On March 31, a hearing was held in Rhode Island for House Bill 5454, introduced by State Rep. Blake Filippi. The bill would prohibit law enforcement from using unmanned drones without a warrant.

The following is a video of testimony in support of the bill from Filippi.

In it he states it is essential that the use of drones be restricted to protect the privacy of citizens, as it is likely drones will become a standard law enforcement tool. He also said that Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA surveillance program shows how that power can be abused if not checked.


“This is a question of values,” he said. “Over the past 14 years individual privacy, which has been a bedrock of the American experience, has been and is being undermined in the name of national security and criminal justice expediency…History tells us that technology developed to fight our enemies abroad is eventually brought home. And this is what we see with the federal government’s surveillance apparatus, and we see this with local law enforcement’s desire to acquire some of these technologies.”

TJ Martinell