After recent horrific mass shootings, police vendor Axon announced plans to develop a supposed solution: a remotely controlled drone armed with a taser. In response to this announcement, and in light of objections from Axon’s Ethics Board, EFF called on those concerned to voice their criticism and ask tough questions at the Axon CEO’s Reddit AMA about the project. Now, Axon has halted the project and a majority of its Ethics Board has resigned.
You can read the entire AMA with Axon’s CEO here.
We want to thank everyone who showed up on social media and voiced their concern about this dangerous and (for now) thwarted plan. We also appreciate members of Axon’s ethics board for taking a stand against the project, and then resigning when it looked as if Axon was going to ignore their recommendation.
In an era where police are so unaccountable and have so many different revenue streams for acquiring invasive technology, it’s good to remind ourselves that there is another pressure point: the companies that make and profit off of this technology. We will keep up the pressure and we hope you’ll continue to fight with us.
Disclosure: Until this week, EFF’s Surveillance Litigation Director Jennifer Lynch served on the Axon AI Ethics Board in her personal capacity. Her resignation from the board was formally announced on June 6, 2022.