California lawmakers approve drone trespassing bills

California lawmakers approve drone trespassing bills

[JURIST] California lawmakers on Monday approved two bills intended to regulate drones. The Assembly voted 43-11 in favor of a bill [SB 142] that would make it a crime to fly a drone over private property without permission. The Senate voted 40-0 to approve a bill [AB 856] targeted a paparazzi that would make it a crime to use a drone to take pictures or video on private property. Both bills return to the other chamber for a final vote.

Drone use [JURIST backgrounder] has been a controversial issue both in terms of small domestic drones and larger drones being used abroad by the US military. Last September California Governor Jerry Brown [official website] vetoed a bill [ JURIST report] that would have required law enforcement agencies to acquire a warrant before using drones for surveillance. In March 2014 the UN General Assembly called upon nations [JURIST report] to ensure military drones are used in accordance with international law, passing a resolution on the matter. In October 2013 UN experts urged the international community to have greater accountability [JURIST report] and transparency when it comes to the use of drones. A week earlier the UN released a report showing that the US had killed more people [JURIST report] using drone strikes than it publicly claimed to have killed.