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‘Fine to kill terrorists,’ but Sen. Joe Negron says drones have no place in Florida

By on January 16th, 2013

A proposed bill in the Florida senate would make it illegal for law enforcement and government agencies from using drones to gather evidence or monitor Florida residents.

Sen. Joe Negron (R-Palm City) said he believes the bill, also known as the “Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act,” would protect citizens’ rights to privacy.

“Drones are fine to kill terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but they shouldn’t be hovering in the sky, monitoring Floridians,” Negron said. “That’s not something we believe is an appropriate role for government.”

The bill comes with some exceptions such as search warrants. These warrants are authorized by judges and for national security, hostage and missing children situations.

Miami Police were the first to use drones after the Federal Aviation Admission gave them permission, according to The Orlando Sentinel. They also mentioned that the Orange County Sherriff’s Office recently acquired drones for about $50,000.

About half a dozen law enforcement departments in Florida use drones, according to the Jacksonville Daily Record.

The Senate Criminal Justice Committee was the bill’s first stop, and it has three more places to go before it heads to the Senate floor. It has to go through the judiciary committee, the appropriations subcommittee on criminal and civil justice, and the appropriations committee.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Florida Public Defenders Union support Negron’s bill, according to Sunshine State News. It added that the bill is opposed by the Florida Sherriff’s Association and the Florida Police Chiefs Association.


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  • M Testa

    The first thing that occurred to me when I heard they want to fly drones around the skies of Florida is that I hope they are really quiet. If any of the millions of gun owner here in Florida spot a drone flying overhead I can picture a scene similar to an old Bugs Bunny cartoon with a bunch of bullets flying everywhere trying to knock it down like a duck if for no other reason than the sport of it. All of that lead going up eventually will have to come back down somewhere. In Orlando there was a man killed by a falling bullet several years ago on a New Years Eve.

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  • No_Smart_Grids

    If Senator Negron is truly concerned about Floridians’ privacy, he
    should be outlawing Smart Meters. Contrary to the lies that the
    electric companies have been telling, Smart Meters contain digital
    signal processing chips that identify any device or appliance with a
    motor that is plugged or hard-wired into your building’s electrical
    system. They know what you are using in your house, when you’re using
    it and for how long. They can estimate how many people live in your
    house. Law enforcement can find every grow house. Companies like
    Gridglo.com out of Delray Beach (ex-CEO of Florida Power & Light Co.
    is working with them – conflict of interest?) are data-mining Smart
    Meter data and your financial, educational, demographic information and
    monitoring your internet and cell phone usage. They then sell this info
    to whomever wishes to buy it. It’s all on their website. I am far
    more concerned about this violation of privacy that violates both the
    State of Florida Constitution and the Constitution of the United States
    of America than I am about any drone flying over my house. It’s time to
    get real and open your eyes!

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  • MM59

    In addition to the drones, can he get the military to stop performing drills over Miami and use their training facilities instead? reports are they used machine guns for this latest drill, see http://youtu.be/ri9ioCbqJCU

    Also I agree with the smart meter comment made by No Smart Grids. Do your research. The meters are capable of pulling detailed data from your home and the PSC held no public hearings on smart meters – what Order or Rule is protecting your privacy.

    See Congressional Research report on the subject here

    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42338.pdf

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