Lawmakers Talk Drones

0 Shares
drone0719_image

In a little more than two years, United States airspace will be “dominated” by unmanned aerial drones, according to one lawmaker.

On Thursday, the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Management held a hearing on the increasing use of drones domestically, raising questions about how the Nation should prepare.

Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) in his opening statements said he believes that the Department of Homeland Security should be more involved in preparing for the drones to become an airborne fixture.

“The Department of Homeland Security mission is to protect the homeland. Unfortunately, DHS seems either disinterested or unprepared to step up to the plate to address the proliferation of Unmanned Aerial Systems in US air space, the potential threats they pose to our national security, and the concerns of our citizens of how drones flying over our cities will be used including protecting civil liberties of individuals under the Constitution,” he said.

McCaul isn’t the only one worried about how drones are going to impact Americans in the next few years. C. Todd Gilbert (R), a Delegate in the Virginia Legislature, has teamed up with the American Civil Liberties Union to draft and introduce a bill to strictly regulate the use of spy drones in his State.

His bill would enact legislation to ban all government and government-sponsored use of drones except where:

there are specific and stated reasons to believe that a drone will collect evidence relating to a specific instance of criminal wrongdoing and where the government has obtained a warrant based on probable cause; or

there is a geographically confined, time-limited emergency situation in which particular people’s lives are at risk, such as a fire, hostage crisis, or land or water-based search and rescue operation; or

the drone is used for reasonable non-law enforcement purposes by non-law enforcement agencies, where privacy will not be substantially affected, such as geological inspections or environmental surveys, and where the surveillance will not be used for secondary law enforcement purposes or enforcement of administrative regulations.

As drones become ever more cheaply produced and stealthy, the ACLU urges lawmakers in other States to take similar action.

Personal Liberty

Sam Rolley

Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After covering community news and politics, Rolley took a position at Personal Liberty Media Group where could better hone his focus on his true passions: national politics and liberty issues. In his daily columns and reports, Rolley works to help readers understand which lies are perpetuated by the mainstream media and to stay on top of issues ignored by more conventional media outlets.

Join the Discussion

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.