ACLU of Maine Responds to Governor’s Executive Order on Drones

Affiliate: ACLU of Maine
August 16, 2013 12:00 am

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AUGUSTA, Maine – Governor LePage issued an executive order directing the Commissioner of Public Safety to issue a policy governing law enforcement’s use and operation of drones. In June, the Maine Legislature passed legislation that would have required law enforcement to get a probable cause warrant before using drones for surveillance. Gov. LePage vetoed the bill.

The following can be attributed to Shenna Bellows, executive director of the ACLU of Maine:

“Mainers should not have to worry about warrantless law enforcement surveillance, and we were disappointed that the governor chose to veto warrant requirements for drone surveillance.

“We recognize there may be valid public safety uses for drones, but a warrant requirement would not interfere with law enforcement doing their jobs. As the executive order states, ‘ensuring consistency of practice among Maine law enforcement agencies is important to protect privacy rights.’

“We look forward to working with the commissioner on a policy that protects Mainers constitutional rights. But policy is not an adequate substitute for law. For that reason, we will continue working to put warrant requirements for drones into law.”

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