A 70-year-old Scottish man may be barred from entering the United States on an upcoming vacation because he mistakenly answered yes to a customs form asking whether he was a terrorist.
Which begs the question of why the hell an actual terrorist would answer yes to such a question, but I digress.
According to the UK Independent, John Stevenson was filling out his travel form ahead of a Dec. 3 trip from Scotland to New York City when his lone screwup brought him into a bureaucratic nightmare.
“We were filling out the visa form and it kept timing out before we could tick all the boxes," Stevenson told the paper. "One of the questions ask if you are a terrorist and it must have jumped from No to Yes without me knowing."
The grandfather encountered the problem while filling out an online form from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection called Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), which lets people from select countries travel to the U.S. without a visa, according to The New York Times.
Stevenson isn't the first to mess up the online form. Last month, a Scottish woman accidentally answered yes to the ESTA question, "Do you seek to engage in or have you ever engaged in terrorist activities, espionage, sabotage, or genocide?," according to BBC.
Stevenson did try calling to get it fixed to no avail. He has one shot at correcting the record by making an appointment at the U.S. Embassy in London before his trip.
"It’s terrible, it’s shocking and so stupid. I don’t know why that question is on the form in the first place," he said.
A small unmanned aerial vehicle built by service academy cadets is shown here flying above ground. This type of small UAV was used by cadets and midshipmen from the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy, during a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency-sponsored competition at Camp Roberts, California, April 23-25, 2017. During the competition, cadets and midshipmen controlled small UAVs in "swarm" formations to guard territory on the ground at Camp Roberts. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Drones have been used in conflicts across the globe and will play an even more important role in the future of warfare. But, the future of drones in combat will be different than what we have seen before.
The U.S. military can set itself apart from others by embracing autonomous drone warfare through swarming — attacking an enemy from multiple directions through dispersed and pulsing attacks. There is already work being done in this area: The U.S. military tested its own drone swarm in 2017, and the UK announced this week it would fund research into drone swarms that could potentially overwhelm enemy air defenses.
I propose we look to the amoeba, a single-celled organism, as a model for autonomous drones in swarm warfare. If we were to use the amoeba as this model, then we could mimic how the organism propels itself by changing the structure of its body with the purpose of swarming and destroying an enemy.
Soldiers from 4th Squadron, 9th U.S. Cavalry Regiment "Dark Horse," 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, are escorted by observer controllers from the U.S. Army Operational Test Command after completing field testing of the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) Sept. 24, 2018. (U.S. Army/Maj. Carson Petry)
The Army has awarded a $575 million contract to BAE Systems for the initial production of its replacement for the M113 armored personnel carriers the service has been rocking downrange since the Vietnam War.
President Donald Trump has formally outlined how his administration plans to stand up the Space Force as the sixth U.S. military service – if Congress approves.
On Tuesday, Trump signed a directive that calls for the Defense Department to submit a proposal to Congress that would make Space Force fall under Department of the Air Force, a senior administration official said.