The explosion of Drones during a military parade in Venezuela which was being addressed by the President Nicolas Maduro who recently won a closely contested election raises an alarm on the risks posed by Drones.
The “Quadcopters” as they are called with four rotors are capable of flying for over 20 minutes and operated from a mile away and cost less than $1000 online. Already militant groups of the ISIS have used such drones to drop mini bombs or crash into targetted structures. (refer here)
What the incident highlights is that a risk of this type can be expected to arise in India where there are terrorist groups supported by opposition political parties who are targeting to assassinate Mr Modi before the next Loksabha elections. For them these Drones are an easy tool.
We need to therefore flag this risk and take suitable corrective actions. The ball is in the court of technology experts and Information Security Experts in particular.
To start with, possession and flying of Drones must be subject to strict licensing process as stringent or more on Gun licensing.
Permissions must be restricted to the use of specific frequency of communication which could be monitored and blocked if required so that “Licensed drones are not used for attacks”.
This still leaves the “Unlicensed Drones” as a risk which need to be jammed and shot down like an alien aircraft if seen intruding into security zones. Perhaps we need to declare a radius of a mile around a suspected target as a “Risk Zone” and shoot down drones if they are seen flying around. Any operation of Drones for security purpose or for permitted surveillance or photography has to be strictly under a licensed bandwidth of communication and watched with hawk eyes.
The security of the Super VIPs like Mr Modi (not to be extended to all Tom Dick and Harry VIPs) should include sharp shooters watching the skies who could bring down the drones beyond say 100 metres from the VIP.
Probably this will mitigate the risk but does not eliminate attacks where chemical weapons may be used.
This means that Modi security should include availability of an oxygen mask which may be immediately deployed in case a drone explodes or shot down in the vicinity.
Will the Government of India take note and initiate necessary action?