Rand Paul Takes Steps To Halt Warrantless Drone Surveillance On U.S. Soil

Rand Paul is where he belongs. He is in the Senate being that voice against expansion of government and expansion of government power. A big part of that fight is protecting the privacy of Americans from government snooping, and Senator Paul has introduced legislation on exactly that.


From Libertarian Republic:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced a bipartisan amendment with Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) to the FAA Authorization Act which would prohibit law enforcement from using drones to surveil Americans without a warrant.

Surveillance of American citizens is no trivial thing. There is a reason we require warrants, even for passive tech like wiretaps. We have not only a right to and an expectation of privacy in this country, but the protection of that right is critical to the protection of all our rights. It is a basic facet of the American ideas of liberty and freedom. I don’t want a drone flying over my head filming me, listening to me … in point of fact I don’t want a government drone over my head at all, be it federal or local law enforcement.

Here is the relevant portion of Senator Paul’s press release:

The second bipartisan amendment would prohibit law enforcement from using a drone to surveil or collect evidence pertaining to a violation of a law or regulation without a warrant. While the use of drone aircraft and technology continues to expand in all areas of the government, the amendment will ensure the protection of every American citizen’s right to constitutional privacy protections.

“The use of drone surveillance may work on the battlefields overseas, but it isn’t well-suited for unrestrained use on the streets in the United States. Congress must be vigilant in providing oversight to the use of this technology and protection for rights of the American people. I will continue the fight to protect and uphold our Fourth Amendment,” said Sen. Paul.

“Just as we have rules of the road for manned vehicles, we now need rules of the sky for unmanned ones,” said Sen. Markey, a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which has jurisdiction over the FAA. “Requiring that law enforcement obtain a warrant before using a drone ensures we reap the economic and educational benefits of drones while ensuring the privacy of Americans is protected. I thank Senator Paul for his partnership on this amendment, and I look forward to fighting to ensure that Americans are guaranteed strong personal privacy protections as these new vehicles take flight.”


This is the kind of fight that Rand Paul was built for, and in the rush of the election season, it’s the kind of thing we forget to pay attention to. But it’s important.


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