A bill introduced by Florida State Sen. Joe Negron would severely limit the use of unmanned flying surveillance drones by police and other law enforcement agencies.
Negron’s “Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act”, Senate Bill 92, would create rules that would prohibit police from using drones that are capable of taking pictures and video in most situations.
“I am very opposed to making it a standard practice for the government to have drones floating in the sky, monitoring the lawful movements of Florida citizens,” Negron told reporters.
Negron said that he could see the potential for military use of the machines in combat zones, but believes they have no place flying over the heads of Americans.
“I’m not sure we would know they were being used,” Negron said. “A lot of these deployments are made in secrecy, and sometimes people found out they were being monitored months after the fact because this isn’t something that’s widely advertised.”
Under the provisions of the bill, any evidence originating from drones wouldn’t be admissible in court. Furthermore, it outlines clear guidelines for Floridians to file civil suits if they feel their privacy has been breached via use of a drone.
Negron says the only time drones should be lawfully used is if the federal government cites a high risk of terrorism or in emergencies. The bill also outlines procedures for agencies to seek search warrants to use the aircraft.