Print 51 comment(s) - last by Ammohunt.. on Apr 22 at 5:05 PM

Some civil liberties advocates feel the President shouldn't have the power to order the killings of Americans on U.S. soil.  (Source: Drone Wars UK)
The feds won't be happy about this

Not in our state.

I. Drone Controversy Heats Up

That's the message Florida legislators sent to law enforcement official both at a federal and state level, as well as defense and national intelligence agencies when it came to allegedly abusive overuse of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly dubbed drones.  The officials this week passed a law that would not altogether ban drone use in Florida, but would seriously restrict it.

As drone use has exploded overseas in conflict regions, both for surveillance and combat, the fliers have begun to creep into U.S. airspace as well.  The Obama administration recently suggested that armed drone death strikes could potentially be carried out without warrant against American citizens on U.S. soil, under certain circumstances.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Electronic Frontier Foundation have complained about the federal government's refusal to ban the use of armed drones over U.S. states.  But the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been unapologetic about deploying the same kinds of drones used in Iraq -- Reaper drones and their ilk -- to patrol U.S. border states.

Some law enforcement officials argue that for small police forces, lighter drones -- which cost around $30,000 USD -- are a highly cost-effective tool for patrolling and can help catch criminals.  They say banning drones will raise costs.

II. Florida Limits the "Police State"

But those pleas fell on deaf ears as Florida legislators passed the "Freedom From Unwanted Surveillance Act" SB 92 117-0. Gov. Rick Scott (R) has already promised to sign the bill, which will make Florida only the third state to restrict drone use.  Idaho and Virginia had passed similar laws.

Under the bill drones could only be used by law enforcement in a handful of scenarios -- for example searching for a kidnapped child, managing hostage situations, searching for a dangerous fugitive, or tracking hurricanes/wildfires to prevent serious property damage.  But any use in a criminal case will now require surveillance to be ordered via a warrant -- ensuring due process.  Illegally gathered evidence, under the law, will not be admissible in court and may lead to penalties for the collecting department.

It also contains an allowance for drone use in the case of a "credible threat" of an (imminent) terrorist attack.

So far, only three law enforcement agencies are licensed to use UAVs in Florida by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and none of them have deployed fliers.

Sources: Florida State Senate, AP

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

PETA and Other Private Agencies
By DougF on 4/19/2013 4:22:52 AM , Rating: 1
How will this affect PETAs plans to use drones to monitor farms and other areas where they think animal "rights" are being violated? Will this mean any evidence obtained can't be used in a court of law?

RE: PETA and Other Private Agencies
By BRB29 on 4/19/2013 7:46:34 AM , Rating: 2
we got more problems right now than worrying about animal rights

RE: PETA and Other Private Agencies
By Spuke on 4/19/2013 9:50:10 AM , Rating: 2
we got more problems right now than worrying about animal rights

RE: PETA and Other Private Agencies
By DougF on 4/19/2013 12:54:40 PM , Rating: 1
Sigh...I'm dealing with morons...

The issue is information gathered from UAVs, I only used PETA as an example because they've declared they want to use UAVs to monitor farmers and others who deal with animals.

Now, concentrate...

1) Does Florida's law mean information gathered from UAVs can be used in a court of law if there is no warrant for such information, even if the information is gathered by a non-government agency?

2) Would the information gathered by a UAV be admissible as evidence if the persons/organization were specifically looking for wrongdoing, instead of just a general activity, such a picture taking?

3) Would information gathered by a UAV be admissible as evidence if the persons/organization were legally engaging in an occupation that took such pictures, even if the activity would not normally be seen from a public road?

4) If yes to #3, does that mean the airspace above a private residence is considered a public throughway and we have no expectation of privacy outside of a covered structure?

...You may now return to your inane commentary about PETA and animal rights...</sarcasm>

RE: PETA and Other Private Agencies
By BRB29 on 4/19/2013 1:51:45 PM , Rating: 2
Sigh...I'm dealing with a moron...

Anything you do in public and captured can be used against you because it's legal. Public places have no privacy laws besides for minors.

It is illegal for the government to use drones, cameras, etc... to spy on home and use it against you without a warrant. Even security cameras cannot point at another person's private property. If you have security cameras, you cannot point it past your own private property.

Look up the laws before you make crazy assumptions. There's so many cases of drug dealers getting away because cases were completely thrown out from law enforcement overreaching their power and infringing privacy rights.

By Skywalker123 on 4/21/2013 5:40:44 PM , Rating: 2
cause we can't do two things at once.

By Shadowself on 4/19/2013 11:31:51 AM , Rating: 2
PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals ??

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki