Legislation has been introduced in the Alaska State Senate that would strictly regulate the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) to protect the privacy rights of citizens.
SB136, introduced by Sen. Donny Olsen (D-District T) last month, has been moved to the Judiciary Committee. The bill makes clear that government officials can only use drones when serving proper search warrants, sets up reporting and transparency requirements for drone use, and provides other safeguards that provide basic protection to AK citizens from this burgeoning technology.
Although not perfect, this bill represents a huge improvement over the status quo and would help citizens to mount a defense against these menacing weapons that are already policing the skies. It has even been estimated that 30,000 drones could be in the air by 2020. If we do not take action now, our rights could be lost forever.
Tenth Amendment Center’s executive director Michael Boldin said that this kind of bill has significant ramifications at the federal level because Washington D.C. is pushing and funding drone use at the state level.
“The feds want to push these on the states, and if the states refuse, it’ll foil their plan,” he said. “They already spy on Americans so much that Rand Paul said it numbered in the ‘Gazillions’ after a secret meeting last fall. If the feds can get the states to start buying up and running drones over our cities, they’ll certainly want access to all that surveillance information in the future. It’s important that states begin drawing a line in the sand now – no aerial spying here.”
As a matter of fact, the federal government serves as the primary engine behind the expansion of drone surveillance carried out by states and local communities. The Department of Homeland Security issues large grants to local governments so they can purchase drones. Those grants, in and of themselves, represent 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.’ It is in the best interest of the DHS and the rest of the federal government to bring the states onboard with their regime of constitutional destruction to shift costs, shift blame and make it easier for them to get their hands on more of your private information.
Bills like SB136 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 the police state plans of the DHS to – take off.
That is why we have our model legislation, the Privacy Protection Act available for you to take to your local and state government officials and demand that they take action to protect your freedoms.
For Alaska: Take action today to help pass SB136 by clicking HERE. (NOTE: The action alert for this bill is still saved as a draft)
For Other States: Take action in your state to push legislators to introduce and support bills to nullify drones by clicking HERE.