Archive for Friday, March 21, 2014

Drone legislation takes off in Kansas Senate

March 21, 2014


— Concerns over privacy and public safety were voiced Friday as a Senate committee advanced a bill aimed at regulating unmanned vehicles, or drones.

State Sen. Caryn Tyson, R-Parker, said Senate Bill 409 was designed to protect the privacy of individuals and business from drones equipped with cameras and recording devices.

"The potential for abuse is there and is real," said Tyson.

But several members of the Senate Natural Resources Committee said they thought the bill produced by Tyson's subcommittee went too far in limiting the use of drones by law enforcement and the military.

"This deals with things far outside the scope" of the committee, said state Sen. Greg Smith, R-Overland Park. Smith tried to send the issue to the Judicial Council, which reviews legal issues, for further study, but his motion was rejected.

State Sen. Tom Hawk, D-Manhattan, asked if under the bill, the military would be prohibited from flying drones over private property to move the machines to other facilities. Tyson said the military would have to guide the drones over public lands.

Tyson said the Legislature needed to act on the issue to protect Kansans' privacy. The bill was sent to the full Senate on a voice vote.


Jeanne Swearingen 1 year, 6 months ago

I wish they had explained why they think the military would need to fly drones over Kansas. How would the use of drones differ substantially from what is already available for surveillance?

Clark Coan 1 year, 6 months ago

I think I read where they already have drones the size of hummingbirds which can look into your windows with a camera! The Fourth Amendment under which we have the constitutional right to privacy is quickly disappearing.

Amy Varoli Elliott 1 year, 6 months ago

We gave that right away after September 11th, but people just don't realize it.

Ned Wolfsosoon 1 year, 6 months ago

If they limit or ban the use of drones for privacy reasons, they need to ban google earth from taking photographs of our cities and google street view from driving down our roads with their 9 cameras mounted on their cars. Sure, google has software to remove people from their pictures but they still have those photos of people on their hard drives somewhere. Why let a big corporation like google off the hook just because they use artificial satellites or camera laced cars? Fair is fair after all. This also applies to aircraft hired by the local municipalities to photograph our properties. Why do they all get a break?

Julius Nolan 1 year, 6 months ago

The longer the Legislative session, the stupider the Legislators become. And they want a pay raise. But then, the GOTeaParty wants this to happen, they will all vote to re-elect these clowns. And Kansas sinks even lower in eyes of world.

Glenn Reed 1 year, 6 months ago

The issue of drone operation in Kansas isn't a real issue in any real sense.

If you go outside, pretend like there's a camera on you. There likely is at least one. The addition of camera-equipped drones will do nothing to change that.

Betty Bartholomew 1 year, 6 months ago

When these topics come up, one question comes to mind: What are you doing that you think the gov't wants to see?

Everyday Joe is not that interesting to them and they have better things to do than peep on your sex life. If you're doing something illegal and they catch you, well, that's kinda the point. But realistically they're probably only spying on people they have prior terror-related intelligence on, so if you're dealing weed from your living room, relax and put on your tinfoil hat - the drones aren't after you.

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