While the article is simplistic in its analysis, the ability of the drone to be subversive is quite interesting. Beyond the ability of a civilian drone to passively observe, the drone can be used to transmit messages to a wide audience. One can imagine the Kendall Jenner ad being ripe for an anti-consumerism message, or perhaps highlighting the issue that Kardashian viewers are engaging in an anesthetization similar to what drug abusers do (not that I intend to editorialize). The drone can be used to disrupt logging operations by environmentalists, or a myriad of similar activities by motivated individuals. Just as we have seen military surplus and practices make their way into police departments and practices, we will see similarities between the disruptive (subversive) practices that the military and State Department have developed to take advantage of the drone’s unique ability, with those of motivated citizens.
Someone pointing out the excesses of consumerism and its impact on society on a billboard, albeit illegally, probably has a social benefit to it. Flying several drones into the engine of a passenger jet on approach to an airport over a major city would be bad (as pointed out by one of the article commentaries).
I bought my father-in-law, who lives in a large retirement community, a drone a few years ago. As a big University of Michigan fan living in a sea of Ohio fans, he enjoys being a subversive thorn in the side of the majority. He attached speakers to the drone and buzzes the Buckeye tennis players while playing the U of M fight song after a Wolverine victory. The retirement community consists of a close-knit group and my father-in-laws antics are enjoyed by most.
There’s nothing wrong with a little subversiveness.