Quantcast
Published On: Fri, Apr 26th, 2013

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signs bill to ‘restrict’ use of drones by police

A new Florida law restricts police use of drones within the state’s borders as Governor Rick Scott signed the bill into law.

“This is something all Floridians should be proud of,” Scott said. “We shouldn’t have unreasonable surveillance of ourselves.” 

Armed Predator drone firing Hellfire missile 2010 photo Brigadier Lance Mans, Deputy Director, NATO Special Operations Coordination Centre

Armed Predator drone firing Hellfire missile 2010 photo Brigadier Lance Mans, Deputy Director, NATO Special Operations Coordination Centre

The bill that state lawmakers passed unanimously earlier this year, Scott said, “maintains a balance between the need for law enforcement to protect our citizens against credible threats and imminent danger while ensuring that the privacy of Florida families is protected.”

The measure was backed by both the American Civil Liberties Union and by conservative Republicans.

Critics of the bill point to the lack of restrictions from a Federal presence and the ambiguous language associated with “being a threat.” (SEE MORE BELOW)

The appeal of SB 92, which was sponsored by the Senate’s appropriations chair, Sen. Joe Negron of Stuart, was unanimous among lawmakers, Republicans and Democrats. It didn’t receive one ’nay’ vote, nor did the House companion bill sponsored by Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne.

Both sponsors stood with Scott as he signed the bill into law.

“It’s important that, as American citizens, we respect the role of law enforcement,” Negron said. “But we just don’t want a general practice of drones hovering in the sky monitoring the activities of lawful Floridians.”

The new law bans local law enforcement officials from using drones without a warrant or threat of a terrorist attack and prohibits the use of information collected by drones to be used as evidence in courts.

It has several exemptions, however, including if the federal government determines there’s a credible threat of a terrorist strike. It also doesn’t address the use of the cameras by the federal government, which cannot be regulated by state lawmakers, or private users, which can be, but haven’t yet.

In Florida, drone use is hardly a pressing problem. Only three Florida law enforcement agencies (Miami-Dade Police Department and Orange and Polk counties sheriff’s offices) have authorization to use drones — to observe, not to shoot — and none of them have used drones in a real-life situation.

But Negron and Workman say technology has improved so much that drones are cheaper now, and a commercial boom is looming.

“There’s an industry that wants to sell hundreds and thousands of these drones all over the country, and before they’re up in the sky, I thought it was a good idea to say, here are the rules in Florida,” Negron said.

As The New American reported earlier, the language of the law is not perfect. Section 4(a) of the bill carves out a “dangerous exception” to its otherwise commendable constitutional protections.

Section 4(a) authorizes the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to launch a drone over Florida (and seemingly violate the Fourth Amendment’s protection of “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures”) “to counter a high risk of a terrorist attack by a specific individual or organization.”

Desribed as “an enormous loophole, one just large enough for a Hellfire missile,” says Prison Planet.

 

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter

* indicates required
/ ( mm / dd ) [ALL INFO CONFIDENTIAL]

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

Tags
Displaying 1 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Florida Gov. Rick Scott Signs Bill To ‘Restrict’ Use Of Drones By Police says:

    […] “This is something all Floridians should be proud of,” Scott said. “We shouldn’t have unreasonable surveillance of ourselves.” (Read Full Article Here) […]

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter



Categories

Archives

At the Movies

Pin It