WASHINGTON (March 17, 2015) – The R Street Institute praised Reps. Ted Poe, R‐Tex., and Zoe Lofgren, D-CA,  for reintroducing the Preserving American Privacy Act today.
This important legislation will bring constitutional privacy protections into the 21st century by addressing new and emerging technologies – specifically unmanned aircraft systems ‐ and their effects on privacy. Among other regulations, the bill clarifies that law enforcement must get a warrant to use a drone for targeted surveillance of an individual’s person or property.

“Laws that focus on drones must strike the right balances between promoting technological advance and maintaining our legal and Constitutional protections,” said Mike Godwin, general counsel and director of innovation policy at R Street. “The Preserving American Privacy Act doesn’t just aim right for that balance – it also answers the questions that need to be asked whenever our government embraces any new technology that can impact citizens’ privacy, lives and liberty.”

The bill is an important step towards ensuring that Americans are subject to the civil liberties enumerated in the Bill of Rights.

“We believe that protection from warrantless drone surveillance should already be understood to exist in our law,” said Godwin. “Regrettably, our courts have not always drawn those lines.”

“Reps. Poe and Lofgren have made this bill an excellent example of thoughtfulness and farsightedness when it comes to regulating drone technology and protecting Americans,” he said.


Featured Publications