Germany Says Goodbye to Graffiti and Hello to Drones

Graffiti No More

Not to be outdone by America’s anti-terrorist (and sometimes anti-civilian) drones, Germany has introduced anti-graffiti drones.

If Germany’s biggest problem is graffiti, then I’d say they’re doing okay. But for Germany’s national railway company, Deutsche Bahn, okay is not enough! The railway is not happy with the amount of graffiti being sprayed on its property. The solution (which is in no way an overreaction)? Drones!

The company plans to test small drones with infra-red cameras to collect evidence needed to prosecute graffiti artists who deface railway property in the darkest hours of the night. Apparently graffiti costs Deutsche Bahn almost 8 million euros a year. And the drones? Each one will cost around 60,000 euros.

But not so fast Deutsche Bahn! Germany has very strict anti-surveillance laws and privacy is a very sensitive issue among the German folk. If they objected to Google Street View, they probably won’t be too pleased with flying surveillance cameras.

A Deutsche Bahn spokesman tried to reassure everyone that its drones would only be used in big depots where vandals enter at night and spray-paint carriages. So unless you are a night-time railway graffiti artist, the drones won’t really care about you. But if you are a night-time railway graffiti artist, the drones will identify you with their sophisticated infra-red sensors and you will go to jail.

Sounds like Germany will have to pull an Obama and weigh the pros and cons of drone use. Except, instead of increased terrorist attacks vs. civilian casualties, it will be annoying graffiti vs. angry privacy loving Germans.

Via: BBC News

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