Big Brown is Watching You

You might need to visit a notary public these days before you can get to second base at UCLA, but maybe that will change once Jerry Brown’s Eye in the Sky starts recording everything with or without a warrant:


California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation that would have required the police to obtain search warrants to surveil the public with unmanned drones.

Brown, a Democrat facing re-election in November, sided with law enforcement and said the legislation simply granted Californians privacy rights that went too far beyond existing guarantees. Sunday’s veto comes as the small drones are becoming increasingly popular with business, hobbyists, and law enforcement.

“This bill prohibits law enforcement from using a drone without obtaining a search warrant, except in limited circumstances,” the governor said in his veto message (PDF). “There are undoubtedly circumstances where a warrant is appropriate. The bill’s exceptions, however, appear to be too narrow and could impose requirements beyond what is required by either the 4th Amendment or the privacy provisions in the California Constitution.”

Please take not of Brown’s mindset, that the Bill of Rights isn’t a ceiling stopping government power from growing, but a floor beneath which your legal protections do not extend. It goes without saying that Brown and his ilk have the necessary skills and desires to chip away at that floor.


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