Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown decided that he won’t let California impose stricter rules than the federal government for drone use by law enforcement, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Brown vetoed AB 1327, a bill which would have forced law enforcement agencies to obtain warrants from a judge before using drones for surveillance, unless the drones were to be used for environmental emergencies.
Brown asserted that the bill called for harsher regulations than the federal guidelines outlining what constitutes unreasonable search and seizures and the right to privacy.
Assemblyman Jeff Gorell (R-Camarillo), who wrote the bill, believes that law enforcement’s increased use of drones has infringed on the public’s reasonable expectation of privacy. He called the veto “very disappointing,” and added, “We’re increasingly living in a surveillance society as the government uses new technology to track and watch the activities of Americans. It’s disappointing that the governor decided to side with law enforcement in this case over the privacy interests of California.”
Gorell asserted that he had informed Brown and his administration that if the bill were vetoed, legislators would likely cut off drone use in California, as three other states, including Virginia, have done. He concluded, “That’s not a thoughtful alternative. We as a state want to embrace these jobs.”