U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., proposed legislation Tuesday that would forbid the federal government from using aerial drones to watch citizens without a warrant.
The bill is called the “Preserving Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act” and it is aimed at addressing growing privacy concerns over drone use in the country. Earlier this week, an unmanned Navy surveillance drone crashed into Chesapeake Bay and has raised several questions about its domestic usage.
Paul says the government should have restrictions to use drones on citizens, except to patrol national borders, when drones are needed to prevent “imminent danger to life,” or when there are risks of a terrorist attack.
“Like other tools used to collect information in law enforcement, in order to use drones a warrant needs to be issued,” he says. “Americans going about their everyday lives should not be treated like criminals or terrorists and have their rights infringed upon by military tactics.”
By 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration will be allowed to use drones as escorts for commercial aircrafts over U.S. airspace. The agency has also announced it is testing unmanned aerial vehicles in six locations, but will not set the rules for what those drones can be used for.