TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 18, 2013) – A bill nullifying warrantless drone spying in the Sunshine State unanimously passed the Florida House this morning. The 117-0 vote in the House concurred with last week’s 39-0 Senate vote and the bill will now go to Governor Rick Scott’s desk for a signature.
If signed into law, SB92 would prohibit any law enforcement agency from using unmanned drones to gather evidence or other information without a warrant. It reads, in part: “A law enforcement agency may not use a drone to gather evidence or other information.”
The bill opens the door for any person whose privacy is violated by a drone to take civil action and would also make any evidence gathered in violation of the act inadmissible in court.
The act makes its only exception allowing for the use of drones “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.”
Some activists have criticized the bill due to this particular exception for one person in the federal government to authorize its use. While it does raise legitimate concerns, as things exist today, Floridians have no protections against drone.
Today, without The Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act:Details