Aim for the Insurgent…
… and you just might hit the wedding party. A fascinating intellectual property rights dispute offers up a possible reason for the number of civilians killed by American drone strikes.
To quote from the article from The Register:
The dispute surrounds a location analysis software package – “Geospatial” – developed by a small company called Intelligent Integration Systems (IISi), which like Netezza is based in Massachusetts. IISi alleges that Netezza misled the CIA by saying that it could deliver the software on its new hardware, to a tight deadline.
When the software firm then refused to rush the job, it’s claimed, Netezza illegally and hastily reverse-engineered IISi’s code to deliver a version that produced locations inaccurate by up to 13 metres. Despite knowing about the miscalculations, the CIA accepted the software, court submissions indicate. [emphasis added]
The debate about drone strikes is of important to us here in India largely because a) India is working on a UAV project of our own, and b) They plan on deploying drones to fight the Maoists.
As the Register article makes clear, the aiming software is a mission critical aspect of a Unmanned Aerial Vehicle programme. Given that our penchant for reverse-engineering, Palika Bazaar anyone?