EPIC, Coalition Call on Congress to Address Overbroad Authorities in Counter-Drone Bill

July 13, 2022

EPIC and a coalition of privacy and civil liberties groups urged the Senate Homeland Security & Government Affairs Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee push back against “the overbroad authority and insufficient protections in the administration’s proposed legislation expanding government power to counter malicious drones.”

The proposal would expand the authority of the DHS and DOJ to counter drones that the agencies deem a threat. Under the bill, the DOJ and DHS could track, monitor, and disrupt drones—including by intercepting the drone’s communications or accessing the data stored on the drone—all without a judicial order.

The current authority of DOJ and DHS to counter drones, granted by the Preventing Emerging Threats Act of 2018, is set to sunset later this year. The Act was opposed by many privacy and civil liberties groups. In a 2018 letter to Congress, EPIC argued Congress should table any consideration of granting government agencies authority to counter drones until drone privacy safeguards had been established.

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