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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

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RE: Obama
By JPForums on 4/19/2013 11:36:33 AM , Rating: 2
Neither side wants the other to get more power, but everybody in power simply wants more power. That is how it goes with egotistical windbags we seem to be electing.
True that. Though, I should point out I was more referring to the American populace than the political wing. That's why I didn't say Republicans.

Wasn't it under President Bush that the Patriot Act got passed?
I could be wrong, but I don't think the Patriot Act allowed for warrantless drone strikes (think lethal) on American soil, against American citizens . Even if it did, that American presidency certainly never publicly condoned such a measure. It doesn't really matter, though, as the Patriot Act did open the door for warrantless search and seizure and other equally distasteful measures. I wouldn't be surprised if the expansions of power given in the Patriot Act are largely responsible for the situation America finds itself in today. The fact remains America has elect presidents for four consecutive terms that are destroying their liberties, justified or not.

RE: Obama
By Shadowself on 4/19/2013 3:49:49 PM , Rating: 2
Even if it did, that American presidency certainly never publicly condoned such a measure.
So that fact that Cheney said about four feet from me at breakfast one morning that his interpretation of the Patriot Act allowed him (though maybe he meant the Bush administration rather than he, himself) to use any means necessary to protect the country, including clandestine surveillance and remotely controlled deadly force against U.S. Citizens if the Bush administration deemed that person to be a terrorist, was OK so long as he didn't say it publicly?

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