Just Say NO: Seattle Residents Kill the City’s Drone Program

The anti-surveillance state movement is gaining traction and following Charlottesville, Virginia becoming the first city to pass anti-drone legislation, the engaged citizenry of Seattle have now succeeded in killing their city’s own drone program earlier this month.  On the state level, while legislation has been introduced in several places, it appears Florida is closest to enacting domestic surveillance drone regulations into law.  The title of the bill is the “Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act.”  From Forbes:

After a Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee hearing in Seattle (held the night of Feb 7), where residents raised concern over the Seattle Police Departments attempt to use surveillance drones, the program was successfully killed.

In a written response, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn wrote: “Today I spoke with Seattle Police Chief John Diaz and we agreed that it was time to end the unmanned aerial vehicle program so that SPD can focus its resources on public safety and the community building work that is the department’s priority. The vehicles will be returned to the vendor.”

On the legislative side of things, multiple states are already moving to enact laws to strongly regulate the use of surveillance drones.  According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Maine has a bill introduced to regulate drones, as do Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Texas. In Virginia a hearing has already been held on a bill, while Montana has three bills, and hearings have already been held there as well.

Of all states, however, Florida is the closest to enacting domestic surveillance drone regulations into law.

The Florida bill was introduced by state Senator Joe Negron—a very powerful Republican who chairs the budget committee. The actual title of the bill is the “Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act,” and according to the ACLU it has strong bipartisan support, along with support from public defenders, the Florida Sheriff’s Association, and Florida Police Chiefs.

While these guys will try to get away with anything they think they can, this demonstrates that when the citizenry is involved and active we can control our own destiny.  Great job Seattle!

Full article here.

In Liberty,
Mike

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