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Florida Senate Proposing Ban on Drone Surveillance unless a Warrant is obtained
by Ali Papademetriou
A panel in Florida’s Senate has introduced a bill that would protect the Fourth Amendment of its citizens. SB 0092, known as the ‘Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act’, which was introduced by Republican Senator Joe Negron, would forbid law enforcement from spying on citizens through unmanned aerial vehicle or drone technology.
On Tuesday the piece of legislation passed the Criminal Justice Committee with flying colors – a unanimous 7 to 0 margin.
Law enforcement would be both banned from using drones to gather evidence or information for criminal cases as well as for code enforcement.
In favor of the sheriffs and police chiefs, the bill was originally amended to allow drone use for emergency situations such as fires and hostage situations as well as terrorism-related searches, but only under the circumstance that the officer obtain a warrant by a judge first.
“Searches and Seizures; Citing this act as the “Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act”; prohibiting a law enforcement agency from using a drone to gather evidence or other information; authorizing an aggrieved party to initiate a civil action in order to prevent or remedy a violation of the act; prohibiting a law enforcement agency from using in any court of law in this state evidence obtained or collected in violation of the act, etc.,” reads part of the bill.
Florida is catching on to the drone restriction trend that’s been occurring throughout the US this year so far.
As SLN reported, “All within the first two weeks of the New Year, a Kansas City lawmaker and North Dakota lawmaker presented bills that would require a warrant before flying a drone. As well, an Indiana lawmaker presented a bill that would actually nullify domestic drone surveillance by means of protecting Americans’ Fourth Amendment.”