Privacy SOS

Bill would allow police to use weaponized drones

A bill before the Connecticut state legislature would require law enforcement to obtain a warrant to use a drone, but would also allow law enforcement to weaponize the unmanned aerial vehicles. The bill has been approved by the Judiciary Committee and now heads to the House, where members want to debate it. “I think that police are taught one thing,” Democratic Bridgeport Sen. Edwin Gomes told AP. “You put a weapon in their hand, they shoot center mass, they shoot to kill. If it’s going to be used, you’re going to use it to kill somebody.”

Here in Massachusetts, S.1349 would ban the weaponization of drones. It would also require that law enforcement obtain a warrant to use a drone, except in limited exigent circumstances, and that they report annually to the legislature about how drones have been used to conduct investigations. The Massachusetts bill would also ban the use of facial recognition and other biometric identifying technologies on drone aircraft.

If the idea of cops shooting people from drones horrifies you, call your state legislators and ask them to support the Drone Privacy Act here in Massachusetts.

© 2017 ACLU of Massachusetts.