WWF drones raise serious questions for international security

We are currently bearing witness to great changes in international security. Gone are the days of state monopoly over internal and external security agencies. State policing and military agencies are now serving alongside a variety of global, regional, and subnational security providers.

The latest to join this mix of non-state actors is the World Wildlife Federation (WWF), who just announced a new Google-backed anti-poaching campaign complete with drone surveillance. But, is this really a good idea?

In most situations, it would be quite inappropriate to consider WWF and Blackwater alongside one another for the purpose of serious inquiry. However, in this case, it is not a stretch to say that both the WWF drone surveillance program me and Blackwater security operations in Iraq represent real-world examples of the erosion of internal and external state security.

To be clear, this is not to argue moral equivalency between the two programmes. From a normative perspective, one can certainly differentiate between WWF, Anonymous, Green Peace, Executive Outcomes, Volunteer in Policing, Arbakai, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Neighbourhood Watch, and Blackwater.

But, from a theoretical perspective, all have challenged the state dominated status quo that has remained largely unchallenged since arguably the nineteenth century (at least in the West).

For this reason, we must reject the emotional appeal of any one cause. Instead, we must rationally consider the serious political, legal, and moral questions posed by programmes such as WWF drone surveillance before endorsing such activities.

 

To read more, go to http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/12/2012129145310214614.html


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