Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., unveiled two bills designed to limit government surveillance of Americans, including one that would effectively ban the use of drone technology in the United States.
“The use of drone surveillance may work on the battlefields overseas, but it isn’t well-suited for unrestrained use on the streets in the United States,” Paul said in a statement yesterday. “Congress must be vigilant in providing oversight to the use of this technology and protection for rights of the American people. I will continue the fight to protect and uphold our Fourth Amendment.”
Paul released the Preserving Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act yesterday, the same day that the U.S. drone policy came back into the spotlight as the Justice Department conceded that the Obama team has killed four Americans overseas (three were not targets of the strikes). The bill would allow for drone surveillance along the border, in the case of terrorist attacks, and imminent threats the American lives.
The Kentucky senator explained that the bill prevents law enforcement from reading electronic communications without a warrant.
“Congress has passed a variety of laws that decimate our Fourth Amendment protections. In effect, it means that Americans can only count on Fourth Amendment protections if they don’t use e-mail, cell phones, the Internet, credit cards, libraries, banks, or other forms of modern finance and communications,” Paul said in his statement Thursday. “Basic constitutional rights should not be invalidated by carrying out basic, day-to-day functions in a technologically advanced world and this bill will provide much needed clarity and reassert Fourth Amendment protections for records held by third parties.”