Author Biography

Dinesh Napal is a SJD candidate at American University Washington College of Law. His doctoral research seeks to explore the relevance of Hannah Arendt’s theorisations on the ‘banality of evil’ and Michel Foucault’s work on thanatopolitics to international law concerning remote weapons. He is particularly interested in the interaction between national security, the proliferation of drone technologies in the military-industrial complex, and power's relationship to legal subjectivity. Mr. Napal received his LLM in Law, Development and Globalisation from SOAS University of London, and his BA in Law and Sociology from the University of Warwick.



Subject Area Keywords

Homeland security, Human rights, International law, Law enforcement, Terrorism / counterterrorism


Wide area motion imagery (WAMI) technologies are procured by federal and state security institutions across the United States, due to their capacity to surveil at an extraordinary scale. Innovation in WAMI development seeks to make them more compact or convenient to use and employ in a variety of situations. The increased use of WAMI, particularly through uncrewed aerial combat vehicle (UCAV) systems and operations, is able to render visible people, communities, and behaviors at an unprecedented level. This has implications for individuals’ and communities’ perception of surveillance and the ontology of security. The experience of being secured or kept safe is brought about through the surveillance apparatus, which imposes an unending gaze upon the secured population. This article argues that WAMI technology replicates the totalizing gaze of colonial surveillance architecture, and its deployment in areas such as Baltimore and Dayton, reifies disciplinary boundaries around legitimate behavior in law enforcement and warfare.