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Texas Declares War On Robots

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the robots-suffer-texas's-shenanigans...-for-now dept.

Robotics 387

Mr_Blank writes "Organizations like the EFF and ACLU have been raising the alarm over increased government surveillance of U.S. citizens. Legislators haven't been quick to respond to concerns of government spying on citizens. But Texas legislators are apparently quite concerned that private citizens operating hobby drones might spot environmental violations by businesses. Representative Lance Gooden has introduced HB912 which proposes: 'A person commits an offense if the person uses or authorizes the use of an unmanned vehicle or aircraft to capture an image without the express consent of the person who owns or lawfully occupies the real property captured in the image. ('Image' is defined as including any type of recorded telemetry from sensors that measure sound waves, thermal, infrared, ultraviolet, visible light, or other electromagnetic waves, odor, or other conditions.)' Can you foresee any unintended consequences if this proposal becomes law?" Another reader notes that New Hampshire has introduced a similar bill: "Neal Kurk, a Republican member of New Hampshire's House of Representatives knows that those drones present a growing privacy concern, and in response has introduced a bill that would ban all aerial photography in the state. That is, unless you're working for the government. The bill, HB 619-FN (PDF), is blessedly short, and I suggest reading the whole thing for yourself." Here's part of the bill: "A person is guilty of a class A misdemeanor if such person knowingly creates or assists in creating an image of the exterior of any residential dwelling in this state where such image is created by or with the assistance of a satellite, drone, or any device that is not supported by the ground."

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Really? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045107)

If I take a picture in a hot air balloon of a sunset and happen to capture an empty field that I do not own, am I guilty?

What about drones require special treatment v.s. existing peeping tom laws? http://legallad.quickanddirtytips.com/peeping-tom.aspx

Re:Really? CAN YOU READ? (0, Flamebait)

The Shootist (324679) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045163)

"Unmanned", boy, "unmanned", it says.

democrat, I'll bet. Liberal as well.

Re:Really? CAN YOU READ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045415)

"Unmanned", boy, "unmanned", it says.

democrat, I'll bet. Liberal as well.

I read the whole comment, and it wasn't specified that the photographer was in the balloon or if the camera was operated remotely. That inference was yours, apparently to provide an opportunity to make some kind of non sequitur point.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045171)

By empty field, I meant farmhouse. :P

Re:Really? (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045499)

By empty field, I meant farmhouse. :P

Are you in Texas? Is the farmhouse on fire?

Re:Really? (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045187)

If I take a picture in a hot air balloon of a sunset and happen to capture an empty field that I do not own, am I guilty?

What about drones require special treatment v.s. existing peeping tom laws? http://legallad.quickanddirtytips.com/peeping-tom.aspx [quickanddirtytips.com]

If by "empty," you mean "not containing people or 'man made' objects," then you'd be jake. Or form an LLC and employ yourself to watch from your balloon for some regulatory violation of your -- well, your company's -- choice.

Re:Really? (2)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045471)

I should have mentioned that my above comment refers to the New Hampshire case. In the Texas case, the bill says "unmanned vehicle or aircraft". Assuming that that's interpreted as "unmanned vehicle or unmanned aircraft," then riding in the balloon shooting photos vs. operating it remotely would seem to be OK.

Unless I can't understand Texas legalese, which is entirely possible.

Google Earth (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045111)

So what, will entire states just be blacked out of satellite view?

Re:Google Earth (4, Informative)

ElmoGonzo (627753) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045383)

Knowing how Texas has kowtowed to polluters in the past, the intent of this has to be making evidence inadmissible rather than stopping it from being collected.

Re:Google Earth (3, Interesting)

10101001 10101001 (732688) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045391)

Not just satellite view per se. Consider that just about every type of weather data gathering device will be blocked as well since most are likely to capture an image of in-property doppler shift of rain drops or a radar map of fog/cloud cover or a temperature map of potentially radiating heat*. Of course, it's entirely absurd that the requirement whether a vehicle is unmanned or not since I'm pretty sure if the whole idea is that the images are a violation in themselves that having a living witness really changes things. But, then, as the summary states, it has more to do with combating those damn hippies and their damn legal evidence gathering to capture crooked companies. Those poor, poor crooked companies.

*It's interesting, actually, because the point reminds me of police using thermal vision equipment to detect heat lamps as evidence to get a warrant to bust pot growers. That was stricken down as unconstitutional because it used uncommon equipment--a silly argument--and saw things that a personally reasonably thought would be private--a more solid argument, I think. Of course, weather satellites don't seem to do anything close to the sort of detail to detect such things inside public residences. But, then, all the court ruling did was affirm what was or was not admissible evidence. Now, if the legislator had tried to take that angle, I'd probably be more appreciative. The catch-22, at least from their perspective, is how much it'd just as well limit things like, oh, any sort of police airplane/helicopter use to track suspects or gather evidence. And that doesn't even get into all the potentially planned police use of drones to take over the mentioned police airplane/helicopter use of today. Then again, I'd imagine police would just be treated above the law in this case, though oddly not enough to be "damn hippies" themselves and track down said crooked companies so private citizens wouldn't have to bother.

Such a bad idea after all? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045399)

As a Texan who more and more begins to understand the value of protecting private property rights above any value of other persons or government entities' claims to have their right to snoop on anyone and anything at any time.... I'm now not so sure that this prospect of banning unmanned surveillance aircraft and publicly accessible satellite imagery that goes down to high detail of stuff on the ground is such a bad thing after all.

Re:Such a bad idea after all? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045513)

As a Texan

Your argument is invalid!

Re:Google Earth (1)

scubamage (727538) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045539)

I'm interested in how this works with prior case law. For instance, a helicopter scanning neighborhoods doesn't require a warrant since you do not own the airspace above your home, and anything the helicopter can see can be used against you in a court. If this legislation would be passed, I'd think it would also impact the ability for law enforcement to do their jobs (unless they included some weasel clauses to allow for it).

Reductio Ad Hitlerum? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045115)

If EFF or Dems proposed this, they'd be calling it a win for privacy, not an anti-environmental move. People have a right to privacy in places where they have a reasonable expectation.

Re:Reductio Ad Hitlerum? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045195)

They don't have a reasonable expectation anymore.

Also the difference is "intent"

Re:Reductio Ad Hitlerum? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045295)

Nope. SCOTUS has ruled that if you can see it in public then it's OK to photograph. The problem the EFF has with drones is the use of continuous surveillance of an individual constituting a search.

Re:Reductio Ad Hitlerum? (1)

headhot (137860) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045537)

People have a reasonable expectation of privacy, except when they are in public. Also, corporations aren't people. So if your agg business is dumping shit into a stream and I get a picture of it from my drone, its the companies bad, not mine.

Goolgle maps and others will be banned in new TX (0)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045123)

Goolgle maps and others will be banned in new TX / old Mexico

Re:Goolgle maps and others will be banned in new T (3, Funny)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045461)

Just like evolutional theory.

Re:Goolgle maps and others will be banned in new T (2, Funny)

Stele (9443) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045521)

Well it *is* just a _theory_.

Street View (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045125)

This would mean Google wouldn't be able to combine its driverless car experiment with Street View imaging on Texas soil.

Re:Street View (-1, Flamebait)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045447)

I'm sure most of the fine people of the state of Texas believe driverless cars are an abomination before The Lord.

And, even worse, Un-American.

Misleading title (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045129)

So, it's not an actual war with robots? Why is real life not as awesome as my imagination thinks it should be?

Re:Misleading title (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045157)

no kidding... I was wondering if I needed to take my gun to work today. Now I'm disappointed!

What if the robot is armed and used for (0, Troll)

mark_reh (2015546) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045133)

self defense? Now they're walking all over my 2nd amendment rights!

New Hampshire Bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045139)

Looking through this short, sweet bill, Doesn't this mean that Google Maps/Apple Maps etc, shall now be illegal in the state of New Hampshire unless they are "investigators"?

No photography?!?! (1)

deadweight (681827) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045143)

I can't see this lasting long. Already sent to AOPA.

I guess they don't want a film industry (1)

RichMan (8097) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045149)

No more shots from a helicopter.

Also I would guess we are only a few years from replacing camera on boom or rails with a flying digital camera.

Re:I guess they don't want a film industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045405)

It specifies "unmanned" vehicles, which is why webcams (even little remote-aimable ones) wouldn't be affected.

Re:I guess they don't want a film industry (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045495)

Unmanned means there is nobody in the vehicle. Even if you're still operating it (remotely) it still counts as unmanned.

Example: Predator drones are unmanned, however there are operators flying them and consenting weapons release.

fucking retard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045529)

Pretty sure they lease the sets. Similarly for photosurvey/pipeline patrol, pretty sure they are paid by the landowner.

Google Earth (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045153)

Does that mean that Google Earth is illegal in NH? Are we going to see Google black out NH and TX?

Wonderful, just wonderful (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045155)

nor are [they] intended to limit employees of governmental agencies or other entities, public or private, who, in the course and scope of their employment and supported by articulable suspicion, attempt to capture any type of visual image, sound recording, or other physical impression of a person during an investigation, surveillance, or monitoring of conduct to obtain evidence of suspected illegal activity.

"arÂticÂuÂlaÂble, adj. That can be articulated"

"Definition of articulable: capable of being articulated"

Aren't you glad these are people writing laws? So as long as the suspicion can be voiced or sign-languaged (or maybe winked with Morse code?), it's good to go.

Re:Wonderful, just wonderful (1)

GWRedDragon (1340961) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045237)

Perhaps the law actually says "reasonable articulable suspicion"? That is an existing standard for searches, like a Terry Stop.

Re:Wonderful, just wonderful (1)

Politburo (640618) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045307)

In law one cannot just run to a dictionary and pick any meaning. The intent is that hunches, 'gut feeling', etc., are not acceptable, one must describe specifically what raises a suspicion. It's a well-understood concept.

Re:Wonderful, just wonderful (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045483)

"Articulate suspicion" means that you have to be able to explain it, much like "reasonable search" doesn't mean any search I can invent an excuse for, and how I can still commit "manslaughter" by killing a woman. The term itself has its own meaning, which you're apparently clueless about.

Don't take photos while jumping! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045167)

It could cost ya'.

As usual... (3, Insightful)

GWRedDragon (1340961) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045183)

As usual: one rule for the state, and one rule for the peons. They just forgot to add exemptions for their pals in certain industries.

incercept all coms, np, watch backyard, oh noes (-1)

CKW (409971) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045191)

I really don't get why so many American's are up in arms about un-manned aircraft - there have been aircraft "looking down into" their backyards for 100 years now, who cares if it has a pilot IN IT or not. Tons and tons of police driving by your house LOOKING INTO your yard.

But almost no-one has raised near one third the stink about almost all their personal private conversations being intercepted and sifted through.

I've distinctly gotten the impression that American's have a heck of a lot stronger (almost zealous) "my home is my castle, my own little personal country where no one is allowed, if they're a tresspassn' I'm allowed to shoot em" fantasy.

Re:incercept all coms, np, watch backyard, oh noes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045261)

Exactly do they think that "manned" drones (erstwhile known as helicopters) don't have cameras pointed at them?

JFC

Re:incercept all coms, np, watch backyard, oh noes (1)

xclr8r (658786) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045433)

Pardon the pun but "manned" drones have 'skin in the game'. I mechanic and pilot are going to be determined not to get themselves killed and follow that safety checklist to the T. When it's an ITT tech just working on a fleet of ROV/drones steps will be skipped because "who's really going to catch this" and no ones safety is at risk.. that is until the drone crashes and burns into a house/trampoline/pool with occupants.

Re:incercept all coms, np, watch backyard, oh noes (1)

xclr8r (658786) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045437)

"A mechanic..."

Re:incercept all coms, np, watch backyard, oh noes (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045317)

You seem to be confusing the Americans with companies that want to violate environmental laws.

Re:incercept all coms, np, watch backyard, oh noes (1)

snookerdoodle (123851) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045417)

I've distinctly gotten the impression that American's have a heck of a lot stronger (almost zealous) "my home is my castle, my own little personal country where no one is allowed, if they're a tresspassn' I'm allowed to shoot em" fantasy.

So, seriously? You don't lock the doors or windows of your home? Or do you, too, have an "(almost zealous) 'my home is my castle, my own little personal country where no one is allowed'..." fantasy, enforced by lock and key?

Re:incercept all coms, np, watch backyard, oh noes (3, Insightful)

pla (258480) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045485)

I really don't get why so many American's are up in arms about un-manned aircraft - there have been aircraft "looking down into" their backyards for 100 years now, who cares if it has a pilot IN IT or not. Tons and tons of police driving by your house LOOKING INTO your yard.

Inorite? We've used fighter jets to blow up brown people for decades, but only now do they start complaining about drone strikes?

Oh, wait - Estimated cost of an F35, $110M. Actual cost of an unmanned reconnaissance drone, $299.99 [amazon.com] . Which of those do you see Officer Obie casually using to peek through your bedroom window or check out your backyard pool party?


Overall, though, these rules completely disgust me. They get it exactly backward, allowing a class proven untrustworthy when given new surveillance technology to use them, while blocking any possible citizen-initiated use of the same.

I suppose I have only one thing to say - I have a shotgun, and don't tolerate weird-looking noisy birds in my backyard. So go ahead, send me some challenging skeet, boys!

Power and control (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045197)

So nobody is allowed to video anything anymore, except the government.
The wealthy can simply pay the government to not record their actions, and continue to break regulations.
Great plan for the people in power.

impractical (1)

rock_climbing_guy (630276) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045201)

I think that the legislation, as described, is not practical unless we want to ban all robotic photography. To me, that is simply throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

There are definitely inappropriate uses of robotic photography, but this isn't the solution.

Taking a photo while jumping be illegal in NH? (0)

turp182 (1020263) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045205)

Let's say the New Hampshire bill passes. Would it then be illegal to take a photo while jumping?

And how will traffic choppers operate?

My aerial photography should be fine, I just use a two-point tethered weather balloon (two people holding it to the ground, one controlling the shot's direction), usually at about 300 feet off the ground.

Airplane/Photographer hobbyist (3, Insightful)

Spectre (1685) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045207)

There was a fellow who had as his hobbies being a private pilot and amateur photographer. Part of how he funded these hobbies was taking a nice camera with him on flights, photographing farms from the air, then selling the framed prints to the farm's residents. It was a bit of an odd business model, as when he was taking the photos he had not previously contacted the residents and had no idea if they would be willing to pay for the photos ...

The way some of these bits of legislation are worded, that business model would be illegal. So that is a bit of an unintended consequence.

citizen police (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045215)

I'd think they way to get around this is for one to make a citizens arrest using the overhead pictures.
The law should protect me here....

Moreover, does this mean if I use google satellite maps as evidence for something that I could violate this law? Hey Texas neighbor, here's a picture of your house showing the tree/bush crosses the boundary of my property......Now chop it down.

Okay then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045217)

We ask Google and Apple to disable maps apps in Texas, since you have the option to view the satellite imagery and street view data.

Re:Okay then... (2)

KevReedUK (1066760) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045541)

Except that, with the accuracy of Apple Maps, you ask them to black out Texas, and it'll be New Jersey that disappears off the maps!

amateur photography (1)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045227)

So, it appears that this is outlawing attaching a camera to your kite, to a model rocket, to an arrow... many forms of amateur photography are basically becoming misdemeanor offenses. so if one decides to start their iphone recording and throw it up into the air to see what they can see, or throw their recording ipad like a frisbee in the park, if either captures images of a place or person who didn't give express permission to photograph, you could be charged.

that's all nutso to me.

Re:amateur photography (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045535)

I didn't even think about the model rocket problem - I had a really cool rocket as a kid that had a camera attached that would snap a photo when the parachute was shot out of it.

Now I have an AR Drone 2.0 - talk about breaking the law if these bills become law.

No film at 11 (4, Insightful)

shking (125052) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045229)

I guess that's the end of New helicopters. Surveyors and cartographers rely on aerial photography Way to piss off the construction industry AND the press at the same time

Re: No film at 11 (1)

shking (125052) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045245)

That should read "news helicopters". Darn autocorrect!

Slight edit required methinks (2)

dav1dc (2662425) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045231)

I suspect that "A person commits an offense..." would read better as "'A person or government commits an offense..."

^_^

How far should property rights extend? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045235)

Where do you draw the line?

Aerial photography that has many useful applications, good. (Crop analysis, Google, Bing maps, Archaeology...)
Sicko using a cheap helico to grab pictures of me and my wife making love by the pool, bad.
Concerned citizens using same type of tech as sicko to prove that bad people are ignoring the law, and polluting, well, good?

Personally I'll take my chances with the sicko, but then again, I do have a decent shotgun. Don't think I need the Gov. to protect my "intimate" airspace.

Blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045243)

More babies, making laws to protect stuff , they have gained, by breaking the law.

People are just scared someone might find out what they have actually been up to.

If it can been seen from any place, it is public.

If you want privacy, build a box, and stay in it.

No weather maps for Texas.. (1)

stedlj (62084) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045249)

Unless NOAA is going to get permission from every landowner in Texas! Also no more satellite views from any thing like Google/Apple/Yahoo/Garmin/Tomtom/etc... Maps.

Another politician not thinking any farther then their personal money sources! Most likely a group who know they are breaking the law and are trying to keep other from learning about it.

Re:No weather maps for Texas.. (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045371)

NOAA is a government agency and therefore exempt. Didn't even bother to read the entire summery I see.

What They Really Are Trying To Do (2)

mk1004 (2488060) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045263)

What they're really trying to prevent is someone from taking videos of them in their backyards sunbathing in the nude or doing something with the neighbor's daughter.

Re:What They Really Are Trying To Do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045373)

What they're really trying to prevent is someone from taking videos of them in their backyards sunbathing in the nude or doing something with the neighbor's daughter.

OK, that's bullshit.

And the laws that are already in place to prevent that kind of obvious violation of privacy are already in place.

Shall we play another round of "guess why the corporations don't want you looking at them", or are we gonna sit here and continue to bullshit ourselves and act like we don't know.

Re:What They Really Are Trying To Do (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045505)

Of course that's not it. This is in response to environmentalists catching polluters. It's in response to things like this
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/12/29/001201/drone-photos-lead-to-indictment-for-texas-polluters

Many people believe that they can do anything they want on their land, and corrupt politicians often support them.

Supported by the ground? (1)

Kwyj1b0 (2757125) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045283)

So basically, any organization outside the US (including foreign governments with remote sensing satellites) can now see what it is illegal for US residents to see? Wow.

And WTF does support by the ground mean? If I take videos/pictures as a pilot or a passenger of an aircraft, does that count? What if I do launch a baloon, but have to manually tell it to take pictures and have the instructions sent wirelessly (which, umm, I do every 1/10 of a second by my ground-based triggering mechanism)?

Re:Supported by the ground? (1)

Nkwe (604125) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045525)

And WTF does support by the ground mean?

The atmosphere is supported by the ground. Flying things are supported by the atmosphere. So what is the problem?

privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045291)

I thought we liked privacy here?

Also defeats government spying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045303)

... except in the case of immediate pursuit of a suspected felon.

I'm actually more worried about the government using drones to fly over my neighborhood than peeping toms or Google maps. The latter is a nuisance, the former is a violation of my rights under the Fourth Amendment (that's the one that covers search and seizure/privacy).

Also, it does not restrict satellite photos, Google maps, etc. Also does not restrict driverless cars or filming police when they pull you over (or vice-versa), as long as the cameras are less than 6 feet off the ground and filming a public place.

I think it could be better, but it's a pretty good start.

Re:Also defeats government spying (1)

erroneus (253617) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045343)

Government exemptions are implied.

Stupid should hurt. (2)

bmo (77928) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045309)

> and in response has introduced a bill that would ban all aerial photography in the state.

So land surveyors and photogrammetrists are the enemy now?

--
BMO

Clearly unbiased report (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045325)

This bill is entirely geared towards protecting big corporations. There's definitely no provisions in the bill that are geared towards requiring warrants for drone use or anything. Also, being a class C misdemeanor (often enforced by large, highly trained swat teams supervised by legally trained investigators) , a hobbyist or activist could face life in prison further clogging our prison system alongside "hemp" activists.

FIGHT THE POWAH, YOLO, SWAG, BLAZE IT 420!!

Let's make a list of things "only for government" (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045329)

I think it might be easier so that we can properly make all of these class distinctions clear.

So Assault weapons, for example, should only be available to government and government contractors who may or may not be working for the government at any given moment. Aerial drones? Same story.

We have to make these class distinctions clear or else many people will unwittingly make the mistake of thinking we have a government of the people, by the people and/or for the people. This is simply not the case and we should all be 100% clear on that point.

Re:Let's make a list of things "only for governmen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045419)

Yeah, somehow, when the topic of gun control comes up, there's never any provision for dis-arming the security on the gated communities rich people live in.

Odor sensors banned in Washington, DC (3, Funny)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045335)

Apparently odor sensors have been banned in the entire beltway area because of their ability to detect and identify the sources of bullsh*t.

Re:Odor sensors banned in Washington, DC (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045421)

I think that the banning of odor sensors in the beltway is more for safety reasons and probably a good idea. If not they may overload and either catch fire or explode injuring many in the general population.

Honestly officer. . . . (3, Funny)

bogidu (300637) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045347)

I didn't know it was a government drone, I thought it was just some lawbreaker's. . . . . that's why I shot it down.

Protecting privacy vs. protecting bad acts (1)

davidwr (791652) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045349)

This is just a special case of privacy laws.

Thanks to court decisions, people inside a building who aren't in plain view from the outside are already protected from police using thermal imaging without a warrant in most cases (sorry, I don't have the citation handy, but it was a 21st-century Supreme Court case, I think one dealing with a marijuana grower).

Laws like this would extend this privacy to "snooping" from private citizens.

A reasonable law would, upon prior notification to the public or to the affected person *or* a hobbyists' exception, exempt any "what could a human being, using a zoom feature on a common consumer-grade camera and common consumer-grade recording equipment, get if he were in a helicopter at the location the drone were at, or a closer location that the drone had a legal right to be at" provided that the drone in question had the legal right to be where it was.

In other words, I could put a consumer-grade camera and microphone on a drone and fly it over my property and spy on my neighbors, or with FAA approval I could fly in it "airspace" that is so high that the landowner has no veto power, but I could not fly it 30 feet over his back-yard and take photos. If I used cameras that exceeded the capability of consumer-grade equipment, I would have to show that IF I was optimally located, I could have obtained similar information using only consumer-grade equipment.

"Prior notification" means either an individual notification to the target of the surveillance that there is surveillance going on, or a public notice that it will be happening. This notification would have the times and types of surveillance and enough lead time for the person to take counter-measures.

The hobbyists' exception would exempt hobbyists who do not do this sort of thing on a regular basis from being prosecuted for ignorance of the law or making a spontaneous decision to go put a camera on their RC plane some Saturday afternoon.

The Paddleborough problem (5, Informative)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045351)

I notice the NH wording has no mention of consent. So not only can I not take a picture of your dwelling, you can't either, nor can you ask me to. (hell, if you ask me, and I do it, thats conspiracy!)

We had an issue here in MA a while back where a private BDSM party got raided by police, for this very sort of issue.... paddles and whips were called "insturments of abuse", because there is no provision in the law for consent.

Funny (2)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045353)

I had Texas pegged as building the biggest, meanest, most picture-takingest robots that you ever damn saw, son.

DIYdrones (3, Funny)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045355)

It almost seems like these legislators have spent a bit too much time over on the DIYDrones site and got a bit scared of what is available at the consumer level.

effectively bans private drones, RC aircraft (1)

gregben (844056) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045357)

Passage of these bills effectively bans drones and video camera guided RC (Radio Control) aircraft because cameras are used for navigation, not just taking photos of objects of interest.

Useful applications of privately-operated drones and RC aircraft with cameras include roof inspection and birds-eye view promotional shots for real-estate listings.

Making these devices illegal will cause more harm than good.

Film (1)

kirthn (64001) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045363)

Apparently film and analogue recording (audio?) will be allowed ;)

A real unintended consequence (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045365)

An outright ban would probably result in the death of a search & rescue subject. Adding a proviso that exempts volunteer search & rescue organizations is required here and it specifically needs to address training activities that normally do not involve law enforcement.

100 ft. tall tripods (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045377)

A misdemeanor if such person knowingly creates or assists in creating an image of the exterior of any residential dwelling in this state where such image is created by or with the assistance of a satellite, drone, or any device that is not supported by the ground.

I'm sensing a business opportunity here. Manufacturing and selling 100ft. tall tripods.

WTF (2)

tgd (2822) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045389)

I'll make it a habit to jump around, jump around, jump up jump up and get down when I'm taking pictures in NH, to make sure my feet aren't on the ground for any of them.

Live free or die, my ass.

BIG loophole (1)

achbed (97139) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045425)

So, taking pictures of the EXTERIOR of the dwelling from a drone is acceptable. Taking pictures of the INTERIOR is acceptable and lawful under the NH bill.

These laws are just plain dumb. We should be dealing with the trespass/stalking/harassment activities underlying this, not the act of photographing.

Re:BIG loophole (1)

achbed (97139) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045427)

exterior bad, interior good. I cant type today.

One thing we can ALL agree on though: (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045429)

Fuck the enviromentalists and animal welfare nazis. If this law hurts PETA and greenpeace then we ALL win.

ShIt. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045443)

the developer states that there told reporTers, OpenBSD. How6 many

Photograph YOUR OWN property, break the law? (1)

Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045445)

If a person flies a model airplane with a camera in the airspace over THEIR OWN property and takes pictures of THEIR OWN home that includes no images of anyone else's property or possessions, that would be illegal according to my reading of the New Hampshire bill and the law it's modifying. [There's no clause in that bill indicating that it's not a crime if the owner of the property gives permission. The law it's modifying specifically defines and refers to private locations, but the bill doesn't use that same term.]

If my understanding of the bill is correct, I'd say that's a pretty big WTF.

Get Out of Jail Free Cards (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045469)

Wait until someone captures a crime that authorities *want* to prosecute and the evidence get tossed because of this bill.

They'll get my Estes Camroc when they pry my cold dead fingers from the launch button...

Bill reaches way too far (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43045473)

Here's some more information on the meat packing plant that the robot.net article casually mentions:

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2012/01/24/civilians-drone-busts-plant-dumping-huge-stream-of-blood-into-texas-river/

http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2012/01/20/dallas-plant-investigated-for-dumping-pig-blood-into-trinity-river/

http://www.myfoxdfw.com/story/20428259/columbia-packing-co-indicted-for-pigs-blood-in-trinity-river

If this bill had been law, then the guy who caught and helps stop a major polluter (when they say river of blood, they are not exaggerating) would himself potentially be a criminal.

Even ignoring that this would keep private citizens from catching polluters, the bill is definitely unconstitutional. It has been well-established that people can take photographs of private property from public vantages. Now, if this bill only restricted imaging technology that could see what is going on in a private home that has closed blinds, then that would be a different story. But in its current form it reaches too far.

Government vs Private (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045481)

I'm less worried about private citizens taking photos of private property than I am about Government taking photos of private property, all other things being equal. The fact that government is scared of the citizenry and is passing laws against them is very troubling to me. We should be scared of this type of legislation as it does not bode well for us commoners.

Not much protection from Government spying (1)

It doesn't come easy (695416) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045493)

At least at first glance. Since the law explicitly specifies a "person", I am sure the Federal government, and Texas state government would be inclined to argue that the law doesn't apply to them...

America, f**k yeah! (4, Insightful)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045497)

To paraphrase:

"We are worried that drones might catch us breaking the law. That is just unconstitutional, we have a right to break the law and not get caught."

Selective enforcement (5, Insightful)

Picass0 (147474) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045501)

These are examples of laws used selectively on occassion to harass people who encounter an officer on a bad day. The local RC club isn't likely to run into problems but a group of kids using an AR.Drone to record their skateboarding might get fined and lose the device.

It seems to be the way laws are written anymore. Everyone is a criminal in the eyes of the law, so be quiet, sit down and don't draw attention to yourself. If you speak out they'll find a way to come after you.

Siiiiigh... (2)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | about a year and a half ago | (#43045531)

But Texas legislators are apparently quite concerned that private citizens operating hobby drones might spot environmental violations by businesses.

Only in this backwards ass state is finding people breaking the law considered a bad thing.

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