Feb. 25, 2013
HB1556 will be heard in the House Aerospace and Energy Committee at 1:30 Tuesday Feb. 26th Calls, emails needed today!
House Bill 1556-the Oklahoma Unmanned Aerial Surveillance Act
HB 1556 by Rep. Paul Wesselhoft requires law officers, absent an emergency, to obtain a warrant first before using drones for surveillance purposes and prohibits the state from outfitting drones with weapons.
The FAA estimates as many as 30,000 drones could be flying in US skies by 2020 and Oklahoma is poised to become a state leader in the drone industry. In fact, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security launched one of its first test flights for civil use of drones over the skies of Oklahoma in December 2012.
FORT SILL — The small, winged drone quietly soared overhead as SWAT team members closed in on a building at Fort Sill.
When a suspect sprinted from the structure, the drone banked through a cloudless afternoon sky in an effort to track the person.
A few miles away, two Lockheed Martin technicians sat in a converted bedroom of a ranch-style house using a laptop computer to control the drone’s movements. They followed the action on a video relay. NewsOK, Dec. 31, 2012 Read more
Drones are capable highly advanced surveillance. Law enforcement drones can carry various types of equipment including live-feed video cameras, facial recognition, automatic license plate readers, infrared cameras and more. Drone manufacturers admit some are designed to carry “less lethal” weapons such as Tasers or rubber bullets and law enforcement has openly expressed interest in utilizing these weapons.
HB1556 will be heard in the House Aerospace and Energy Committee.(contact info below) Call and tell them that you want them to support HB 1556 for these reasons:
- Drones should be deployed by law enforcement only with a warrant, in an emergency, or when there are specific and articulable grounds to believe that the drone will collect evidence relating to a specific criminal act.
- Images should be retained only when there is reasonable suspicion that they contain evidence of a crime or are relevant to an ongoing investigation or trial.
- Usage policy on domestic drones should be decided by the public’s representatives, not by police departments, and the policies should be clear, written, and open to the public.
- Use of domestic drones should be subject to open audits and proper oversight to prevent misuse.
- Domestic drones should not be equipped with lethal or non-lethal weapons.
Aerial, warrantless surveillance is a violation of our Fourth Amendment rights and our right to privacy!
Oklahoma House Aerospace and Energy Committee Members
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