Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, are aircraft either remotely controlled by a pilot on the ground or autonomously flying a pre-programmed mission. Most people are familiar with the military version of this technology from our Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Soon all nations will support fleets of military drone aircraft. Many people have also noticed this same technology being used in surveillance and reconnaissance here at home. Local and federal law enforcement agencies are rapidly increasing their use of domestic drones. Manufacturers selling drones to these agencies are considering arming these remote-controlled aircraft with nonlethal weapons like rubber bullets, Tasers and tear gas. Online retailer Amazon has even applied for permission to use drones to deliver packages. Anyone can purchase and legally fly a drone in most parts of the country. Among other things, drones are used for search and rescue missions, photography, spotting wildfires, monitoring crops and patrolling our borders. The FAA predicts that by 2018 there will be over 7,000 drone systems in operation, creating 70,000 new jobs. Colleges are now offering degrees in drone piloting. However, advocates say these developments may not be good news to those who value their privacy. They claim police drone programs need oversight to ensure they are only used for emergencies, with a warrant, or when they have probable cause. Furthermore, they say that images recorded by drones should only be stored if they are needed for an investigation or as evidence. The FAA has designated drone test sites in Alaska, Nevada, New York, Texas, North Dakota and Virginia. It has plans to allow widespread use of domestic drones beginning in 2015.
H.R.1262 – Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act of 2013
I oppose reforming current domestic drone policy and wish to defeat H.R.1262
I support prohibiting any person or entity from using a drone system for law enforcement or intelligence purposes without a warrant, except in emergencies; ensuring the civil operation of small drone systems is done in compliance with privacy principles; allowing a lawsuit against a governmental entity for persons injured by these prohibited acts, and wish to pass H.R.1262