Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced a bill on June 12, 2012, the bill, S3287, Preserving Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act, would require the government to obtain a warrant before using aerial drones to conduct surveillance over U.S. citizens.
More broadly, according to Senator Paul, the legislation is aimed at preventing “unwarranted governmental intrusion” through the use of aerial drones.
“Like other tools used to collect information in law enforcement, in order to use drones a warrant needs to be issued,” Paul said Tuesday. “Americans going about their everyday lives should not be treated like criminals or terrorists and have their rights infringed upon by military tactics.”
If enacted, the law would require the government to obtain a warrant to use drones for any type of domestic surveillance. An exception would be created for the purpose of patroling national borders, where drones are considered necessary to prevent “imminent danger to life” or when there are risks of a terrorist attack.
The legislation would also give Americans the ability to sue the government for violating the act. and, it would prohibit any evidence collected with warrantless drone surveillance from being used as evidence in court.
While drone surveillance in the United States is becoming increasingly controversial. The use of drones is also currently a topic of international concern that the use of unmanned aerioal drones to disrupt terrorist networks is having an adverse effect on America’s image overseas.
The United Nations is considering an investigation into drone airstrikes inside Pakistan, which could focus on the rate of civilian casualties caused by these attacks.
Congress has ordered the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to move toward allowing drones to fly alongside commercial aircraft in U.S. airspace by 2015.
The FAA is planning a pilot program to test fly drones in six locations, but will not set the rules for what the unmanned aircraft can be used for.
Law enforcement agencies and state and local governments have expressed a strong interest in unmanned aircraft, and are being courted as potential customers by the booming drone industry.
There is opposition, however, from groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that have raised concerns about the impact of the drones on privacy.
This is a guest post contributed by Dave Williams – he also researches and writes on choosing from a list of careers in psychology – learn more by visiting his resource.