Brandon Hernández 9 a.m., Sept. 2
General Atomics website spoofed by drone protest group
San Diego’s General Atomics found itself the victim of an international hoax complete with a fake website and an individual attempting to impersonate a company spokesman on television, Britain’s Channel 4 reported late last week, on April 12.
General Atomics has drawn worldwide attention and criticism as manufacturer of the Predator and Reaper drones, the unmanned aerial vehicles preferred by the United States government for strikes against suspected terrorists in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and other locations across the globe.
The hoax website, which purports to be that of General Atomics’ UK division, established in 2011, has a similar web address of and mirrors the authentic site, with subtle changes such as changing the tagline “Leading the Situational Awareness Revolution” to “Leading the Targeted Killing Revolution,” and a bio boasting “the ability to provide continual surveillance of suspect populations and the targeted killing of any person deemed a threat to US/UK interests in the Middle East and beyond.” Links from the homepage advertise anti-drone media, groups, and gatherings.
Despite initial suspicion from Channel 4 (see videos posted on the outlet’s website), and a quick debunking, the fake site remained online as of Monday morning, April 15.
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- General Atomics' DC office added to anti-drone protest targets — Nov. 15, 2013
- Weekly protests at General Atomics pass the one-year mark — Aug. 16, 2013
- Drone Protests hit six month mark, model Reaper drone unveiled — March 15, 2013