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The Rise of Dragonfly Surveillance

In 2007, people reported dragonfly-like machines hovering in the air near protests in Washington DC and New York City. In the same year, the U.S. government reported success creating living moth cyborgs fully steerable with brain implants.

In 2008, the University of Delft publicized its bird-sized reconnaissance craft.

In 2011, a U.S. military team at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio is publicizing its success using computers to control bug-sized and bird-sized surveillance aircraft. The goal: to create surveillance robots that look and act like living things so that people don’t know they’re being watched. According to the New York Times, they can even perch on windowsills. The goal isn’t just limited observation of a single location or small set of subjects. It’s also, in the words of reporter Elisabeth Bumiller, “new “Gorgon Stare” technology that can capture live video of an entire city.”

It’s enough to make a person itchy.

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