Accepted Paper:

Civil and military techno-security: On pre-emption, meta-data and drones  


Jutta Weber (University Paderborn)

Paper long abstract:

Contemporary network centric warfare relies on 'precision' weaponry, signal intelligence and uninhabited, modular, globally connected robot systems. This latest type of warfare seems to be driven by a desire for technological superiority, situational awareness and the monopoly of space and information. The most prominent technology - the icon of the 'system of systems' - is the combat drone or uninhabited aerial vehicle (UAVs). It provides a global precision strike capability which might allow for attacks with conventional unmanned weapons anywhere in the world within an hour - given the necessary numbers of drone bases.

Interestingly, most of the US-American drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen have been based on the (civil) National Security Agency's (NSA) signal intelligence to identify and track targets. While at the same time, drones are increasingly used for homeland and police security.

In my paper, I will discuss possible parallels in the epistemology, ontology and imaginary of military and civil techno security with a special focus on the politics of drones.

Panel I1
Understanding techno-security: On pre-emption, situational awareness and technological superiority