New York may join the list of states across the country that have been curtailing the use of unmanned drones. Newly-elected Bronx Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda just announced he is “preparing legislation to circumscribe the domestic usage of drones.”
“The Assemblyman believes that not enough attention is being paid to their operations in the United States, and envisions that without appropriate safeguards, they can be used for malicious and intrusive purposes,” a press release from Mr. Sepulveda’s office declared. “Mr. Sepulveda is open to coordinating with civil libertarian groups to ensure that any bill originating from his office will be adequately comprehensive to “stay ahead” of this burgeoning technology.”
President Obama’s administration recently made the controversial decision to expand drone usage in the United States, primarily to aid police and first responders. However, privacy advocates are concerned about the extensive surveillance data the unmanned flights could gather in the process.
According to the Chicago Tribune, more than 20 states are considering legislation to deal with these privacy issues. Illinois, for example, has a bill limiting drone surveillance to formal investigations while Virginia has moved to ban them outright.
Mr. Sepulveda’s chief of staff Ken Thomas told Politicker the assemblyman’s bill is still being drafted, but they are looking at restricting drones to warrant-carrying police searches and banning any form of drone weaponization.