Virginia governor Bob McDonnell is an enthusiastic and outspoken supporter of using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) for police work. In an interview last week at local station WTOP the governor stated that using UAVs to monitor the citizens of the Commonwealth was "the right thing to do."
When it comes to trampling upon the rights of private citizens the bridges linking thought, speech and action are short and sturdy. I wouldn't count on rigorous legal protection. When it comes to issues of privacy the legal system is slow to respond to new technologies and the legislation generally weak and/or ineffective.
Every time a citizen pays their taxes a drone gets its wings...
Four years ago I would have wanted to take some action on this. But the assaults on our liberty come so fast and furious (pun intended) these days I can't list this as a priority. Maybe I'll write a letter to a rep anyway. But my Delegate will love this, my governors is quoted in the article; not sure about the state senator.
If they start flying them over the rural area where I live, they'll discover whether or not drones are bulletproof. A number of my clients are farmers/ranchers who would feel NO guilt about firing at unwelcome drones flying over their property.
I agree with Chuck. The Game Commissioner would have to institute a "Drone Season", down here.
Of course, that assumes you're going to be able to see said drones in the first place.
So what exactly is the difference between sending up drones and having the cops in the air in helicopters?
Somewhat of a good point. If a police department announced they were going to hire dozens of new officers and buy several more helicopters so that they could constantly have someone flying over the city then there would be the same reaction in terms of privacy and illegal search. It would also cause complaints about spending too much of our money.
And, if that helicopter was hovering, low, over the airspace that would be included in someone's property, then they'd better have a search warrant.
There's a long standing joke, that deals with people who live on large pieces of property. If you can see somebody, they're trespassing...and you can shoot 'em.
Why would someone hovering above a house in a helicopter be exempt from that?
As far as I know, airspace, like mineral rights, are not always part of the property rights, depends on the state - but usually those are retained by the government.
Probably true, but if a drone was hovering over my house...and I mean over, not way up in what could reasonably be considered "public" air space, then they'd better watch out.
No one I know, myself included, would tolerate it.
I don't disagree with you in principle, but I suspect that under the law you'd be found in the wrong.
Agreed...and I would expect, in relative short order, a lawsuit to be filed by the public, addressing the practical implementation of such technologies.