A Weak Drone Law?

Not Everyone Is Satisfied with the Council's New Restrictions

A Weak Drone Law?

On March 18, the Seattle City Council unanimously approved legislation governing how and when the city can use and operate surveillance equipment or aerial unmanned drones. But despite council assurances that the legislation would promote transparency and public awareness of new surveillance systems, the bill's vote was accompanied by angry chanting from the crowd.

"This isn't perfect legislation, but it's far ahead of the game of any other place in the country right now," explained the measure's sponsor, Nick Licata. It requires any drone-hungry city agency—e.g., the Seattle Police Department—to get council approval before purchasing new surveillance equipment. It also requires departments to adopt written protocols detailing how they will retain, access, and store data obtained through surveillance.

Earlier this year, council members were surprised to learn that the SPD had acquired several aerial drones through a federal grant, and Seattle residents discovered 30 surveillance cameras being erected along Seattle's waterways—most notably, along Alki Beach.

The ACLU of Washington urged the council to delay the vote until an auditing process was written into the legislation—specifically, that the city auditor oversee and report on all drone and surveillance use. "In order for the proposed ordinance to be effective, it must have teeth," said ACLU-WA deputy director Jennifer Shaw in a statement. Instead, the council agreed to revisit the legislation in a year and decide whether the auditor component was necessary. recommended


Comments (3) RSS

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Who the shit would think that giving the corrupt and disgusting Seattle Police Department more power would be a good idea?!

Those morons in City council and that sleeping mayor Mcginn have got to to go.
Posted by seven on March 21, 2013 at 9:37 PM · Report this
I believe it is time to revolt and throw the city council and the corrupt mayor out...I am sick and tired of this city passing laws like this without the public consent...Seattle is dead to me!!! I am moving to burien,at least you can do drugs and fuck in private without a rc helicopter with a camera spying on you and the laws are different...
Posted by a upset citizen of seattle on March 22, 2013 at 9:07 AM · Report this
GlibReaper 3
Cameras on manned aircraft with video downlink? Unrestricted.

'Temporary' surveillance cameras supported by reasonable suspicion or used under exigent circumstances? Unrestricted.

"Notwithstanding the provisions of this Chapter, City departments may acquire or use surveillance equipment that is used on a temporary basis for the purpose of a criminal investigation supported by reasonable suspicion, or pursuant to a lawfully issued search warrant, or under exigent circumstances as defined in case law. This exemption from the provisions of this ordinance does not apply to surveillance cameras mounted on drones or other unmanned aircraft."

The bill in question:…
Posted by GlibReaper on March 27, 2013 at 12:27 AM · Report this

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