A privacy protection bill to set limits on unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) making its way through the Iowa state legislature has passed the state house and is scheduled to receive a senate subcommittee hearing that will determine its fate.
HF2289 was introduced on Feb. 18 to change the state’s code to strictly limit the use of drones, requiring a warrant for surveillance activities. It passed the house by an 87-12 vote and has since been moved to a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee. It will need to pass through the subcommittee by a majority before the senate is able to concur with the house’s decision.
The bill provides for some exceptions for the use of drones in limited situations. However, the bill does fully ban the weaponization of drones. State government is also required to report its drone use to the public under the bill as well. Although this bill does not fully ban the warrantless use of drones in Iowa, it is still a good first step in the right direction. Tenth Amendment Center’s executive director Michael Boldin said that these types of bills have 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 HF2289 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.
For Iowa: Take action today to help pass HF2289 by clicking HERE.
For Other States: Take action in your state to push legislators to introduce and support bills to nullify drones by clicking HERE.