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Dublin: 10°C Thursday 28 January 2021

Drone group held under terrorist act at London airport after Dublin show

Meanwhile the Irish Aviation Authority has said that it is investigating the use of unmanned drones for filming in the city centre.

The drones used in Electronic Countermeasures
The drones used in Electronic Countermeasures
Image: Science Gallery

A GROUP WHO performed at the Science Gallery’s Hack the City launch in Dublin last night have been held in a London airport under the terrorism act.

The group, called Tomorrows Thoughts Today, had brought their ‘Electronic Countermeasures’ performance to Dublin in recent days, which features several small hovering drones which are capable of creating their own wi-fi network, or file sharing network.

Liam Young, one of the members of the group tweeted earlier:

Have been held for hours under schedule 7 of the terrorist act when returning from our electronic countermeasures @sciencegallery dublin.

Another – Oliviu Lugojan-Ghenciu - questioned whether their Twitter activities had been monitored, and whether social networking being used as a “military tool”:

Tomorrows Thoughts Today describe the Electronic Countermeasures project as a “flock of interactive autonomous drones that form their own place specific, temporary, local WIFI community – a pirate internet…. a flying pirate file sharing network”.

Last night in the Science Gallery those in attendance were able to upload files to the drones as the floated above them.

The drones have been specially built using components that were originally intended to be used for police surveillance and reconnaissance.

Young tweeted today that:

Flying our drones is unregulated and unlicensed at the moment. This won’t last long. Low level airspace will become exceptionally controlled.

Silicon Republic reports that the group was held at London Southend Airport, while Lugojan-Ghenciu provided a picture of their bags being searched.

He also tweeted:

“Just incredible how easy you could be filed Schedule 7, based on customs’ lack of tech knowledge”.

A spokesperson for the Science Gallery told TheJournal.ie that increased security in advance of the London Olympics may be behind the incident.

The spokesperson also said that many drones that were originally intended for military use or surveillance in the middle east have now been decommissioned and are being used by police forces for surveillance purposes.

Meanwhile the Irish Aviation Authority has said that it is investigating the use of small drones for filming in Dublin city for a different project. The resulting film called Loitering Theatre will be screened as part of Hack the City, which features images of Dublin captured by mini drones.

A spokesperson for the IAA told TheJournal.ie said that this sort of activity is prohibited as the city is classed as a restricted area.

The Hack the City programme runs until September and includes an exhibition at the Science Gallery which will allow visitors to cloak their movements with stealth underwear, consider new uses for ghost estates and teach them how to hack into wireless surveillance cameras.

How Electronic Countermeasures works:

Image: Claus Langer

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About the author:

Emer McLysaght

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