Proposal to protect citizens from drone surveillance
AUGUSTA -- Last week, Senator John Patrick (D-Rumford) introduced his bill, LD 236 An Act to Protect the Privacy of Citizens from Domestic Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Use, before the Judiciary Committee. The bill requires a warrant, consent, or an emergency situation for law enforcement to use surveillance drones.
“Big Brother is no longer the stuff of science fiction,” said Senator Patrick. “Americans should not be forced to live under the constant watchful eye of drones hovering around us and sending footage of our daily goings-on back to police headquarters.”
Congress has passed legislation requiring the Federal Aviation Administration to make room for domestic drones in U.S. airspace by 2015, and the FAA estimates as many as 10,000 drones could take to U.S. skies by 2020.
“As with all new technology, until we put proper protections in place, we are all vulnerable to overuse and abuse,” said Senator Patrick. “I hope this legislation will be the beginning of a much-needed conversation about bringing our privacy laws up to date and protecting both safety and privacy in Maine.”
The Judiciary Committee will hold a work session on the bill, likely in March.