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Dutch National Police working to train anti-drone eagles

As remotely-controlled drones become smaller and more sophisticated, authorities are working to counter the potential security and privacy implications in sometimes novel ways —including training eagles to take the aircraft down.

The Dutch National Police have begun working with a private firm that specializes in "training birds of prey to intercept hostile drones." Thus far that seems to mean using eagles to snatch wayward drones out of the air, as noted by IEEE Spectrum.

The company —known as Guard From Above and based in The Hague —says that birds of prey are uniquely suited to the task thanks to their ability to catch up with and overpower fast-moving animals.

Both Guard From Above and the Dutch National Police have sought to allay fears that drones may harm the birds by asking the Dutch Organization for Applied Scientific Research to conduct scientific studies into the issue. Even in the absence of verifiable evidence, however, Guard From Above says that injury is unlikely.

"In nature, birds of prey often overpower large and dangerous prey," the company wrote in a press release. "Their talons have scales, which protect them, naturally, from their victims' bites."

In addition to methods of taking down rogue drones, most developed nations are exploring new regulatory frameworks for drone use by both individuals and businesses. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has indicated that it will require certain classes of drones to be registered, hoping to "help build a culture of accountability and responsibility."