A Warrant For Police Drones? City Council Bill Would Do That And More

December 17, 2014 | Rhett Jones

A new bill being introduced to the City Council seeks to require cops to have a warrant if they want to use a drone in the line of duty. It would also entirely ban the use of drones by regular citizens.

The measure is being introduced by Council Member Dan Garodnick, who tells the New York Post:

Technology has gotten ahead of our regulations. There are significant privacy concerns, and drones change people’s reasonable expectation of what is private. There’s a legitimate law-enforcement purpose here which we will carve out.

The bill follows reports of terrorism fears and “near misses” involving drones and commercial airliners.

A less extreme bill is being introduced by Council Member Paul Vallone. He is seeking to create no-fly zones near airports, sports stadiums or certain city landmarks. While his legislation wouldn’t ban civilian use of drones across the board, it does not address privacy issues involving the police.

Whatever the outcome of the two bills, it’s clear that greater restrictions on drone use is inevitable.

(Photo: Rick Silva)