The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut warned lawmakers against allowing government drones to spy on people without a warrant.

If passed as written, a proposed law (Senate Bill 974) would make Connecticut one of the only states in the country to regulate these devices for law enforcement in a way that allows government drones to snoop on citizens without this critical safeguard.

The bill would put the Constitution State behind Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin, which all require police to obtain a warrant based on probable cause for drone surveillance.

Testifying before the Program Review and Investigations Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly, ACLU-CT’s David McGuire said, “Just as it would be unconstitutional for a police officer to hide in the shrubbery and video your family inside your home without a warrant, it would be equally unlawful to use a drone to do the same thing.”

Drones are any remote-controlled or pre-programmed unmanned aircraft, which can carry a variety of high-powered surveillance equipment, including high-resolution video cameras, microphones, night-vision cameras and infrared or heat-sensing devices that can literally see through walls, as well as facial recognition technology, radar and license plate readers.

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