New CRS Report Finds Few Protections For Drone Surveillance

"Drones in Domestic Surveillance Operations," a new report from the the Congressional Research Service, examines current law, the Fourth Amendment, and recently introduced legislation. The CRS finds that "the prospect of drone use inside the United States raises far-reaching issues concerning the extent of government surveillance authority, the value of privacy in the digital age, and the role of Congress in reconciling these issues." In testimony before a House Subcommittee earlier this year, EPIC's Amie Stepanovich stated, "there are substantial legal and constitutional issues involved in the deployment of aerial drones by federal agencies that need to be addressed." EPIC recommended that the FAA develop privacy rules, that DHS conduct a privacy assessment, and that Congress establish new privacy safeguards. EPIC, joined by over 100 organizations, experts, and members of the public, has also petitioned the FAA to begin a rulemaking on the privacy impact of drone use. For more information, see EPIC: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Drones.

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