California Bill Won’t Nullify Drone Spying

attack dronesThey’re coming. Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), have been cleared to use the public airspace since the Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act passed last year. It is now up to the states to integrate this emerging technology with handouts to pay for them from the Department of Homeland Security. In California, Assembly members Jeff Gorell, a Republican, and Steven Bradford, a Democrat, have teamed up to severely limit the use of drones by state and local law enforcement as well as private individuals.

This is the same damn BS that never got passed when it was first introduced!!!!!!!!

AB 1327, similar to the Privacy Protection Act, stipulates when a warrant is required:

9 (b)  A law enforcement agency may use an unmanned aircraft system, or contract for the use of an unmanned aircraft system, if it has a reasonable expectation that the unmanned aircraft system will collect evidence relating to “criminal activity” and if it has obtained a warrant based on probable cause pursuant to this code.
(c)  A law enforcement agency, without obtaining a warrant, may use an unmanned aircraft system, or contract for the use of an unmanned aircraft system, in emergency situations, including, but not limited to, fires, hostage crises, and search and rescue operations on land, water, or “other emergency situations.”

The bill goes on to limit the use of unmanned aerial vehicles by private persons as well:

14354.  (a) A person or “entity,” other than a public agency subject to Section 14350 or a person or entity under contract to a public agency, for the purpose of that contract, shall not use an unmanned aircraft system for the purpose of surveillance of another person without that person’s consent, and dispose of information collected by drones within six months.

“This is another example of California stepping into the fray where the federal government has been perceived to be slow to respond,” said W. Reece Hirsch, co-chair of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP’s privacy and cybersecurity practice.

State law enforcement groups have come out against the measure, objecting to the requirement of a search warrant to operate a drone in non-emergency situations and claiming that the bill is an inappropriate attempt to impose search and seizure requirements beyond what is required by the Fourth Amendment.

dronespolice12In other states where varying anti-drone bills are introduced, hobbyists of first person viewer (FPV) unmanned aircraft have voiced concern in online forums over infringements on their rights. The fear is that requiring the consent of any person being surveilled would make personal use of this technology all but impossible.

Flying a camera to capture a hot air balloon ride would likely include images of houses and backyards, but clearly “the purpose” of that UAV wouldn’t be to spy on those below. AB 1327 requires the consent of the person surveilled only when that is the purpose of the flight operation. It is important to respect the rights of private owners of this technology not only because they have as much protection as anyone else, but also because the public benefits from private drones. Like cameras in the streets watching police, cameras in the skies can also serve as a check on government power.

Alameda County government officials recently requested drones from the Department of Homeland Security. Civil liberties advocates are raising concerns because Oakland, in Alameda County, was where police and Occupy protestors clashed. Local governments want them and the feds want them to have them. The drones are here to stay and it will require action from the people to keep them grounded or at least restricted by due process protecting privacy.

While the bill only limits drone use by state and local government,, commercial and “public entities,” it will have some serious impact on intended results being pushed by the federal government. At this stage in the ‘drone game,’ the feds are working hard behind the scenes to get states to operate the drones for them.

In fact, the primary engine behind the expansion of drone surveillance being carried out by states and local communities is the Federal government itself. Department of Homeland Security issues large grants to local governments so that those agencies can purchase drones. Those grants, in and of themselves, are an uncosntitutional expansion of power.

The goal? Fund a network of drones around the country and put the operational burden on the states.Once the create a web over the whole country, DHS steps in with requests for ‘information sharing,’” he said. Bills like these put a dent in this kind of long-term strategy. Without the states and local communities operating the drones today, it’s going to be nearly impossible for DHS plans to – take off.”


If you live in California, contact your legislator and tell them to support AB 1327.DronesPlease send us your input or attend the luncheon to have your questions answered by the speakers.

The League of Women Voters of San Diego will be hosting a luncheon, Drones: “The Good, The Bad, and The Amazing,” on October 16, 2014, to discuss the pros and cons related to the issues on the November ballot.

“We want to have speakers on the various types and uses of drones and the regulations that cover them now and what is still needed,” Jeanne Brown, Program Director of the LWVSD.

If you are available on October 16th, please contact Jeanne Brown and share your insights, questions and concerns. (see contact info below).
The luncheon will be at Tom Ham’s Lighthouse, 2150 Harbor Island Dr., from 11:30 am -1:30 pm.
Jeanne Brown
Program Director
(619) 857-1807


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Top Secret List

In Countries Not Authorized by Congress
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Armed Drone Spotted Over Commie Town 05.17.12
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 Injustice Dept’s Eric Holder: Drone Strikes Against Americans on U.S. Soil are Legal


Bill Text – AB1327 Unmanned aircraft systems.

Drone Laws in the States – DRONELIFE

California Bill Would Nullify Drone Spying | Tenth

League of Women Voters of San Diego

Calendar – LWV of North County San Diego

Sick Leave, Drones, Drought Top Calif. Lawmakers’ Agenda

TSA, Homeland Security, Drones, Fema Concentration




2 thoughts on “California Bill Won’t Nullify Drone Spying

  1. Pingback: Opportunity for Public Input: Drones: The Good, The Bad, and The Amazing! | Back Country Voices

  2. Pingback: Opportunity for Public Input on Drones: The Good, The Bad, and The Amazing! | Back Country Voices

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