11 September 2017
"An information tribunal has upheld the MoD’s decision to refuse to release the number of British armed drones deployed against ISIS and their location, despite such information being released by the UK about its ‘manned’ aircraft.
In the just released open judgement (a closed judgement has also been produced but will not been made available to us), the tribunal accepted that there was clear public interest in the information Drone Wars sought as both parliament and the public could then ascertain if the UK’s armed drones were being used outside of Iraq and Syria, or if some were in storage due to personnel shortages. However the tribunal accepted the MoD’s argument that the public interest arguments in favour of disclosure were outweighed by the public interest in favour of non-disclosure as the information would “likely” impact on the effectiveness of UK armed forces.
See: UK: Information tribunal dismisses Drone Wars appeal over British drone secrecy (Drone Wars UK, link)
Also on armed drones: Humans will always control killer drones, says ministry of defence (The Guardian, link): "Britain’s military will commit to ensuring that drones and other remote weaponry are always under human control, as part of a new doctrine designed to calm concerns about the development of killer robots.
The move by the Ministry of Defence comes after more than 100 leading robotics experts wrote to the United Nations urging the organisation to step in to halt the development of artificial intelligence in weaponry."
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