Nebraska’s Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act

Nebraska state senator Paul Schumacher has introduced the “Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act.”  In summary:

  1. “A law enforcement agency shall not use a drone to gather evidence or other information.” (section 3)
  2. This prohibition does not apply to efforts 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.” (section 4)
  3. “An aggrieved party may initiate a civil action against a law enforcement agency to obtain all appropriate relief in order to prevent or remedy a violation” (section 5)
  4. “Evidence obtained or collected in violation of the Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act is not admissible as evidence in a criminal prosecution” (section 6)

At first pass this sounds like a good bill that makes an effort to defend the protections assured us in the bill of rights.  The bill does afford some well desired protections, but leaves holes that are far too big, and hands over state sovereignty to the federal government.  There are a few positive points to the bill, but some negative ones as well.