FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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NEWARK – On Jan. 21, a bill that regulates the use of drones by law enforcement expired without Gov. Chris Christie’s signature. The bill was passed by the state Legislature and had bipartisan support.
The following statement is from Udi Ofer, executive director of the ACLU of New Jersey.
We are disappointed that Governor Christie has chosen to let the clock run out on a bill that would have given New Jerseyans some of the strongest civil liberties protections in the nation against abusive drone surveillance. The bill, S2702/A4073, passed by widespread bipartisan majorities in both houses, has sat on the Governor’s desk for over a week, and today was pocket-vetoed by the governor.
Drones will likely be flying New Jersey’s skies by next year. When they arrive, we will need laws that protect both public safety and the privacy rights of New Jersey residents. This bill would have done just that. Protections against government overreach should be a priority for all New Jersey officials. Yet Gov. Christie’s pocket veto puts New Jerseyans’ privacy in limbo as drones take to the skies. The ACLU-NJ will continue to work with allies and legislators in the new legislative session to ensure that the privacy of New Jersey residents is protected before drones arrive, not after.