Friday, March 8, 2013

Maine joins 29 other states considering legislation to restrict police use of drones

image credit:
M Hooper Flickr
Madison Ruppert
Activist Post

State lawmakers in Maine have taken the initial steps towards limiting the use of drones by both state and local law enforcement, joining the many other states around the country also looking to regulate drone use.

Similarly, cities including Seattle, Washington and Charlottesville, Virginia are pushing back against drone use as well.

The legislation in Maine, which is waiting on a vote in the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee, seems similar to that being considered in other states in that it “would limit the ability of state and local police to use drones and require a warrant before the unmanned vehicles are deployed in an investigation” according to the Portland Press Herald.

Unsurprisingly, the legislation has come up against resistance from law enforcement along with Maine’s Attorney General Janet Mills.

Mills claims that the bill is too broad and the Maine Department of Public Safety says that drones could come in handy for search and rescue operations. Much of the legislation around the country has a clause allowing for exemptions for emergency use.

The Maine Department of Public Safety already purchased a drone which, according to the deputy chief, was for the sake of “curiosity,” according to the Herald.

The bill is sponsored by Democratic state Senator John Patrick and is part of a larger effort by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to regulate the domestic drone use.


This is no small issue and does not end with law enforcement. As I recently reported, commercial drone operators sometimes just ignore federal regulations restricting drone use entirely.

As I reported on March 4, “Commercial use of drones domestically is just one aspect of the massive drone boom that has pushed colleges and universities to offer more drone piloting programs. Currently, no one even knows how many entities are cleared to fly drones by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).”

We must also consider how Customs and Border Protection uses drones capable of identifying people on the ground and intercepting electronic communications, how the Department of Homeland Security has embraced drones, how the list of public entities cleared to fly drones continues to grow, how the military uses drones and shares data with law enforcement, and how drones are used by National Guard units, just to mention a few concerning developments.

The Maine state Senate Judiciary Committee will be working through the bill Thursday, March 7 and is slated to hear from Mills during the process.

While Mills said in written testimony given to the committee last week that she supports the “intent” of the bill, she claimed that the language is too broad and as currently drafted “prohibits children from flying toy airplanes or deploying drones for news gathering, mapping, weather monitoring or private investigations,” according to the Herald.

One must ask, is it wrong to limit drones for news gathering, mapping or private investigations, all of which could include massive invasions of privacy?

Unfortunately, unless the activity is limited beforehand, the only recourse people would have is to sue the offender and most people don’t have the time or money to file an invasion of privacy lawsuit.

The ACLU reports that Maine is one of 30 states currently looking at regulation restricting the use of drones.

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This article first appeared at End the Lie.

Madison Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The Lie and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. He is available for podcast and radio interviews. Madison also now has his own radio show on UCYTV Monday nights 7 PM - 9 PM PT/10 PM - 12 AM ET. Show page link here: http://UCY.TV/EndtheLie. If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him at admin@EndtheLie.com


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6 comments:

Anonymous said...

It won't make any difference what state and local laws are passed. DHS trumps all other laws...not to mention the Constitution.

Anonymous said...

Chairman of the House Public Safety Committee, Representative Clel Baudler (R- Greenfield, Iowa), said he has no problem with weaponized drones taking flight in Iowa – so he sees no reason to schedule a hearing for "HF410/SF 276: Prohibition of use of unmanned aircraft system", house & senate drone bill.

Senator Robert Hogg (D- Cedar Rapids, Iowa) said, our drone bill wasn’t going anywhere. He said he didn’t have ‘sufficient time’ to consider it.

SWIFTEAGLE said...

MAINE SHOULD NOT USE DRONES. THE STATE POLICE HAVE NEVER BEEN INVESTIGATED OUTSIDE THE ATTORNEY GENERALS OFFICE FOR ALL OF THEIR SELF-DEFENCE SHOOTINGS INCLUDING IN THE BACK AND PEOPLE IN WHEEL-CHAIRS. A DRONE IN THEIR HANDS WOULD BE A FLY-SWATTER. ONLY THE FBI IN CASE OF ON-GOING TERRORIST ATTACKS SHOULD BE ALLOWED ANYWHERE IN US.MAINE SHOULD NOT HAVE A DRONE UNDER ITS ARSONEL OF KILLER FRIENDLY WEAPONS.

Nemetron 2000 said...

They're definitely working their way up to conducting drone strikes on U.S soil. The only thing holding them back is a pretense that the "sheeple" will believe.

Perhaps the whole Chris Dorner thing was their first attempt to legitimize drone strikes in the U.S. Obviously that didn't go as planned. My prediction would be that either Chicago or a border state like Texas will be where the first official drone strike on U.S. soil will take place. Chicago, because of the high crime rate and the disarmed and defenseless citizenry demanding that "something be done", drones will be heralded as the only means for the police to "fight back". Or, a border state like Texas where drug cartels coming over the border are a big problem. Most people wouldn't have a problem with heavily armed illegals crossing the border being gunned down by unmanned drones, but then that's how all tyrannies start. It'll take measures that most people will consider "necessary"; however, those people never consider that one day those very same "necessary" measures will be used against them.

Once it's all said and done, American will probably go down in history as being the first nation to launch drone strikes within its own borders on its own citizens. Wow, another "first" to go right up there with Hiroshima and Nagasaki... oh, yeah and the moon landing.

U.S.A!

U.S.A!

U.S.A!

Anonymous said...

I like how they spent taxpayer money out of curiosity. "We wanted to test our new speed cameras to make sure they worked properly, so we purchased a Bugotti Veryon for a couple of million because they go really fast..."

A while back someone posted an article about how police don't hire people with higher IQ's. But there is a problem that arises when those paid to enforce the law to do not possess the minimum intellect and education to read and comprehend the laws they are enforcing. And we want these people representing us and spending our taxpayer dollars?

Anonymous said...

I had these things following me around day and night in 1992- as I was on an official FED project-long story.They were filmed and were low enough to shoot with a pistol.They are outside major cities in well concealed underground facilities where the earth opens and woods move to let them into the hanger-sometimes making a huge metalic crashing sound,and hunters go through those woods all the time.Legislation of the Waffen SS UFOs ""TRF -3B man made UFOs""(See on You Tube) and these drones haha. They have MIND CONTROL capabilities--guess why you are losing your country cup cakes.

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