Senator Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, said that Congress may need to step in on behalf of the American people due to “legitimate concern about insufficient safeguards in place to make sure drones aren’t used to spy on American citizens.”
This comes as the Florida Senate voted unanimous to restrict drone use, one small Minnesota city banned drones, Virginia considers a drone moratorium and a California city considers an anti-drone ordinance.
Similarly, Charlottesville, Virginia has already banned drones, the mayor of Seattle, Washington shot down their police department’s drone program and legislators across the country consider anti-drone laws.
Grassley, who is currently Iowa’s senior senator, has been quite critical of drone use in the United States in the past, saying that the government’s use of drones for domestic surveillance “runs contrary to the nation of what it means to live in a free society.”
“The prospect of drone use inside the United States raises far-reaching issues concerning the extent of government surveillance authority and privacy in the digital age,” the report from Grassley’s office stated.
However, according to Adam B. Sullivan of the Press-Citizen, “Grassley has made clear he doesn’t oppose the use of drones outright, saying he supports the technology for certain military and police operations.”
Yet still, Grassley said, “There’s legitimate concern about insufficient safeguards in place to make sure drones aren’t used to spy on American citizens, perhaps unfairly enforce criminal law, and unduly infringe on individual privacy.”
“Congressional action may be needed to reconcile privacy and legitimate domestic drone use,” he added.
“As this technology develops, the sky is the limit on how drones could be used in our society, so it’s important that Congress be vigilant in addressing the balance of legitimate drone use and drone use that unduly interferes with private lives,” Grassley said.
In the past, Grassley has pointed out that when he asked the Attorney General last June if the Justice Department was using or planned on using drones for law enforcement purposes, he never received an answer.
He didn’t receive an answer “even after another appearance before us earlier this month,” Grassley said in March.
“It is very important that the American people know whether or how the Justice Department is using drones,” Grassley said. “And failing to provide answers about the use of this technology is concerning. It may well be a necessary subject for future legislation.”
Hopefully individuals like Grassley will be able to push for at least some degree of increased scrutiny of domestic drone use as well as drone use abroad.
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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 [email protected]