Jan 082013
 January 8, 2013  Posted by  Laws, Surveillance, U.S.

Yes, I know it’s important to consider the source and any biases, but I reacted when I read a story on New American by Joe Wolverton II:

Wolverton writes that North Dakota State Representative Rick Becker (R-Bismarck), a first-term legislator, is proposing a state law that would limit the use of drones by law enforcement.  Here’s the part that caught my attention:

Despite the legislative restrictions he wants to impose on the use of the drones, Becker says he isn’t trying to offend police, but to defend the Constitution.

“It’s a new technology that has really amazing capabilities and can be used in excellent ways for our communities. I don’t want to say that drones can’t be used,” Becker said. “But with the new technology there are also issues, primarily privacy issues, which can come into play.”

Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney resents Becker’s meddling in police business and argues that the new law would, as reported by the Huffington Post, “set a troublesome precedent.”

Yes, I can imagine how a warrant standard for drones used in criminal investigations could set a troublesome precedent for law enforcement. That’s exactly the kind of trouble we need.

Read more of Wolverton’s discussion and commentary on New American.  According to a Huffington Post article, “similar legislation will be proposed in many states this legislative session, including California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Missouri, Michigan and Indiana. In Virginia, the ACLU/tea party-backed measure is expected to be unveiled this session.”

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