It’s a decade-long story that Josh Begley believes too few Americans know about. A story, he says, “that fundamentally shifts how we understand what war is.” It’s the story of unmanned drones redefining the front lines in the U.S. War on Terror. And a story of Apple—one of the most powerful and profitable corporations in the world—rejecting Begley’s iPhone application that maps strikes and alerts users to new attacks as they happen.
The next chapter started today at noon EST, when Begley, a 28-year-old graduate student in NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Master’s program, began tweeting the complete history of America’s drone war in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia.
For the past several years, Begley, who previously worked at an organization that uses technology to advance social-justice movements, has felt a nagging need to open Americans’ eyes to the reality of this method of warfare. Begley himself says he “started caring about the issue because I knew so little about .” Then Jane Mayer’s 2009 New Yorker piece, “The Predator War,” which brought readers into the air-conditioned Langley, Va., offices from which drone attacks are ordered, got him thinking.