Nov 17, 2011

I Spy with My Little Eye

The criminal turned and ran from the coffee house. This was a dangerous move in the 22nd Century. He had just stolen a frappe mochaccino from a Bieber-bucks coffee and opium bar. He ran as fast as he could from the downtown shop hoping to get to the low-rent district before law enforcement hears about the incident. But he was too late. The moment the barista noticed the young man, she knew he was up to no good. She winked with both eyes into the ceiling-mounted security camera. This sent a message to the local security and the neighborhood police. The predator drones were waiting at the door to track the young man. He didn't have a chance. He was incarcerated at the local jail and given a 3000 Yuan fine and 200 hours of community service.

What will the future hold? It's fun to stop and think which technologies will make it and which won't. But I'll venture a guess that we have only seen the beginning of drone aircraft.

The General Atomics MQ-1 Predator Drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle operated by the Air Force and the CIA. At anywhere between $4 to $10 million dollars each, they aren't yet at a price point where they can be used by the local coffee shop. But since their first deployment in the 1990's the technology has jumped light years. And this week, a smaller version of this drone was purchased by the Montgomery County Sherriff's Office.

The drone makes perfect sense. If there is a criminal on the loose, send out the drone to find him. If there's a fire, send out a drone to inspect it. If there's a traffic accident, send out the drone to inspect it. And record it all on living Technicolor to be posted on Youtube for the world to see.

Except there are some people who are saying, "enough". Terri Burke, the Director of the Texas ACLU, told reporters that "we are giving up way too much privacy and letting the Government have way too much power".

I like drones, but I am sensitive to Ms. Burke's concerns. What would happen if we lived in a world where the Government watched our every move and punished us if we made one mistake? The truth is that Governments don't operate by Grace. They only know two things: Crime and Punishment.

But there is One who sees everything that you do. He is like a Predator Drone who sees every infraction, every lie, every stumble. But His predator Drone doesn't kill us. Because His One and Only Begotten Son turned off the drones and erased the recordings.


Pastor David Hook

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