Bill would clip wings of private drone use – Washington Times

Bill would clip wings of private drone use – Washington Times.

By Ben Wolfgang – The Washington Times

Concern over the personal privacy implications of the nation’s inevitable drone boom continues to grow on Capitol Hill.

This week, Rep. Ted Poe, a Texas Republican and former judge, will introduce the Preserving American Privacy Act, which sets strict limits on when, and for what purpose, law enforcement agencies and other entities can use unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs.

Drones are being used on a limited basis by some police and federal departments, but they will be available for commercial and private use in 2015.

This concerns lawmakers and Fourth Amendment advocates who fear that drone use will be abused and that Americans’ privacy rights will be eroded.

“When we see a drone in the air, it should be no surprise to us. Now is the time to start, not 2015,” Mr. Poe said Friday. “With the increased technology of surveillance, Congress has to be proactive in limiting drone use to law enforcement, and also protecting civilians from the private use of drones.”

Rep. Ted Poe, Texas Republican (Associated Press)

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Rep. Ted Poe, Texas Republican (Associated Press) more >

The measure, which as of Friday had no co-sponsors and is open to changes, would require judicial warrants before any agency could employ a drone. It also restricts the use of UAVs by any state or local entity “except in connection with the investigation of a felony,” the bill reads in part.

But the proposal goes beyond law enforcement and sets a rigid framework for the private use of drones, which are expected to be popular among news agencies, private investigators and others who could benefit from an unmanned eye in the sky.

Mr. Poe’s bill states that no “private person” can surveil another individual without consent.

It’s the latest in a string of proposals from members of Congress worried that drones pose a real threat to liberty.

Rep. Austin Scott, Georgia Republican, last month introduced the Preserving Freedom From Unwarranted Surveillance Act, which would prohibit the federal government from gathering evidence or information related to investigations without a warrant.

Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican and one of the loudest drone critics, has introduced similar legislation in the Senate, with exceptions made when drones are necessary to prevent imminent danger to life or in the event of a terrorist attack.

Lawmakers last week also blasted the Department of Homeland Security for its perceived lack of interest in drones’ national security impact. The department is referring all drone questions to the Federal Aviation Administration, which will issue permits and monitor UAVs in the sky in much the same way it does planes and helicopters. But that oversight deals with air safety issues, not potential terrorist threats.

The Homeland Security Department also has not examined drones’ privacy concerns, analysts say.

“They have not even done a privacy impact assessment,” Amie Stepanovich, an attorney with the Electronic Privacy Information Center, told a House subcommittee Thursday. “They have not even gone in to determine what impact these drones would have on the American public.”

Nashville Airport: A Constitution free zone? – Tea Party Nation


English: A TSA officer screens a piece of luggage.

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Nashville Airport: A Constitution free zone? – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips

Today, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul was detained at Nashville International Airport while trying to board a flight to Washington to attend the Right to Life March and Senate business.

 From Fox News:

 Sen. Rand Paul’s office says he was held by the Transportation Security Administration on Monday, although TSA officials deny characterization he was “detained” at Nashville Airport after an incident at the security gate.

Paul’s father, presidential candidate Ron Paul, tweeted early Monday, “My son @SenRandPaul being detained by TSA for refusing full body pat-down after anomaly in body scanner in Nashville. More details coming.”

Moira Bagley, the senator’s spokeswoman, told Fox News that Paul (R-Ky.) called her after he went through a “full body screener,” described to her as a body-imaging machine, and was stopped for an anomaly around his leg. The senator lifted his pants leg to show nothing was there and offered to go back through the machine, but the TSA official said no, only a full-body pat down would suffice. 

 Bagley said Paul refused, resisting on the grounds that it infringes on his rights and “private property.”

Paul’s office said that the TSA official told the senator to sit down in the security area and was not given an indication of when he would be allowed to leave. Security then escorted him out of that area, but let him remain in the airport. He missed his flight.

A law enforcement official said Paul was not detained, despite claims to contrary. According to TSA, Paul triggered an alarm during routine airport screening using “millimeter wave imaging technology,” which creates a generic image to protect passenger privacy. When an alarm occurs a yellow box indicates where on the body to look for the anomaly. An individual is then patted down.

  The Transportation Security Administration is a joke.  They strip search 95 year old women in wheel chairs but are so politically correct they cannot even speak the words “Islamic Terrorist.”

 Perhaps even worse, the TSA has never heard of the Constitution.   Not only is there a Fourth Amendment issue related to unreasonable searches and seizures, but there is another issue related to Senator Rand Paul.

 Article 1, Section 6 of the Constitution forbids a Senator or Congressman from being detained when they are going to or from Congress.

 Of course, if you are going to ignore one part of the Constitution, what does it matter if you ignore another?

PAUL: TSA’s intrusions undermine security – Washington Times


English: An image of Susan Hallowell, Director...

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PAUL: TSA’s intrusions undermine security – Washington Times.

Senator or not, we’re all stripped of our freedom and dignity

By Sen. Rand Paul = The Washington Times

Today, while en route to Washington to speak to hundreds of thousands of people at the March for Life, I was detained by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for not agreeing to a patdown after an irregularity was found in my full body scan. Despite removing my belt, glasses, wallet and shoes, the scanner and TSA also wanted my dignity. I refused.

I showed them the potentially offending part of my body, my leg. They were not interested. They wanted to touch me and to pat me down. I requested to be rescanned. They refused and detained me in a 10-foot-by-10-foot area reserved for potential terrorists.

I told them that I was a frequent flier and that just days ago I was allowed to be rescanned when the scanner made an error. At no time did I ask for special treatment, but I did insist that all travelers be awarded some decency and leniency in accommodating the screening process.

My detention was real and I was repeatedly instructed not to leave the holding area. When I used my phone to inform my office that I would miss my flight, and thus miss my speech to the March for Life, I was told that now I would be subjected to a full body patdown.

I asked if I could simply restart the screening process to show that the machine had made an error. I was denied and informed that since I used my phone, to call for help, I must now submit or not fly.

Let me be clear: I neither asked for nor expect any special treatment for being a U.S. senator. In fact, this case is not about me at all. This is about every single one of us and how we are sick of the intrusive nature of our government.

While sitting in the cubicle, I thought to myself, have the terrorists won? Have we sacrificed our liberty and our dignity for security? Finally, the airport head of TSA arrived after I had missed my flight. He let me go back through the scanner and this time the scanner did not go off. The only comment from TSA was that some of the alarms are simply random.

So passengers who do everything right, remove their belts, remove their wallets, remove their shoes, their glasses and all of the contents in their pockets are then subjected to random patdowns and tricked into believing that the scanners actually detected something.

I have been through some of this with TSA Director John S. Pistole before. Last spring, a 6-year-old girl from Bowling Green was subjected to an invasive search despite her parent’s objections. Mr. Pistole claimed that small children were indeed a risk because a girl in Kandahar, Afghanistan, had exploded a bomb in a market in Afghanistan. But Mr. Pistole, this girl wasn’t from Kandahar and she wasn’t in Afghanistan. Isn’t there a significant difference?

In writing, he replied that TSA concluded because a child in a market in Afghanistan exploded a bomb, all American children needed to be evaluated as potential threats. My response: If you treat everyone equally as a potential threat, then you direct much attention to those who are never going to attack us and spend less time with those whose risk profiles indicate a need for tougher screening.

Random screenings not based on risk assessments misdirect the screening process and add to the indignity of travel. Those passengers who suffer through the process of partially disrobing should be rewarded with less invasive examination.

Ever since the news of my struggle with TSA, the phones in my office have been ringing off the hook with calls from citizens who sympathize with my frustration, as they, too, feel their liberties are being compromised every time they travel. My office is being inundated with their stories of assault and harassment by TSA agents. This agency’s disregard for our civil liberties is something we are expected to understand and accept. But we are tired of being insulted and we are tired of having our dignity compromised. TSA was created in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but was it necessary? Has it overstepped its bounds? Is it respecting the rights of citizens?

It is time for us to question the effectiveness of TSA. America can prosper, preserve personal liberty and repel national security threats without intruding into the personal lives of its citizens.

Every time we travel, we are expected to surrender our Fourth Amendment rights, yet willingly giving up our rights does not make us any safer. It is infuriating that this agency feels entitled to revoke our civil liberties while doing little to keep us safe.

Is the TSA looking at flight manifests? Are we researching those boarding the planes? Are we targeting or looking at those who might attack us? Apparently not, if we are wasting our time patting down 6-year-old girls.

If a federally funded TSA is going to exist, then its focus should be on police work and it must respect the rights of citizens. The TSA should not universally insult all travelers; it should however research, track, monitor and target people that are, in fact, threats to our nation.

This blatant violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans against unwarranted search and seizure, has insulted many citizens, and rightfully so. I, along with many other travelers, do not view traveling as a crime that warrants government search and seizure. In fact, I view traveling as a basic right, for Americans are free to travel from state to state as they please.

I refused an unnecessary patdown and stood up for my rights as an American citizen. This is a battle Americans face every time they fly. It is my firm belief that TSA should not have such broad authority to violate our constitutional rights in ineffective and invasive physical searches, thus I will further push for the reinstatement of traveler privacy and rights. I will be proposing legislation that will allow for adults to be rescreened if they so choose.

Sen. Rand Paul is a Republican from Kentucky.

Stuck On “Stupid Liberal” Mode – Mark Baisley – Townhall Finance

Compact fluorescent light bulb

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Stuck On “Stupid Liberal” Mode – Mark Baisley – Townhall Finance.

My dad builds custom homes in California and the regulators at all levels routinely give him new, maddening impediments to practicality.  The example that I remember most had to do with toilets. 
In response to the apparent public outcry about excessive tank capacity, sales of toilets that exceed 1.6 gallons per flush have been banned throughout America.  United States Senator Rand Paul recently told a senior bureaucrat at a Senate hearing, “Frankly, my toilets don’t work in my house, and I blame you.” 
If you are like Senator Rand and don’t think that it makes sense to have to flush twice to make up for a deliberately insufficient vortex, you can buy a Canadian-made 3.5 gallon toilet on the black market.  Can you imagine having that crime on your rap sheet?
The government’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at the Energy Department also thought it would be really swell if Americans would use less electricity to match their new toilets.  So, they made some suggestions, through nationwide mandates, that we replace our bright, warm, inexpensive light bulbs with compact fluorescent lighting (CFL). 
CFLs don’t lend as much ambience, they are vastly more expensive, and they take a while to warm up before they can perform their singular purpose in our lives.  But, they do provide an element of mercury for you to deal with when they burn out or break. 
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that, if your CFL light bulb breaks, first get all people and pets out of the room, shut down your air conditioner for several hours (another excellent suggestion for saving energy), and thoroughly collect every bit of glass and powder into a sealed container. 
The government’s Energy Star program argues that this mandate actually reduces mercury emissions in American households because CFLs demand less electricity from mercury-generating coal plants that poison the fish we eat.
About a year ago, I called the manufacturer of our dishwasher with a performance complaint.  The 10-month-old appliance was simply no longer getting the dishes clean.  The repair guy approached the situation like the main character on the TV show House
His assessment was that all three name-brand detergents we had on hand were too low on phosphates to get the job done.  It turns out that ours is one of millions of households victimized by the latest regulation – low detergent phosphates.  We now dump in twice the normal amount of detergent and set the cycle to “stupid liberal mode” which runs the dishwasher for nearly three hours, using 50% more water and electricity.
It is hard to believe that these busybody bureaucrats are simply trying to improve the environment.  Evidence to the contrary includes the results of an investigation by the Government Accountability Office.  They received an Energy Star label for their application of a gas-powered clock radio (really).  
With a full staff of uniformed gropers at every airport, Obamacare and government controlled thermostats on the horizon — I mean, if one were to undertake the goal of listing the most personally intrusive acts that a government could commit against its people, I think this list would just about be it. 
With their hands in my pants, my physical health, my home, and even my toilet, I have never felt so uncomfortably close to my government.

Is the Second American Revolution Coming? (via Voting American)

Is the Second American Revolution Coming? To President Obama and all 535 Voting members of the Legislature It is now Official that the Majority of you are Corrupt Morons  The U.S. Postal Service was established in 1775. You have had 234 years to get it right and it is broke.  Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 74 years to get it right and it is broke. Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get it right and it is broke. War on Poverty started in 19 … Read More

via Voting American