Global Surveillance

Until today, I was completely unaware of the extent of the use of unmanned drones, both in war and in global surveillance. However, I did know that through Google Maps I could zero in on the front of my house… So I guess I did know.

Drones, specifically Global Hawk’s, are unmanned aerial vehicles that have the capabilities of gathering information on the actions of people from more than 450kms away. Their use in war is fairly self explanatory, however their presence elsewhere in the world remains unexplained.

“These things are kind of secret and invisible and no knows about them or talks about them, until recently, and yet we’ve mapped the entire globe and they are visible if you choose to go looking for them,” James Bridle

The drone shadow art of James Bridle draws the attention of society to the truth behind the indistinct feeling we have of being watched, and points to the fact that most of us have no knowledge of drones — what they look like, what they do… nothing.

The current Australian government is planning to spend $3billion dollars on drone spy crafts, with the “intention” of using these drones to patrol the boarders against asylum seeker boats… the interesting thing, though, is that the Global Hawk, the drone the government plans on purchasing, is:

“Designed for pin-point imagery or eavesdropping on land targets, by over flight, or by flying obliquely up to 450 kilometres off an enemy’s coastline” Matthew Aid, leading American intelligence analyst.

If the Australian Governments goal is to patrol the sea, why are they planning to spend $3b on drones that are designed for eavesdropping on land targets?

Despite having installed drone shadows in Istanbul and right next to the White House, Bridle was stopped (for the first time in his artistic career) from the installation of a shadow by the Australian Government… that shadow was to be of a Global Hawk.

I personally find it extremely confronting to learn this information. Why and how has the Australian government tried it’s best to hide this information from the public? Why are they really buying drones?

Will Australian’s become part of a Panopticon type lifestyle? Yes. Welcome to Nineteen Eighty Four people….

Image source: http://www.dezeen.com/2014/04/29/drone-shadows-graphics-james-bridle-designs-of-the-year-2014/

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