Remote Warfare Roundup 001

The Remote Warfare roundup is a weekly digest of news, op-eds, podcasts and other media relevant to remote warfare. 

NOS Journalists win Tegel Prize for Hawija Investigation

Dutch journalists Kees Versteegh (NRC), Jannie Schipper (NRC), Ben Meindertsma (NOS), and Lex Runderkamp (NOS) won the prestigious Tegel prize for their work informing the public and parliament about the Dutch airstrike in Hawija, Iraq that killed at least 70 civilians.

Domestic Predator Drones 

Project Ploughshares reports that U.S. Customs and Border Protection have been flying a Predator Drone over Minneapolis for surveilling protests. Although this drone is not armed, some question where this “encroachment of military technology into civilian spaces” will end.

Amazon and IBM Abandon Facial Recognition Technology

Following concerns over privacy and civil liberties, both Amazon and IBM announced this week that they would no longer provide facial recognition technology to law enforcement agencies. This move is the latest in a series of high-profile PR disasters involving tech companies and the US Government. Notable examples include the cases of Google’s work on Project Maven and Microsoft’s provision of Hololens headsets to the US Army.

UK Drones Flying Out of Area

A Freedom of Information Request from the Guardian has revealed that the UK is flying its fleet of Reaper drones outside of operations in Iraq and Syria. The Ministry of Defence has refused to reveal the nature and location of these sorties, prompting Chris Cole of Drone Wars UK to call for Parliamentary Approval for all drone deployments.

Artificial Intelligence and International Security 

The Texas National Security Review published a Policy Roundtable on AI and international security this week. A selection of essays from Missy Cummings, Erik Lin-Greenberg, Paul Scharre and Rebecca Slayton cover topics such as the militarisation of AI and global competition over this emerging technology.

Transatlantic Drone Cooperation

A new report from Drone Wars UK published this week titled Joint Enterprise investigates how the (UK) Royal Air Force and United States Air Force cooperate on armed drone operations. It includes a timeline of cooperation, several case studies of coalition interventions involving the two, and a detailed look at the technical infrastructure enabling it.

Civilian Harm in America’s Longest War

Rolling Stone have published a longform piece on civilian casualties in Afghanistan, where the US dropped more bombs in the last year than it has in any year in the preceding decade.