Massachusetts legislation would help nullify warrantless drone spying

Legislation has been introduced in the Massachusetts State Senate that would regulate the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) to protect the privacy rights of citizens. S.1664, sponsored by Rep. Robert Hedlund earlier this month, has already moved to the Joint Committee on Transportation. The bill bans the weaponization of drones, disqualifies illegally-gathered information from…

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Missouri Legislation takes on Warrantless Drone Spying

House Bill 1204 or the Preserving Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act was introduced by Rep. Kenneth Wilson (R-District 12) earlier this month. The bill states that “no person, entity, or state agency shall use a drone or other unmanned aircraft to conduct surveillance or observation of any individual, property owned by an individual, farm, or agricultural industry without the consent of that individual, property owner, farm or agricultural industry.”

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Drones Over America

Question: What do backscatter “naked” x-ray machines and unmanned aerial vehicles, known as drones, have in common?

Answer: They’re both technology originally used to control dangerous populations, such as convicted criminals or enemy combatants…that are now being used on regular American citizens on American soil.

We all see the banned-in-Europe backscatter x-ray machines in common use at American airports. Fortunately, we’re on track to phase them out this year in favor of less invasive technology.

But believe it or not, drones are already here, invading our skies and our privacy—without a warrant, without probable cause, and without our consent. And federal, state, and local government and corporate use of them is set to expand exponentially.

After the hoopla of our undeclared drone wars abroad, it’s clear that U.S. political leaders—including our Nobel Peace Prize-winning president and a regretfully sold-out, emasculated Congress—think drones don’t count. Not when they target strangers in Pakistan. Not when a 16-year-old American citizen is killed by one in Yemen. Not when bystanders are blown apart as blast-radius collateral damage.

And not when drones are deployed in American airspace.

I guess we could just be glad they’re not currently shooting at us. But reports indicate we could have as many as 30,000 drones operating in U.S. airspace in a matter of years. And that makes me a bit fidgety.

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