The Washington state Public Safety Committee passed HB 1771 this afternoon, with 9 votes for, 1 against, and one excused.
The intention of the bill is to protect citizens from loss of privacy through warrantless surveillance, limit liability on the state and local government, and create clear standards for the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, AKA drones.
Warrants have to be very specific in the information they are trying to obtain, must show probable cause, and don’t allow for the keeping of extraneous information that is coincidentally collected about non-involved persons in the process. Which means that your neighbors should be safe from surveillance, even if the police have a warrant for your backyard. If footage of them happens to be collected in the process, it must be discarded.
If the bill becomes law, therefore, it would be a great victory in protection against unreasonable search and seizure, especially as we head into the new frontier of massive drone production.
“This bill is about freedom.” noted Representative Matt Shea, who co-sponsored the bill and wasn’t alone in his sentiments.Details