Last week, the Oregon House overwhelmingly passed a bill to nullifying warrantless drone spying.
HB2710 “provides that law enforcement agency may use drone to intercept communications only as provided under laws relating to wiretaps and other interceptions of communications. Requires destruction of images and other information acquired by use of drone within 30 days unless information is needed as evidence in criminal prosecution. Requires that public bodies that use drones adopt policies on use of drones. Requires procedure for notifying public of policies on use of drones. Prohibits use of weaponized drones by public bodies. Declares emergency, effective on passage.”
The bill cleared the House 52-7 and moves on to the Senate for consideration.
Please contact your senator. Tell them to vote YES on HB2710 to stop warrantless spying by drones.
Action Items for HB2710.
1. Contact your Senator. Tell them to preserve the privacy of citizens in Oregon by voting yes on HB2710.
To find your senator click HERE.
2. Encourage your local community to take action as well. Using model legislation from the Tenth Amendment Center, you can introduce legislation to nullify Drones in your city, town, and county with the Privacy Protection Act.
You will find model legislation HERE.
3. Share this information widely. Please pass this along to your friends and family. Also share it with any and all grassroots groups you’re in contact with around the state. Please encourage them to email this information to their members and supporters.
4. Like us on Facebook. Click HERE to join the Oregon Tenth Amendment Center. Keep up to date with nullification bills in the state of Oregon.
HB2710 places parameters on drone use by state and local law enforcement agencies in the state of Oregon. Currently, no such restrictions exist. If HB2710 becomes law, under most circumstances, law enforcement will need a warrant to collect information via drone. The bill also prohibits weaponized drones outright.
A public body may not use a drone that is capable of firing a bullet or other projectile, or is otherwise capable of being used as a weapon.
The bill does allow for drone use without a warrant under certain circumstances, if “the drone is used within a geographically confined, time-limited emergency situation in which there is risk of serious physical harm to an individual, and the use of the drone is thoroughly documented by the law enforcement agency.”
HB2710 requires any agency using drones to adopt specific policies for training and outline criteria for drone use. It also limits the data collection to the person named in the warrant.
Any operation of a drone by a law enforcement agency that is authorized under law must be limited to collection of information about the target person for which the use is authorized, and must avoid collection of information on other persons, residences or places.
Some activists have criticized the bill due to to the exception for drone use without a warrant in emergency situations. While it does raise legitimate concerns, as things exist today, Oregonians have no protections against drone surveillance. As it is now, law enforcement agencies in Oregon can use drones any time, anywhere, with absolutely no parameters. If HB2710 becomes law, drone use will be extremely limited and circumscribed.
Without action by the Oregon legislature, the only thing keeping the Beaver State from turning into a full-fledged drone surveillance state is a little funding.
And that’s coming down the pike.
The Drone Game
At this stage in the ‘drone game,’ the feds are working hard behind the scenes to get states to operate the drones for them.
In fact, the primary engine behind the expansion of drone surveillance being carried out by states and local communities is the Federal government itself. Department of Homeland Security issues large grants to local governments so that those agencies can purchase drones. Those grants, in and of themselves, are an unconstitutional expansion of power.
The goal? Fund a network of drones around the country and put the operational burden on the states. Once they create a web over the whole country, DHS steps in with requests for ‘information sharing.’ Bills like these put a dent in this kind of long-term strategy. Without the states and local communities operating the drones today, it’s going to be nearly impossible for DHS plans to – take off.
In fact, this has been as much as confirmed by a drone industry lobbyist who testified in opposition to a similar bill in Washington State, saying that such restrictions would be extremely destructive to the drone market and industry.