This post is a follow up to an earlier posting on domestic drones and the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012: Big Brother is Watching
Our state assembly is considering a bipartisan bill that would limit drone use in North Carolina. On March 6th of this year, our NC state chapter of the ACLU joined 22 other state chapters of the ACLU and filed a documents request asking for public records from local law enforcement agencies asking for information about their existing drone programs and future drone programs if they have existing plans for any.
Sixty-four of the largest law enforcement agencies in North Carolina have been asked about their use of drones and other military-style weapons, what funding do they have and what training, if any, and what training, if any, is provided for their use.
Proposed NC House Bill 312, if it became law would introduce sensible safeguards on the use of drones. HB312 would be known as the “Preserving Privacy Act of 2013,” it would prohibit individuals and government agencies, including law enforcement, from using a drone to gather evidence or other data on individuals without first obtaining a warrant that shows probable cause of criminal activity.
HB 312 includes an exception that allows law enforcement to use a drone to conduct searches if the agency possesses “reasonable suspicion” that immediate action is necessary to prevent certain types of imminent harm.