Assuming that the story the guest told was true (and it seems it was, based on the hotel admitting it), how can the hotel possibly win when the reviewer is stating facts? If the review was completely made up, I would assume libel laws would side with the hotel. But when the whole situation is based on facts, and the reviewer is merely passing those facts on to the public, how can the hotel even expect to win?
The article is right, the hotel should have helped him out more from the get go instead of trying to do damage control.
Early command and control systems were considered secure through obscurity and lack of technical ability. Obviously, that isn't the case anymore. I don't know how old the drone design it, but considering that the US is saying all the technology on it is obsolete, then it's probably more than just a year or two old and could be controlled though the 'old school' technique. Now days, command links are encrypted to prevent the bad guys from even eaves dropping on the intel that comes down.
Spy satellites and spy planes don't have 24 hour coverage of the whole world, so they don't spend any time looking for something that they already control. Once they lost control, they no longer had a solid fix on its position. While I'm sure they would have scrambled to find it, finding a moving target of that size would be difficult at best and would take considerable time.
For things to go the way Iran suggests, the US would have had to have been flying over Iran for a long enough time for them to 1) intercept the command and control transmissions, 2) decipher the signals to determine what everything means, 3) design and build a system capable of mimicking the commands and displaying the correct return information, and 4) fielding the system to snatch the plane. The lack of any appreciable damage means they did an awesome job landing the plane, which would be VERY impressive from an untrained pilot. While not impossible, it would display a level of techincal capability that Iran doesn't seem to have.
Based on my experience, I think the most likely scenario is that the pilots lost contact with the plane after it had a serious malfunction. Then the plane wandered off is planned flight path, or even the emergency return path, and ended up crashing in Iran. It happens occasionally; the plane breaks hard and goes dumb. I suspect some sort of misinformation from the Iranians because I doubt they could have taken control of the plane and snatched it. I'd buy them disrupting the command and control links easily, but taking control is a couple orders of magnitude harder.
As a drone pilot, I feel the scare factor of drones are way over rated. Yes, there are issues, but nothing that can't be handled with the proper procedures. People don't bat an eye at flying in clouds with other planes, but put a plane without a person on it in the sky and all of a sudden we have a flight risk. But scary is what sells on the news (and in APOA).
This little thing is the same thing as a hobby RC plane. I doubt any pilot out there is seriously concerned about RC planes, and this fits in that scale. The problem is this is used for commercial purposes, so it falls under different rules. News Corp fell into the trap that may other commercial entities fall into. They think it's just a big toy, so as long as they follow the RC planes rules, they are fine. The FAA treats commercial flying differently from noncommercial flying, and the hobbyist who suggested this idea to management probably didn't know that. This isn't a precedent, its just par for the course right now.
The FAA is very interested in including drones in their big plan to restructure their systems, and I think in the near future we may see things like this happening legally. But for now, The Daily's is probably going to be grounded.
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