Texas Anti-Drone Spying Bill Hits Governor Perry’s Desk

By on May 22, 2013
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by Ali Papademetriou

In February SLN reported on a Texas bill introduced by Representative Gooden that would crack down on government violation of the Fourth Amendment.

House Bill 912, known as the ‘Texas Privacy Act’, would make so that gathering unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone surveillance images without a warrant or probable cause would be considered a Class C misdemeanor.

As far as the criminal charges go, the bill stipulates that, “A civil penalty of $1,000, subject to adjustment of the dollar amount under for each image of the plaintiff or of the real property owned or legally occupied by the plaintiff that is captured, possessed, disclosed, displayed, distributed, or otherwise used.”

In addition, the measure specifies that the images that someone “possesses”, “discloses”, “displays”, “distributes”, or “otherwise uses” is subject to a Class C misdemeanor. Furthermore, “Each image a person possesses, discloses, displays, distributes, or otherwise uses in violation of this section is a separate offense. An offense under this section for the disclosure, display, distribution, or other use of an image is a Class B misdemeanor.”

Clearly if passed into law, HB 912 would protect Texans from having their natural right to privacy taken advantage of and blatantly breached.  Luckily for state residents, the measure made it a few steps closer to becoming law this month when it passed unanimously through the Texas House as well as Senate.

The House passed the ‘Texas Privacy Act’ on May 10th with a 128 to 11 vote and last Friday, the bill flew through the Senate with a 29 to 1 vote. Now it is up to Governor Rick Perry to either veto or sign the bill.

Image Reference

Wikimedia Commons

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2 Comments

  1. lin

    May 22, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    I call on Governor Perry to sign the bill. Thank you for this and I hope and pray that all the other states will follow your lead.

  2. Trunks

    June 7, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    I hope the Governor Perry does not sign bill. The only reason why Lance Gooden wanted this bill pass is to protect his special interest group that was caught dumping blood into the river which was illegal to do. Most FPV hobbyists do no spy on people, they film landscape in public places or give them a fun feeling like they are inside of a cockpit of a flying aircraft. Ask yourself this people, how would you like it if they ban your guns in Texas. Leave responsible hobbyists alone instead of waisting tax payers money when this issue will get challenge in court due to the ambiguous wording of the law. I’m sure Texas already have a Peep N Tom law already in the law books. Besides, police, news media , companies will still use Quadcopter with a camera instead of RC hobbyist. So what is the point passing the bill?

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