By R. Brownell
The state of Maine recently dropped the gauntlet, putting into effect a law which limits the use of surveillance drones within the state’s borders by local and state police in order to combat the federal government’s use of mass surveillance technology.
As reported by the Tenther Blog:
Introduced by Rep. Diane Russell (D-Portland) and co-sponsored by Sen. Eric Brakey (R-Androscoggin), Legislative Document 25 (LD25) prohibits warrantless drone surveillance with only a few exceptions, requires local legislative approval before an agency can acquire drones and sets out minimum standards for drone operation.
In addition, law enforcement agencies may not “conduct surveillance of private citizens peacefully exercising their constitutional rights of free speech and assembly.”
The new law does allow law enforcement to “use an unmanned aerial vehicle for the purpose of a search and rescue operation when the law enforcement agency determines that use of an unmanned aerial vehicle is necessary to alleviate an immediate danger to any person or for training exercises related to such uses.”
Without carte blanche consent from the state, the federal government will have a much more difficult time collecting warrantless information on private citizens.