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June 14, 2012

Reaffirming the Warrant Requirement on Drone Surveillance: Something Liberals and Conservatives Can Agree On

It's called the Preserving Freedom From Unwarranted Surveillance Act. Rand Paul explains:

Well, you know, I got the idea from Representative Austin Scott. So I have to give him some credit from Georgia. He told me about the bill recently. We picked it up and are introducing it as the senate version. Yeah, Iím a big fan of the fourth amendment. Not only do I like the second amendment, I like the fourth amendment. I think you should have to have a warrant to invade people's privacy and to spy on them. And so I think it's very important. And this just basically restates the Constitution. But sometimes you have to restate the Constitution because many up here seem so ignore it. And Representative Scott when he told me about the bill he said, look, when Iím out hunting on my property, I don't want them spying on me. And Iím not a hunter. But when Iím separating out my recyclables, I don't want them having a drone to make sure Iím putting my newspaper in the proper bin.

Costello: Well, we've already got drone launch sites in more than 20 states. Police are pretty excited about this new crime fighting tool. So would your bill make these launch sites go away?

Paul: What it would do is there's a balancing act. I mean police do have power and I want police to catch rapists and murderers. But they ask a judge and we separate the police from the people who finally make the decision on someone coming in your house. So even if a rapist is loose in D.C. tonight, the police will call a judge in the middle of the night, wake him or her up and say, we think there's a rapist in the neighborhood. Can we go in x address? And so those are things that are very, very important to protecting innocent individuals. And a drone is a very, very powerful way of snooping on behavior. And I don't want them monitoring every bit of my behavior. And Iím not joking about the recyclables. I mean, we've had different states and cities trying to punish people criminally for not separating out the recyclables. We don't want a nanny state that watches every minute of our day. It's not that there will be no drones it's just that drones will only be used when a judge says that it's proper.

In this time of low congressional approval ratings and heated rhetoric about division, partisanship, and the inability to get things done, this seems like a layup.

Video below the fold.


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