Drones Are … Complicated

Ideas of the Year 2013
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Ross D. Franklin/AP

Pro

  • They kill terrorists.
  • They save American soldiers’ lives.
  • Scientists love them.
  • They’ve delivered 3 million pounds of supplies to troops in Afghanistan.
  • They could replace the Postal Service in rural areas.
  • They could transform search-and-rescue operations.
  • They can track extreme weather events.
  • You can buy one for $300!

CON

  • They inspire terrorists.
  • They’ve reportedly killed anywhere from 260 to 900 civilians.
  • Stalkers love them.
  • A San Francisco research lab is attempting to use them to deliver burritos.
  • Delivering burritos by drone is currently illegal.
  • They may be the end of privacy.
  • They enable executive overreach.
  • You can buy one for $300!
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Nicole Allan is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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