North Carolina lawmakers moving quickly ahead with troubling proposals to rapidly expand law enforcement surveillance via unmanned “drone” aircraft should take a look at the newest poll numbers on the subject.
This is new from the good folks at the ACLU of North Carolina:
Poll: 72% of North Carolina Voters Support Warrant Requirement for Drone Surveillance
As State Legislative Committee Studies Ways to Regulate Drone Use, New Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for Warrant Requirements to Protect Privacy
RALEIGH – Seventy-two percent of North Carolina voters believe law enforcement and other government agencies should be required to obtain a warrant from a judge before using a drone, or unmanned aircraft, to conduct surveillance on a private citizen, according to a new poll released today by the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina (ACLU-NC) and conducted by Public Policy Polling. Only 13% of those polled said they did not support the warrant requirement.
The survey of 884 North Carolina voters across the ideological spectrum comes just days before a state legislative committee tasked with studying and recommending ways to regulate drone use in North Carolina holds its third meeting on Monday, March 17. A provision in the state budget has placed a de facto moratorium on drone use by most government agencies for the next two years.
“It’s clear that North Carolinians value their right to privacy and strongly oppose giving the government the power to conduct surveillance on private citizens without a warrant,” said Sarah Preston, Policy Director for the ACLU-NC. “As lawmakers move to establish rules for drones in North Carolina, they should respect the will of the people and make sure that any new drone laws include strong privacy protections that would require the government to obtain a warrant before conducting surveillance on private citizens.”
WHAT: Meeting of the House Committee on Unmanned Aircraft Systems
WHEN: 1 p.m., Monday, March 17, 2014
WHERE: North Carolina General Assembly. Room 1228/1327 LB.
The ACLU-NC strongly supports H.B. 312, the “Preserving Privacy Act of 2013,” a bipartisan bill introduced last year that would prohibit individuals and government agencies, including law enforcement, from using a drone to gather evidence or other data on individuals without first obtaining a warrant that shows probable cause of criminal activity. The bill includes an exception that allows law enforcement to use a drone to conduct searches if the agency possesses “reasonable suspicion” that immediate action is necessary to prevent certain types of immediate harm.
The entire poll is available at acluofnc.org.