Yet again we find that Tea Party members, libertarians, liberty movement types, and the ACLU have common ground on an issue. This is happening more than you might think these days, especially in Maine. It is good to see diverse groups with vaguely different agendas working together on issues of liberty and freedom.
Maine is to tell the Feds what they can and cannot do with their domestic drones in the Maine sky with bill LD326(SP72), “An Act To Protect the Privacy of Citizens from Domestic Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Use.”
The bill "regulates unmanned aerial vehicles, including their acquisition and lawful operation by law enforcement agencies in collecting, disclosing and receiving information and the retention of information collected."
The act even provides a way for individuals whose rights are violated under this law to seek compensation, "If a law enforcement agency violates any provision of this chapter, the person about whom information was collected personally or as owner of a residence, property or area in violation of this chapter may institute and prosecute in that person's own name and on that person's behalf a civil action for legal or equitable relief. In addition to compensatory damages, a person whose rights have been violated by a violation of this chapter may recover no more than $5,000 plus reasonable attorney's fees and court costs."
Naturally it remains to be seen whether this administration will pay any attention whatsoever if this bill is passed. The Obama administration does have a habit of riding roughshod over the desires of states if they disagree with policy. It will no doubt take a court challenge backed by this law to force the administration to take heed of it.
The ACLU has issued a statement on the bill and encouraged citizens to testify in the public hearings being held on the matter next week.
One only has to ask why a Republican hasn’t proposed this bill in Augusta, Maine, and we have to instead see a Democrat taking the initiative. It looks as if the liberty movement’s influence on the Maine Republican Party still has a ways to go. Kudos to state Senator John Patrick for seeing the threat that drones are to Mainers and American’s privacy.
And the Portland Press Herald has come out sensibly on this issue, a move that might surprise many critics of the paper:
“Without a law, we could see a day when everyone in Maine is under surveillance all of the time, and records of our every move are kept in databases. That may sound far-fetched, but the technology exists now, so it's up to us to set some rules.”
It is time we all stood up to the use of drones on innocent Americans in their own country and states.