that you make the penalties huge with the hope that regular bank robbers will eventually slip up and then face a monster penalty. So even the average sociopath will think twice before saying, "stick'em up". But if you can reduce that risk to something resembling zero then your average intelligent sociopath should be out there causing all kinds of criminal mayhem.

Do you see the penalties for committing such a crime, depending on if they showed a weapon [a real gun,a toy, or used the old hand in there coat pocket trick] they usually get a 1 to 2 years in prison. And after there sentence has been served and they go out an commit the same crime again it is usually the same time maybe 3-4 years.

You have to ask yourself at some point is it worth putting people in prisons when they commit non-violent petty crimes, it makes sense if they injure or killed someone. But locking up everyone would continue to stretch out tax payers money, you have law enforcement, the courts, and prisons, which are not paying for themselves.

This is what makes me laugh with the right wingers, eliminate idiot petty things, like prison time for drug offenses, as well as numerous other laws, and you will save tax payers millions, the sad part is, if they did that, politicians wouldn't do anything to reduce taxes they would just redirect the money to other dumb shit.

Really nothing you can do about it, and if you have the belief that it could be used for terrorism, terrorists have long known about drones, the feds, and uncle sam, put regulations on hobbyist planes, copters, and model rockets, with there BS "terrorist weapons list". And now they are more then likely in the process of requiring licensing/or filling out some form with ID, for you to buy fireworks.

I will say your point is more then likely why the FAA isn't allowing just anyone and everyone to buy drones.

Re:If that the only crime a drone commits then goo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46453841)

A simple example would be that bank robberies are very easy and generally net a fair amount of cash; and if done properly should be fairly low risk.

Low risk? "Bank robbery has among the highest arrest rate of any crime in the country", maybe because the cops put a little more effort into catching the average bank robber than they do the average burglar, and because the banks have a little more in the way of security measures than the average home?

Re:If that the only crime a drone commits then goo (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 5 months ago | (#46455113)

When a good bank robber gets going they will often rob dozens of banks. But yes there are mostly asshats doing it who thought that with no planning they could get away with it.

Re:If that the only crime a drone commits then goo (1)

jittles (1613415) | about 5 months ago | (#46454431)

I don't think there will be a tsunami of attacks but I am willing to bet that you will see a multiple of 2 or 3 times the number of serious attacks in normally stable countries.

Last I checked 2 or 3 times 0 is still 0. So for 2013 you might get 3 terrorist attacks on US soil. And for all years from 2002-2012? You get... 0. Well 0 successful attacks anyway. Perhaps there were plots foiled in those years.

Re:If that the only crime a drone commits then goo (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 5 months ago | (#46455137)

I am thinking worldwide. There are all kinds of stupid attacks in places that are members of the G20 as opposed to the G8. Basically think of where there are two groups that have a serious beef with each other but not a civil war, so China, Egypt, parts of India, Pakistan, and even vaguely stable places like Iraq.

The idea is that you know that in Syria they will use every tool at their disposal so no surprises there. But if it were to happen in Egypt then people would take some notice.

Re:If that the only crime a drone commits then goo (1)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about 5 months ago | (#46455011)

"and why not go whole hog and even go petty thuggery and do some muggings?"

I laughed at the image I had in my head of a cartoon quad copter drone sporting a newsboy cap flying up to someone and a small robot arm extends out of the bottom revealing a larger-than-the-drone-club which is used to knock the victim unconscious.

Re:If that the only crime a drone commits then goo (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 5 months ago | (#46455153)

A mechanically extending boxing glove!

My realistic guess for petty crimes will be something where you swoop in and steal things that are small and valuable. Sort of drone pick pocketing.

Prison break? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 5 months ago | (#46452791)

How long until drones are used to fly a prisoner out of prison?

http://www.techspot.com/news/5... [techspot.com]

Re:Prison break? (1)

freeze128 (544774) | about 5 months ago | (#46452815)

Sure, the prisoner will escape, but by the time the drone lands, he will be dead.

Dear inmates,
If the best thing that you can think of doing with a drone is getting drugs, then you're doing it wrong. Drugs won't get you out of prison. Next time, have the drone bring you a lockpick set and a couple of smoke grenades.

Re:Prison break? (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 5 months ago | (#46454235)

Because prisons aren't just locked at the cell doors. And the cell doors ... they don't use keys anymore, they're electronically controlled from a guard room. Then they have several more STAFFED checkpoints with locked doors to get through, several processing areas designed to ensure that some prisoner with a lock pick and some smoke bombs and even a gun, can't get through it.

You won't break out of prison with a lock pick and some smoke grenades, real prisons aren't a TV show.

Prisons are designed to keep people in, not keep other stuff out (as much).

Then ... then you spend the rest of your life running from some people who are pissed off because you made them look bad. Have you ever had a chihauhua chew you to death? Thats the comparison to someone running from prison, it naws at you. Fear, for the rest of your life, or until you get caught and go back ... for longer time.

Or you can stay in prison and have potentially a better life than you had outside of prison, and drugs are easy to get in ...

ordered a package? (5, Funny)

invictusvoyd (3546069) | about 5 months ago | (#46452795)

Maybe someone in the jailhouse ordererd a package from amazon ?

Re:ordered a package? (2)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about 5 months ago | (#46453391)

No this was from "Silk Road." It just took a while to find the bitcoin in the virtual sofa. Damn that Simms game has gotten laggy.

No computer access/internet in jail (1)

Dareth (47614) | about 5 months ago | (#46453887)

No computer access/internet in jail. If you could play WOW all day/night in jail, it would be full to capacity.

only a kilometer? (2)

schlachter (862210) | about 5 months ago | (#46454775)

Why do they assume the people are within a kilometer? Drop a cell connection into the drone and you've got worldwide control.

Your typical drone will probably give you a 2-5 mile range bc of battery life.

LOS (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 5 months ago | (#46452811)

Eh kinda hard to get line of sight to a drone through a forest. Maybe they should be looking for the guy clingling grimly to the tops of the trees?

Re:LOS (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 5 months ago | (#46452871)

Who needs line of sight?

Re:LOS (5, Interesting)

Rich0 (548339) | about 5 months ago | (#46453093)

Eh kinda hard to get line of sight to a drone through a forest. Maybe they should be looking for the guy clingling grimly to the tops of the trees?

The only people who think that you need line of sight to operate a drone are busy working for the FAA.

You don't really even need to be anywhere nearby to operate the things - just program it to wake up at 3AM and fly a GPS route long after you've placed it at the launch point. If the value of the delivery is high enough you won't even have to go recover it. Or you could wait at the recovery point which need not be anywhere near where it launched from.

Re:LOS (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 5 months ago | (#46453287)

That makes sense alright. You'd make an excellent criminal Rich0. :p

driverless cars , too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46452821)

driverless cars, no more suicide car bombers.

OMG, another season of Trailer Park Boys? (3, Informative)

Dr. Spork (142693) | about 5 months ago | (#46452827)

They already sold a trailer of weed to Canadian prison guards and smuggled weed into the US using a "drone" model train. This is exactly the sort of thing they would do! Bubbles buys a quadrocopter to play with, Julian figures out how to use it for selling drugs, Ricky crashes it, Trevor and Corey take the blame.

Drones Allegedly Used to Smuggle Drugs: Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46452855)

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-10/police-have-charged-a-man-after-a-drone-was-found-over-a-melbou/5309798

Really not mentioned yet? (2)

s.t.a.l.k.e.r._loner (2591761) | about 5 months ago | (#46452865)

I for one welcome our new drug-smuggling robot overlords.

A solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46452873)

What's wrong with netting the prisons open grounds? It's fairly inexpensive and will do a pretty good job..

Re:A solution (2)

Rick in China (2934527) | about 5 months ago | (#46452945)

Someone would use a drone to start a net-fire that would proceed to rain down on inmates like hellfire during yard time.

Re:A solution (1, Funny)

kevingolding2001 (590321) | about 5 months ago | (#46453013)

Which would be a bad thing because .... Sorry I'm missing the next part of this.

Re:A solution (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | about 5 months ago | (#46453553)

There are over six million people in US prisons, only a small minority of which are in there for violent crimes. You're 8.5x more likely to go to prison for a non-violent drug offense such as possessing a trivial amount of drugs or even living in the same home as a drug dealer and being charged as an accessory. Your are 6x more likely to be in prison for a public order or "victimless" crime such as prostitution than a violent crime. You are 2.5x more likely to be in prison for a "weapons violation" in which nobody was hurt than you are for a violent crime.

So why is it OK to be happy about the prospect of people in prison being killed in a fire?

One solution to many of the technical, administrative and financial problems of running prisons would be to imprison fewer people. Canada imprisons less than 1/6 the fraction of its population than the US, and it's not a crime-ridden hell hole; Germany 1/9th and Denmark 1/10th the US incarceration rate. We could half our prison spending and spend the money on education (or give people a tax break if you prefer), and still have one of the highest incarceration rates in the world.

Why do we have so many people in prisons? Well, putting people behind bars is good for a prosecutor's career, especially if he has political ambitions. Also in states with privatized prisons the taxpayers are financially penalized for having occupancy rates less than 95 or even 100%. Think about that. Your prisons are overcrowded, so you hire a politically contractor and build a virtual guarantee into the contract that prisons will remain overcrowded.

Anyhow, a coarse net wouldn't rain fire down on prisoners. Stretch a piece nylon (very flammable) rope and try to ignite it by throwing burning stuff onto it. Even if it does catch it will only smolder. So net would be cheap and practical, which is precisely why it would never be used in the US: not enough profits to prison operators.

in usa some use it as the last resort health care (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 5 months ago | (#46453653)

As they are the health care provider that covers stuff that the ER does not.

The AOL Conundrum (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 5 months ago | (#46453679)

Anyhow, a coarse net wouldn't rain fire down on prisoners. Stretch a piece nylon (very flammable) rope and try to ignite it by throwing burning stuff onto it. Even if it does catch it will only smolder. So net would be cheap and practical, which is precisely why it would never be used in the US: not enough profits to prison operators.

Not enough profit from the net.

Re:A solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46453697)

I think they would be bringing it upon themselves to begin with. But even so, I don't think the OP was talking about killing inmates in fire, just that it might burn a few and teach a lesson.

Re:A solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46453659)

Which would be a bad thing because ....
Sorry I'm missing the next part of this.

LOL :D

Re:A solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46453161)

I'm sure there's plenty of prisons that already do this, to prevent the "mortar bomb" style delivery of contraband. Seems an eminently sensible solution here.

Monitor the Airwaves (1)

X!0mbarg (470366) | about 5 months ago | (#46452925)

Bluetooth is short range, and R/C uses audible signals on CB channel 14 or so.

Just monitor the CB band for activity that seems weird, and broadcast something that can knock them down. Whistling into a mic often works. An R/C hobby enthusiast could easily override such a signal, and take control with a much stronger local unit. Any decent computer tech should be able to snoop out a Bluetooth signal, if that's what they're using.

Triangulate on the broadcast before the takeover, and you have a place to look for the perps, while having taken down the drone for analysis and follow-up.

Two birds with one stone, there.

Re:Monitor the Airwaves (3, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | about 5 months ago | (#46452959)

Then you just switch to internal navigation and let the drone go fully autonomous. A smuggler could launch the drone anywhere within the drone's flight range, from a moving vehicle, whatever.

This is a race that the guards aren't going to win. Of course, it's not like anyone's ever been able to stop contraband getting into a prison anyway.

-jcr

Re:Monitor the Airwaves (1)

kevingolding2001 (590321) | about 5 months ago | (#46453023)

This is a race that the guards aren't going to win. Of course, it's not like anyone's ever been able to stop contraband getting into a prison anyway.

Weld them into a cage, inside a huge warehouse. No visitors.

This is a trivially solvable problem, you just need to have the will to actually solve it (note: I'm opposed to the death penalty just in case new evidence comes to light).

Give the guards guns. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46453073)

You don't even have to shoot the drone down, just shoot any prisoner who gets anywhere near the drone.

Or even simpler, erect a net over the prison yard.

Really, the defences against this are beyond trivial.

Re:Give the guards guns. (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 5 months ago | (#46453673)

Some but all (you don't want the prisoners to over power the guards and get the guns) have them mainly the ones in the towers or the ones on horse back at Angola who work the farm.

Re:Give the guards guns. (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 5 months ago | (#46454359)

What prison have you been in (not on TV) where the guards carry guns?

Whats that? None of them? Because they don't want the prisoners to have the ability to steal a gun? Oh, duh.

I love how slashdot gives all these silly willy nilly ideas ... and take for granted some shit you saw on NCIS that in no way actually reflects reality.

Re:Monitor the Airwaves (4, Insightful)

nm03101 (1484827) | about 5 months ago | (#46453007)

Who needs to communicate with a drone once on its way? GPS waypoints - make sure it gets off the ground and go on your merry way. Let it land next to a school for some kid to experiment with later (or enjoy the show as it get chased down). $750 if you don't want to do DIY: http://3drobotics.com/2013/08/... [3drobotics.com]

Re:Monitor the Airwaves (3, Informative)

Goaway (82658) | about 5 months ago | (#46453539)

Bluetooth is short range, and R/C uses audible signals on CB channel 14 or so.

Generally, these days RC uses the same 2.4 GHz band as Bluetooth, but not at Bluetooth energy levels or protocols. They tend to have a range of up to a few kilometers. Can probably easily be extended if needed.

But as others pointed out, these things are often quite autonomous and don't need a control signal anyway.

Re:Monitor the Airwaves (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 5 months ago | (#46454351)

Bluetooth is short range, and R/C uses audible signals on CB channel 14 or so.

CB uses the public 27mhz band, only the cheapest of shittiest of RC toys use 27 mhz. Technically its not even legal to use 27mhz for aircraft over a tiny ass size and at a wattage so low that its not leaving your back yard. The 27 mhz band is shared by all sorts of shit from cheap kids walkie-talkies, to cheap remotes for things. You don't use 27 mhz in an aircraft if you want to keep it in the air.

REAL RC aircraft USED to use 72mhz, a band dedicated to ONLY RC aircraft flight. Now days, everyone has switched to DSSS or FSS on 2.4ghz ... thats right, wifi frequencies, not 27mhz.

Just monitor the CB band for activity that seems weird, and broadcast something that can knock them down. Whistling into a mic often works. An R/C hobby enthusiast could easily override such a signal, and take control with a much stronger local unit. Any decent computer tech should be able to snoop out a Bluetooth signal, if that's what they're using.

Triangulate on the broadcast before the takeover, and you have a place to look for the perps, while having taken down the drone for analysis and follow-up.

Two birds with one stone, there.

Monitor the CB band all day, you aren't going to here shit happening outside your line of sight that isn't someone else on a CB.

Whistling in the mic NEVER 'worked', you're a liar. You utterly and completely fail to understand how the protocols involved in this stuff works. If whistling 'worked', just holding the transmit button down would have worked just the same. The encoding used by RC toys does not sound like a whistle, its a 50hz 1-2ms pulse width modulated signal. You can't hear it. Ever. Okay, maybe you can hear 50hz, but most people just get nausea from it before its loud enough that their ears can pick up sounds below what most people can actually hear.

Bluetooth is for about 100 feet at most, thats LONG RANGE bluetooth ... why would you use a short range radio system for anything you want long distance at? Do you even know what bluetooth is for?

Triangulate on the broadcast before the takeover, and you have a place to look for the perps, while having taken down the drone for analysis and follow-up.

Two birds with one stone, there.

I see the problem. Stop watching CSI and NCIS, the real world isn't anything like what you see on TV. You have no idea how long this sort of thing takes in the real world. McGee isn't doing it in the 8 seconds between people shooting at him, sorry.

Fantasy TV != reality.

Re:Monitor the Airwaves (2)

Ranbot (2648297) | about 5 months ago | (#46454465)

As technologically exciting as triangulating broadcasts may be, prisons could go the more mundane route and just install more cameras. They might not be able to get the person on the outside controlling the drone, but if they see the delivery, see who picks it up, and get them right away that seems almost as good and relatively low cost.

Block the signal (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 5 months ago | (#46452985)

Set up a few antennas that add some noise on the controlling frequencies, problem solved.

Re:Block the signal (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 5 months ago | (#46453099)

Set up a few antennas that add some noise on the controlling frequencies, problem solved.

Drones don't actually need to be controlled. For a delivery job a pre-programmed route would work just fine.

Re:Block the signal (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 5 months ago | (#46453121)

Add a GPS and pre-programmed way-points, problem unsolved.

Re:Block the signal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46453967)

GPS signal is also jammable...

Re:Block the signal (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 5 months ago | (#46454377)

Not on a scale thats large enough to matter without running a foul of the USG and its related subordinates.

Its illegal as all fuck to jam GPS for many public safety reasons, and jamming doesn't stay contained to the tiny area above the prison.

Likewise, my drone will simply use inertial navigation data if the GPS goes out until it can recover a GPS signal. After an extended period if it doesn't have GPS its set to land, for safety, but it does fine on its own with a simulated failure for several hundred feet, can't imagine it would have problem hitting a prison yard even if they jammed GPS.

Device combining radar and auditory recognition (2)

sonamchauhan (587356) | about 5 months ago | (#46453197)

A drone-finding unit that combined radar (to detect small airborne objects), with auditory recognition of drone-propeller noise signatures (using microphones distributed over the prison boundary) would be cheap and perform quite well.

The auditory component prevent false positives caused by birds, flying debris, etc.Radar could help detect helium balloon drones, or even the 'ballistic' lobbing of contraband over prison boundaries (either manually, or using catapults). The only thing it'd miss is carrier-pigeons or a new generation of flapping-wing drones in development. However, pigeons are unlikely to land in prison yards. That is, unless a creative prisoner raised pigeons in the prison. Of course, he'd have to arrange to have the pigeons smuggled out or somehow trapped outside so contraband could be 'attached' to them (perhaps by tracking them by radio transmitter foot-band previously smuggled into prison).

The alternative is steel-mesh netting.

Or conscientious prison guards.

Re:Device combining radar and auditory recognition (2)

BitZtream (692029) | about 5 months ago | (#46454393)

My glider is silent when the motor isn't running and I have absolutely no reason to land if I'm just dropping off a package.

Its called 'dropping' off for a reason.

Considering my glide slope is something like 150 horizontal to 1 vertical, I can travel a LONG ways silent with just a little altitude extra.

drugs? (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 5 months ago | (#46453353)

fly a gun inside

Re:drugs? (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 5 months ago | (#46454415)

And do what? Shoot maybe 10 people ... and still be in prison?

Its not like the gun is going to actually get them through the 20 or so doors that are locked from the outside using electronic locks controlled by men who have been trained not to open the doors in a hostage situation?

This isn't NCIS or CSI, all these silly cute little ideas you have and post on slashdot ... they fought off and fixed thousands of years ago, slight variations in new technology aren't going to radically change it all.

You aren't coming up with anything new.

Better than your asshole. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46453461)

Nice now you'll be able to get drugs in prison that doesn't smell like shit, actually they don't, trust me, I know. He should have gone for some weapons the aftermath of politicians losing their minds "for the children" would have been very entertaining.

What if they sold drugs to inmates? (4, Interesting)

swb (14022) | about 5 months ago | (#46453501)

I wonder what prisons would be like if they actually went ahead and sold drugs to inmates?

They'd badly damage the smuggling trade which is what drives much prison gang behavior. Buying drugs would provide a behavior incentive for inmates since they'd have to do their prison job to earn commissary money to pay for them as well as display good behavior to get them.

You could hand out only pills and control doses to make them too small to split or easily overdose as well as requiring they be taken at the point of distribution. Inmates buying them would be drug tested to make sure they took them, anyone failing the test (and thus presumably selling them) would lose buying privileges.

Besides the reward component, perhaps prisoners would be less violent if they were getting high.

Most of the anti-drug messages for broader society wouldn't apply, ie, no children, no driving.

I'm surprised that drugging inmates period hasn't ever been tried, even in countries where there are no rules they seem to prefer much more difficult violence and intimidation.

Re:What if they sold drugs to inmates? (3, Funny)

Hypotensive (2836435) | about 5 months ago | (#46453721)

Why pay for the drugs with money? You could pay for them with additional jail time ;)

Re:What if they sold drugs to inmates? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46454349)

Since rebhabilitation doesn't work, prisoners should simply be drugged into submission and stored. They should not be able to form associations which facilitate their control of prison facilities. Reduce their calorie intake so they cannot resist. Break them, break them, break them.

Prisoners are the enemy. We have the technology to break people utterly, and to kill those who resist if they are inconvenenient. Prisons should be so terrifying that their threat compels submission to law.

Re:What if they sold drugs to inmates? (1)

ThatsDrDangerToYou (3480047) | about 5 months ago | (#46454533)

Since rebhabilitation doesn't work, prisoners should simply be drugged into submission and stored. They should not be able to form associations which facilitate their control of prison facilities. Reduce their calorie intake so they cannot resist. Break them, break them, break them.

Prisoners are the enemy. We have the technology to break people utterly, and to kill those who resist if they are inconvenenient. Prisons should be so terrifying that their threat compels submission to law.

You must be really fun at parties...

What ever happened .... (4, Insightful)

DaMattster (977781) | about 5 months ago | (#46453639)

to the concept of the remote controlled plane or helicopter? Now, the marketers have got their dirty mitts on it and have to call in a drone! It's not a drone, it's simply a fucking remote controlled aircraft. I love hearing the kids ask for drones for a birthday present or whatever. This entire thing is not a NEW concept yet everyone is drooling and oooh aaaahing it like it's white shit hot. I hate to break it to you but this shit has been around for a very long time. In fact, many ham radio operators got their license so that they could fly model aircraft higher and at longer distances. I should know, I'm one of them.

Re:What ever happened .... (2)

BitZtream (692029) | about 5 months ago | (#46454467)

Drones are autonomous.

RC planes/helis/quadcopters are not drones unless they have autonomous flight systems on them.

I have 2 electric RC helis, 3 RC aircraft, and 2 quadcopters. All of them are R/C aircraft until I flip the switch on the transmitter that puts them in auto mode and they go off and do their preprogrammed course.

One aircraft can be both, and almost certainly are.

They could enclose the yard (1)

morgauxo (974071) | about 5 months ago | (#46453959)

They could enclose the yard. I'm imagining chain link fencing ran horizontally between the top of the existing fence and the roof of the building.

Drones used to smuggle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46454093)

I guess it's good that they're no longer doing it. In other news, headlines used to avoid phraseology that allowed for multiple interpretations except when making a joke.

vice.com links (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46454313)

Juhezuz-H-christ! Could the admins NOT post front page links to vice.com without any warning whatsoever?
I clicked that little bastard at work, and the net-nanny detected it as "Adult Pornography". Guess who's probably gonna get a visit from a manager today? THIS GUY.
dammit.

Re:vice.com links (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46454955)

Well, you're an AC so nobody will know who you are.....

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