Thursday, June 14, 2012

Preserving Freedom From Unwarranted Surveillance Act of 2012

On June 7, 2012, Representative Austin Scott, R-GA, introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would place limits of the use of drones by Public Safety officials in U.S. Domestic airspace.  Specifically targeting the law enforcement community, H.R. 5925, the Preserving Freedom From Unwarranted Surveillance Act of 2012, requires police to obtain a warrant before a drone can be used for surveillance activities. However, it wasn't until Representative Scott's bill was joined on Tuesday by a Senate companion bill, S. 3287, sponsored by Senator Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, that the press started to take notice.  For more on that thought, find below some not so different viewpoints from some very different news sources:

Fox News Senator Paul interview (2:15):

CNN's report on the Senator Paul bill (6:20):

Russia Today's Version of the situation (7:28):

Comment: It's encouraging to see members of Congress are waking up to the reality that geospatial information technology has gotten ahead of the law and is pulling away. Unfortunately, one lobbyist reporting firm is currently giving the House version of the bill about a 2% chance of passage during the current session.  That's too bad because it means as a nation we are going to end up being reactive rather than proactive on an issue that has far reaching implications for personal freedom and law enforcement activities.

Lead graphic: LA Times

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