WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) along with Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (CA-19) introduced H.R. 1385, the Preserving American Privacy Act. The bill seeks to ensure the privacy of American citizens by establishing specific guidelines about when and for what purposes law enforcement agencies and private individuals can use drones to conduct targeted surveillance.
By 2030, an estimated 30,000 drones could be flying in American skies. Currently, the laws regarding the use of drones for surveillance are unclear and further legislation is needed to ensure drones are not used in ways that infringe on the 4th Amendment rights of private individuals.
"As we enter this uncharted world of drone technology, Congress must be proactive and establish boundaries for drone use that safeguard the Constitutional rights of Americans," said Rep. Poe. "Today American can walk into their local radio shack and purchase a drone. Individuals are rightfully concerned that these new eyes in the sky (whether they are the eyes of other citizens or the eyes of the government) may threaten their privacy. It is the obligation of Congress to ensure that this does not happen. Just because Big Brother can look into someone's backyard doesn't mean it should. Technology may change, but the Constitution does not."
“As technology advances in new and often exciting ways, we need to ensure that it does so within the bounds of the Constitution and the Fourth Amendment,” said Rep. Lofgren. “This bill is an important measure that will help safeguard Americans’ privacy from unwarranted intrusions.”