Lawmakers Target Drones With "Preserving American Privacy Act Of 2013"

Across the country, lawmakers are trying to figure out what to do about those pesky private unmanned aerial vehicles.

New draft legislation in the House of Representatives is attempting to restrict the private use of drones, making it a misdemeanor to use a UAV to photograph a person or their property without their explicit permission.

Public space use would be equally limited, according to the "Preserving American Privacy Act of 2013" (PDF), requiring a max altitude of just six feet. Law enforcement bodies would have to obtain a warrant or court order to be able collect information on individuals in a private area. And it bans the use of armed drones in U.S. airspace—which clarifies the debate on targeting U.S. citizens.

Several states are already grappling with how law enforcement should be able to use drones. Charlottesville, VA., passed a law banning drones from its airspace earlier this month. Florida lawmakers are proposing that drone use would have to be authorized by the Department of Homeland Security. The American Civil Liberties Union generally supports such legislation because governments could use drones for domestic surveillance, which raises a host of privacy issues.

The proposed bill also addresses the extraordinarily fast development of drones for private use. UAVs were the privilege of government bodies until very recently but have become popular tools for entertainment and fun and have become increasingly popular among local police departments.

It's inevitable that laws to restrict private UAVs will happen but given that there are already privacy laws, do you agree with this new push? Isn't it a bit dangerous to limit drones to head-chopping height?

[Image: Flickr user faceme]

Add New Comment


  • Unaccountable Drones

    Brilliant, delighted, hope it gets through - I assume the Rep base will back it - i.e. government snooping in their back yards rhetoric etc... either way... good to keep those drones out of US airspace unless for very good and accountable reasons - keep them away form ;eople and don't let them be used to spy on US citizens!!!! Finding a lost kid is one thing - allowing all the 18,000 law depts to use them when they like is mental - bonkers - needs to be prevented - I hope they run ads on TV and push this bill hard as possible!! Drones have been abused so badly for so long allowing the US to commit hundreds of immoral war crimes in the name of saving US troops - which wouldn't have been used anyway. Time to open the drone books and get congress to do their bloody jobs and pull the reigns in tight on your out of control illegal immoral murderous foreign drone policy. If a terrorist attack can be proven to be extremely imminent and can be tracked to one individual somewhere and you cannot under any circumstances apprehend them and bring them to justice with the evidence you have - then by all means take them out with a drone IF allowed by the host nation AND once all other avenues are tried AND in the case there will be NO CIVILIAN DEATHS... but this is and has not been the case in the majority of the 440 murderous illegal; drone strikes carried out behind closed doors, secretly with no accountability at all - by the CIA who run and own the program so that they can NOT CONFIRM OR DENY ANYTHING THEY DO!!! Complete bullsh1t!!1 this needs to be stopped and this new court and this new law could stop all this madness - Obama  will be judged by history - once you cross that moral line - it doesn't matter how many terrorists you kill - you've sacrificed the moral high ground and you become a SIN EATER! ... on behalf of the US population who were never asked!!!!! The drone murders have severely weakened the integrity of the United States of America. All without oversight or without answering the people who put these guys in power - that ain't democracy - IT NEEDS TO BE FIXED !!! IT'S BROKEN!

  • Cyrus Phillips

    I don't see anything in the PDF about an altitude restriction of six feet.

  • www-TopTheNews-com

    Good snag, more people need to see what the govt is up to and the relatively few in Congress trying to fight it...