Occupy Wall Street activist and journalist Tim Pool is attempting to police-proof a Parrot AR drone that has been renamed the “OccuCopter.”
The commercially available drone is equipped with an onboard camera, allowing users to easily control and stream footage directly to an iPhone.
Pool has already modded the software to stream live video over the ‘Net so OccupyWallStreet supporters can watch demonstrations without having to worry about law enforcement officials arbitrarily arresting citizen or professional journalists.
“[Essentially, this] comes back to giving ordinary people the same tools that these multimillion-dollar news corporations have. It provides a clever loophole around certain restrictions such as when the police block press from taking shots of an incident,” Pool told The Guardian.
“We are trying to get a stable live feed so you can have 50 people controlling it in series. If the cops see you controlling it from a computer they can shut you down, but then control could automatically switch to someone else.”
According to Pool, police are unlikely to shoot down the drone. However, it seems logical to assume law enforcement officials will quickly develop the capability to hack and seize control of such devices while in mid-air.
“They can’t just fire a weapon in the air because it could seriously hurt someone. They would have no excuse because the OccuCopter is strictly not illegal.
“Their only recourse would be to make it illegal, but it is only a toy and so they might as well make the press illegal – they have already arrested 30 journalists here [in NYC],” added Pool.