Nebraska state senator Paul Schumacher has introduced the “Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act.” In summary:
- “A law enforcement agency shall not use a drone to gather evidence or other information.” (section 3)
- This prohibition does not apply to efforts to “counter a high risk of a terrorist attack by a specific individual or organization if the United States Secretary of Homeland Security determines that credible intelligence indicates that there is such a risk.” (section 4)
- “An aggrieved party may initiate a civil action against a law enforcement agency to obtain all appropriate relief in order to prevent or remedy a violation” (section 5)
- “Evidence obtained or collected in violation of the Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act is not admissible as evidence in a criminal prosecution” (section 6)
At first pass this sounds like a good bill that makes an effort to defend the protections assured us in the bill of rights. The bill does afford some well desired protections, but leaves holes that are far too big, and hands over state sovereignty to the federal government. There are a few positive points to the bill, but some negative ones as well.
- Prohibits unwarranted search by drone
- Evidence collected in violation is inadmissible in court
- Exception made for “creditable evidence of terrorist attack”
- Exception is authorized by the executive branch of the federal government (Secretary of Homeland Security)
- Remedy is limited to civil action
Contact Senators on the judiciary committee, and encourage them to recommend that section 4 be stricken from the bill, and that section 5 be amended to include criminal penalties for violation of the law.
- Ashford (Chairman): (402) 471-2715
- Chambers: (402) 471-2612
- Christensen: (402) 471-2805
- Coash: (402) 471-2632
- Davis: (402) 471-2628
- Lathrop: (402) 471-2623
- McGill: (402) 471-2610
- Seiler: (402) 471-2712
LEGISLATION AND TRACKING
If you’re outside of these Nebraska, please contact your own legislators regarding anti-drone legislation. If none has been introduced in your state, you can email them The Privacy Protection Act model legislation.
Track the status of drone nullification in states around the country HERE