It is the year 2014.
An unknown organization or group in the US assembles a fairly sophisticated drone from toy and radio shack parts. It’s basicly a smart “semi-controlled” RC helicopter with robot parts latched on. Nobody ever claims responsibility for this first act of weaponizing a private drone and even in 2020 nobody knows who started this ANON-ization of private drone vigilantism.
The first such device has a battery life of several hours and might easily mount a single high calibre rifle, a tampering proof directional communications beam, a smart programming (that gives it simple self-preservation ‘behaviour’ in case contact with base station is lost) and a HD camera.
This device takes to the air at an altitude that is largely inconspicuous to law enforcement and official authorities. The total construct is available online and costs less than 5000$, and is relatively easy with a mix of mail ordered and 3D printed parts.
Early models of this devices in 2014 are used to monitor and record law enforcement activities. Of course authorities are in a state of severe alarm about this sousveillance! Very soon after most law enforcement, security and intelligence officials in the US become indexed on non-US (and completely unaccountable) web sites outside the US. US law enforcement and intelligence communities (as well as organized crime, corporate security, mercenary forces who become likewise exposed and scrutinized) are in a state of disarray as their faces and biometric data because subject to constant public scrutiny.
The US state tries to crack down against these “acts of domestic terrorism”, to no avail. Attempts are made to extradite those responsible for the non-US publications, to no avail. Those in charge can’t even find out who the hell is doing this documentation. As early of 2015 hundreds of thousands of police officers, IAD officers, FBI, NSA, CIA, immigration, narcotics, government, shills, politicians, military, seals, secret service, army intelligence, ATF etc etc agents are charted. The lest then expands to foreigners, chinese, russian, mossad, and so forth. In mere months the listing expands exponentially.
In 2015 the first confirmed vigilante kill occurs – a NY police officer was found violently raping a teenage girl is shot through the head by one of these devices during the act. The device itself or those responsible is never retrieved, despite a national and international man hunt that burns through tens of millions of US dollars.
The act itself is recorded in HD format and publicized real time, causing massive riots and protest throughout the western world. The video of the rape and summary execution is called “collareral vigilantism” and watched by billions world-wide. Police officers (et.al) are held to close scrutiny by common people and met with outright hostility for months as a result, and vigilante killings of ‘feral cops’ become commonplace. In 2016 a full 300 “feral cops” are shot or wounded, many while committing these crimes and in the years following this incident a virtual ecology of garage drones take to the skies, or crawl on top of buildings.
By 2018 the number of private (rogue, vigilante, occupy, anon, terrorist, protest, copwatch, private blogger, journalist, etc) drones outnumber official drones about 20 to 1. By 2018 these drones become as small as a matchbox, can crawl in to homes with miniature appendages, are smart, camera equipped and many are deadly. These devices are then used to steal, burglarize, assassinate, spy, record video, hack home computers, read credit cards, blackmail, poison, spread diseases, troll, stalk, sexually predate on and far far worse.
By 2018 the authorities wish they never started this horrendous drone arms race. But nobody gives a flying hoot about what they think any more.
update : I am so right