America`s Drone Wars: Unmanned Predators to be Used for Domestic Law Enforcement?
By Greg Guma
April 19, 2013
Idaho took the lead in protecting people from drone surveillance last week when Gov. Butch Otter became the first state leader to sign legislation. Known as the “Preserving Freedom from Unwanted Surveillance Act,” the law restricts the use of drones by government or law enforcement, particularly when it involves gathering of evidence and surveillance on private property.
In Florida, the state senate has passed a similar bill, The Freedom from Unwanted Surveillance Act, which prevents police from using drones for routine surveillance. However, it would allow unmanned aircraft if there’s a threat of terrorist attack.
Massachusetts and Rhode Island are considering legislation that would prevent police from identifying anyone or anything not related to a warrant.
According to the ACLU, at least 35 states have considered drone bills so far this year, and 30 states have legislation pending. Most bills require a “probable-cause” warrant for drone use by law enforcement, while a handful seek to ban weaponized drones.