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France Cries Foul At World Cup "Spy Drone" 138

mpicpp (3454017) writes with news of amateur drones appearing at the World Cup, quoting Ars Technica: "France's World Cup soccer team has filed a complaint with FIFA, claiming that someone used a small unmanned aircraft to spy on the team's training camp near São Paulo, Brazil as players prepared for their match against Honduras Sunday, the BBC reports. The quadrocopter appears from video to be a Phantom II autonomous micro-drone with a video camera.

'Apparently, drones are being used more and more,' France's manager Didier Deschamps told the BBC. 'We don't want intrusion into our privacy. It's hard to fight.' Deschamps did not comment on who might be behind the surveillance but said in an interview with Football Italia that he believed the drone was operated by one of France's potential opponents or by a French news agency."
Police later captured the drone operator, who claimed just to be a fan bitten by a bit too much curiosity.
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France Cries Foul At World Cup "Spy Drone"

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  • by jargonburn ( 1950578 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @03:15AM (#47252347)
    I like my privacy.
    In many ways, I would like to say "shoot the damn thing!" but depending on local laws that could get ugly. This camp was private property and closed to the public, right?

    Still, there must be some way to deter such drones. Capture, and release after disabling the camera? If the drone gets damaged during the capture...well...C'est la vie!

    Of course, if it's not private property, my level of sympathy would decrease greatly.

  • Other consequences (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Thanshin ( 1188877 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @03:20AM (#47252361)

    They are still at $1000 but once these toys fall below a tenth of that price, some things will have to change.

    It will start with laws to regulate their possession and fines for illicit uses, but it will also promote a business of countermeasures.

    Nude beaches, celebrity mansions, "secret" open air activities or even high end hotels that want to guarantee some degree of privacy to their customers, will want a way to block their use.

    Whoever knows how to make an anti-drone device better patent it quickly and put it on Amazon for hundreds of bucks. Clients will soon come.

  • by CaptQuark ( 2706165 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @05:27AM (#47252669)
    I wish people would stop using the word "Drone" unless it is a truly autonomous vehicle. What this was is a Remote Controlled quadcopter operated by a fan that wanted to watch their practice session.

    Arial photography is used in many situations. A traffic helicopter, a blimp at sporting events, small planes, balloons, and even kites have been used to capture pictures and video from the air. (Kite photography circa 1889 [] )

    If the fan had been in a tall office building next to the practice field instead, would this have been news?

    I agree that the use of toy helicopters to carry cameras is a new concern for some people, but stop using the word "drone" just to sensationalize it.

  • by mrvan ( 973822 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @05:56AM (#47252721)

    This is an important part of the story. Public decency laws, and nude beaches as an official exception to them, are not there to protect the nude people, they're there to protect the prude from the nude.

    The sad truth is, however, that while being nude at a nude beach is OK, having a picture taken of you and distributed outside that context is not OK. For one thing, it violates my feeling of privacy more than a picture of me walking in the park (I guess there is still a remnant of prudishness there), but it can also damage my reputation and social standing among people who dislike nudity. Thus, it makes perfect sense to be stricter about taking and distributing pictures from nude beaches, just like there is a distinction between taking a picture of me in my front garden (maybe ok?), sunbathing in my back garden (less ok), watching television in my living room (bad) and having fun in the bedroom or bathroom (really bad).

    (Note also that most people don't go to nude beaches because they're exhibitionist: they go there because it is much nicer to sunbathe and swim without swimming gear. If you've never swum naked, you should really try it one day, it's a world of difference)

  • by Sique ( 173459 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @07:31AM (#47252905) Homepage
    There is still the common misconception that having windows in your bedroom allows the guy across the street to record and broadcasting everything happening inside. And there is still the common misconception that me publishing a picture of me allows you to publish all the pictures you have of me.

    This could be called the Facebook fallacy. "Some people publish intime details about themselves on Facebook, thus everyone is allowed to record and publish every intime detail about everyone in the world."

  • by stenvar ( 2789879 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @08:45AM (#47253195)

    This drone was in Brazil and I'm talking about the laws I know, which is Danish law - if you take a picture in Denmark, they can ask you to remove it and you must comply.

    Apparently, you don't know your own laws: []

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"