Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Texas Bans Drone Surveillance

COMMENT - Action against drones is one of the issues moving us back toward local control.  The bill proposed in Texas is still allows more latitude for use than many jurisdictions passing similar laws and ordinances.  

Legislation pending in 31 other states

Steve Watson
May 28, 2013

Texas Bans Drone Surveillance 280513drone
The Texas legislature passed a bill this past weekend that would see a blanket ban on capturing moving or still images on private property with an unmanned drone.
The legislation, House Bill 912, authored by Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Terrell, will make it a Class C misdemeanor for anyone to use a drone for surveillance of an individual without their prior consent. Further distributing any images captured as a result of such activity will be a class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $10,000.
The bill states that “Each image a person possesses, discloses, displays, distributes, or otherwise uses in violation of this section is a separate offense. An offense under this section for the disclosure, display, distribution, or other use of an image is a Class B misdemeanor.”
Exceptions to the legislation, known as the ‘Texas Privacy Act’, will be police use of drones to pursue known felons or conduct criminal investigations. Using drones to investigate misdemeanors will require a warrant. In addition, use of drones to survey accidents, disasters or potential hazardous spills will be permitted.  
Another exemption allows media organisations that have permission to use drones to monitor any major news activity.
“With the privacy and property rights of Texans, it is important that specific safeguards are put into place which govern the purpose and manner in which drones may be used,” said Rep. Gooden.  MORE

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