Intellihub: Texas House Passes Drone Surveillance Protection Bill
The Texas State House of Representatives voted 128-11 to pass House Bill 912, which would criminalize unmanned aerial vehicle surveillance without a property owner’s knowledge.
by Derrick Broze
May 13, 2013
The bill would also create penalties for possessing or distributing images taken from the sky by the UAV’s, also known as drones. The crime would be a class Cmisdemeanor, punishable by a $500 fine.
Several amendments were offered throughout the process, including one that would have given police forces full reign of the drone technology. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas, said this bill focuses too heavily on limiting police department use of drones.
“A domestic surveillance state will not be tolerated in Texas. There are proper uses of technology by government , but the people must decide where draw the line,” said Heather Fazio, Executive Director of Texans For Accountable Government. “Texans have done just this by limiting the use of surveillance drones by law enforcement.” The bill does allow exemptions for law enforcement officials tracking suspected criminals.
The bill has now been referred to the Agriculture, Rural Affairs & Homeland Security committe in the State Senate. If it passes Texas will become the second state to pass statewide drone limits. Last month Idaho became the first state to restrict drone use without a warrant.
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