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Last year, Boeing stepped in to defeat the Washington bill, so this one has a ways to go.

Wash. House passes drone, government surveillance bill

from sUAS News

February 19, 2014

droneside-300x298OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The state House on Monday passed two bills that would restrict the use of drones and government surveillance in Washington state.

 

House Bill 2789, which was approved by an 83-15 vote, would limit the purchase and use of unmanned aircraft systems by state and local agencies.

Under the measure, state agencies and municipal governments could only obtain drones or other unmanned aircraft after getting approval from their governing body. The drones could only be used with a search warrant…read more

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We need attorneys to weigh in on this proposed state statute to regulate drones. Does it really accomplish much? It allows for the “Plain view” doctrine (anything in plain view of an officer can be seized without a warrant) and hasn’t the Supreme Court ruled that anything seen while flying over property is in plain view? Open fields are also considered exempt from search and seizure protections, so does the bill’s requirement that law enforcement get a warrant for gathering criminal evidence apply to open fields? What law enforcement activities does this really prohibit?

“Preserving Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act”

Missouri House Bill 1204

4th Amendment

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Resisting the surveillance state of mind

from Aljazeera

February 11, 2014

src.adapt.960.high.1392159887277In June, Wolfgang Schmidt, once a lieutenant colonel in the former East Germany’s secret police, the Stasi, commented on the NSA’s domestic surveillance program, making the disbanded Stasi’s work during the 1980s seem tiny and crude in comparison. “For us, this would have been a dream come true,” Schmidt told a reporter.

 

…Today a popular myth is that rapid digital advances make more surveillance inevitable. Technology is a convenient scapegoat for escalating invasions of privacy. But there is nothing inherent in technological progress that requires such violations of human rights and civil liberties…read more

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LAPD Scopes Out Israeli drones, ‘Big Data’ Solutions

from Jewish Journal

February 13, 2014

lapd israel storyEight members of the LAPD command staff, pictured with their tour guides, attended the “Big Data Intelligence” conference in Herzliya, Israel on Feb. 6. Photo by Simone Wilson

For the first nine days of February, eight of the Los Angeles Police Department’s top brass were 7,500 miles away from home, being shuttled around Israel in a minibus…The group visited private security firms and drone manufacturers, as well as the terror-prone Ashdod Port, a museum in Sderot full of old rockets shot from nearby Gaza (the same one United States President Barack Obama visited on his 2008 campaign trip to Israel), and a “safe city” underground control center…read more

 

 

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Roaches, Mosquitoes and Birds: The Coming Micro-Drone Revolution

from The Huffington Post

April 17, 2013

Hummingbird Drone“[Drones are a] game-changing technology, akin to gunpowder, the steam engine, the atomic bomb — opening up possibilities that were fiction a generation earlier but also opening up perils that were unknown a generation ago.” — Peter Singer, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution

 

America will never be a “no drone zone.”

That must be acknowledged from the outset. There is too much money to be made on drones, for one, and too many special interest groups — from the defense sector to law enforcement to the so-called “research” groups that are in it for purely “academic” reasons…read more

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Why America Isn’t Ready for Amazon’s Delivery Drones

from Mother Jones

December 2, 2013

no drone logo“It looks like science fiction, but it’s real.” That’s how Amazon, the online retailing giant, describes its new plan to deliver blenders, spice racks, and sex toys in 30 minutes or less via drone. On Sunday, CEO Jeff Bezos announced that his company is in the process of testing these new delivery drones and aims to have them ready by the time the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is expected to open up US airspace to unmanned aerial vehicles in 2015. But after that date, Amazon’s blender-delivering drones will still face big obstacles…read more

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More a snapshot than a history; still it reminds us who often pays the greatest price:

The History of Surveillance and the Black Community

from the Electronic Freedom Foundation

February 13, 2014

mlkx-sqFebruary is Black History Month and that history is intimately linked with surveillance by the federal government in the name of “national security.”  Indeed, the history of surveillance in the African-American community plays an important role in the debate around spying today and in the calls for a congressional investigation into that surveillance. Days after the first NSA leaks emerged last June, EFF called for a new Church Committee. We mentioned that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was one of the targets …read more

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Texas restricts civilian drone usage, leaves exclusive rights to authorities

from RT News

September 15, 2013

texas-drones-new-rules.siTexas has recently become one of the states that has limited the use drones by citizens in civilian airspace tipping the scales in favor of law enforcement use of unmanned surveillance.

The law that was adopted in May came into force this September, making private use of drones without proper permission from the authorities punishable by a fine up to $500…read more