YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: With a 34-2 vote, New Jersey’s State Senate today approved a bill that provides some of the nation’s strongest protections against drone surveillance.
The bill, which went through several incarnations since being introduced last spring, restricts how police, firefighters and other first responders can use drones.
It also includes a ban on outfitting them with wewapons.
Under the measure, which heads to Gov. Christie’s desk, police must obtain a warrant before using a surveillance drone, except in certain extraordinary situations — same as it is for other types of warrants.
It also requires law enforcement to discard information that isn’t relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation within 14 days.
Udi Ofer, executive director of the ACLU-NJ, was pleased.
“The legislation passed today by the State Legislature puts in place in New Jersey some of the strongest civil liberties protections in the nation against abusive drone surveillance,” Ofer said. “We urge Governor Christie to sign this legislation into law immediately and protect New Jerseyans’ privacy rights.