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Supreme Court & The 4th Amendment - The US Supreme Court has held that individuals do not generally have Fourth Amendment rights with respect to aerial surveillance. Can the lower courts or State, county, city municipalities outlaw the use of UAV's for law enforcement?


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UAV FAA Regulations For more than five decades, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has compiled a proven track record of introducing new technology and aircraft safely into the National Airspace System (NAS).


FAA Fact Sheet – Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) - For Immediate Release.


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Texas Privacy Act HB 912


AN ACT
 
relating to images captured by unmanned aircraft and other images
 
and recordings; providing penalties.
 
       BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
 
       SECTION 1.  This Act shall be known as the Texas Privacy Act.
 
       SECTION 2.  Subtitle B, Title 4, Government Code, is amended
 
by adding Chapter 423 to read as follows:
 
CHAPTER 423. USE OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT
 
       Sec. 423.001.  DEFINITION. In this chapter, "image" means
 
any capturing of sound waves, thermal, infrared, ultraviolet,
 
visible light, or other electromagnetic waves, odor, or other
 
conditions existing on or about real property in this state or an
 
individual located on that property.
 
       Sec. 423.002.  NONAPPLICABILITY. (a)  It is lawful to
 
capture an image using an unmanned aircraft in this state:
 
             (1)  for purposes of professional or scholarly research
 
and development by a person acting on behalf of an institution of
 
higher education, as defined by Section 61.003, Education Code,
 
including a person who:
 
                   (a)  is a professor, employee, or student of the
 
institution; or
 
                   (B)  is under contract with or otherwise acting
 
under the direction or on behalf of the institution;
 
             (2)  in airspace designated as a test site or range
 
authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration for the purpose
 
of integrating unmanned aircraft systems into the national
 
airspace;
 
             (3)  as part of an operation, exercise, or mission of
 
any branch of the United States military;
 
             (4)  if the image is captured by a satellite for the
 
purposes of mapping;
 
             (5)  if the image is captured by or for an electric or
 
natural gas utility:
 
                   (a)  for operations and maintenance of utility
 
facilities for the purpose of maintaining utility system
 
reliability and integrity;
 
                   (B)  for inspecting utility facilities to
 
determine repair, maintenance, or replacement needs during and
 
after construction of such facilities;
 
                   (C)  for assessing vegetation growth for the
 
purpose of maintaining clearances on utility easements; and
 
                   (D)  for utility facility routing and siting for
 
the purpose of providing utility service;
 
             (6)  with the consent of the individual who owns or
 
lawfully occupies the real property captured in the image;
 
             (7)  pursuant to a valid search or arrest warrant;
 
             (8)  if the image is captured by a law enforcement
 
authority or a person who is under contract with or otherwise acting
 
under the direction or on behalf of a law enforcement authority:
 
                   (a)  in immediate pursuit of a person law
 
enforcement officers have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to
 
suspect has committed an offense, not including misdemeanors or
 
offenses punishable by a fine only;
 
                   (B)  for the purpose of documenting a crime scene
 
where an offense, not including misdemeanors or offenses punishable
 
by a fine only, has been committed;
 
                   (C)  for the purpose of investigating the scene
 
of:
 
                         (i)  a human fatality;
 
                         (ii)  a motor vehicle accident causing death
 
or serious bodily injury to a person; or
 
                         (iii)  any motor vehicle accident on a state
 
highway or federal interstate or highway;
 
                   (D)  in connection with the search for a missing
 
person;
 
                   (E)  for the purpose of conducting a high-risk
 
tactical operation that poses a threat to human life; or
 
                   (F)  of private property that is generally open to
 
the public where the property owner consents to law enforcement
 
public safety responsibilities;
 
             (9)  if the image is captured by state or local law
 
enforcement authorities, or a person who is under contract with or
 
otherwise acting under the direction or on behalf of state
 
authorities, for the purpose of:
 
                   (a)  surveying the scene of a catastrophe or other
 
damage to determine whether a state of emergency should be
 
declared;
 
                   (B)  preserving public safety, protecting
 
property, or surveying damage or contamination during a lawfully
 
declared state of emergency; or
 
                   (C)  conducting routine air quality sampling and
 
monitoring, as provided by state or local law;
 
             (10)  at the scene of a spill, or a suspected spill, of
 
hazardous materials;
 
             (11)  for the purpose of fire suppression;
 
             (12)  for the purpose of rescuing a person whose life or
 
well-being is in imminent danger;
 
             (13)  if the image is captured by a Texas licensed real
 
estate broker in connection with the marketing, sale, or financing
 
of real property, provided that no individual is identifiable in
 
the image;
 
             (14)  of real property or a person on real property that
 
is within 25 miles of the United States border;
 
             (15)  from a height no more than eight feet above ground
 
level in a public place, if the image was captured without using any
 
electronic, mechanical, or other means to amplify the image beyond
 
normal human perception;
 
             (16)  of public real property or a person on that
 
property;
 
             (17)  if the image is captured by the owner or operator
 
of an oil, gas, water, or other pipeline for the purpose of
 
inspecting, maintaining, or repairing pipelines or other related
 
facilities, and is captured without the intent to conduct
 
surveillance on an individual or real property located in this
 
state;
 
             (18)  in connection with oil pipeline safety and rig
 
protection; or
 
             (19)  in connection with port authority surveillance
 
and security.
 
       (b)  This chapter does not apply to the manufacture,
 
assembly, distribution, or sale of an unmanned aircraft.
 
       Sec. 423.003.  OFFENSE: ILLEGAL USE OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT TO
 
CAPTURE IMAGE. (a) a person commits an offense if the person uses an
 
unmanned aircraft to capture an image of an individual or privately
 
owned real property in this state with the intent to conduct
 
surveillance on the individual or property captured in the image.
 
       (b)  An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.
 
       (c)  It is a defense to prosecution under this section that
 
the person destroyed the image:
 
             (1)  as soon as the person had knowledge that the image
 
was captured in violation of this section; and
 
             (2)  without disclosing, displaying, or distributing
 
the image to a third party.
 
       (d)  In this section, "intent" has the meaning assigned by
 
Section 6.03, Penal Code.
 
       Sec. 423.004.  OFFENSE: POSSESSION, DISCLOSURE, DISPLAY,
 
DISTRIBUTION, OR USE OF IMAGE. (a) a person commits an offense if
 
the person:
 
             (1)  captures an image in violation of Section 423.003;
 
and
 
             (2)  possesses, discloses, displays, distributes, or
 
otherwise uses that image.
 
       (b)  An offense under this section for the possession of an
 
image is a Class C misdemeanor. An offense under this section for
 
the disclosure, display, distribution, or other use of an image is a
 
Class B misdemeanor.
 
       (c)  Each image a person possesses, discloses, displays,
 
distributes, or otherwise uses in violation of this section is a
 
separate offense.
 
       (d)  It is a defense to prosecution under this section for
 
the possession of an image that the person destroyed the image as
 
soon as the person had knowledge that the image was captured in
 
violation of Section 423.003.
 
       (e)  It is a defense to prosecution under this section for
 
the disclosure, display, distribution, or other use of an image
 
that the person stopped disclosing, displaying, distributing, or
 
otherwise using the image as soon as the person had knowledge that
 
the image was captured in violation of Section 423.003.
 
       Sec. 423.005.  ILLEGALLY OR INCIDENTALLY CAPTURED IMAGES NOT
 
SUBJECT TO DISCLOSURE.  (a)  Except as otherwise provided by
 
Subsection (b), an image captured in violation of Section 423.003,
 
or an image captured by an unmanned aircraft that was incidental to
 
the lawful capturing of an image:
 
             (1)  may not be used as evidence in any criminal or
 
juvenile proceeding, civil action, or administrative proceeding;
 
             (2)  is not subject to disclosure, inspection, or
 
copying under Chapter 552; and
 
             (3)  is not subject to discovery, subpoena, or other
 
means of legal compulsion for its release.
 
       (b)  An image described by Subsection (a) may be disclosed
 
and used as evidence to prove a violation of this chapter and is
 
subject to discovery, subpoena, or other means of legal compulsion
 
for that purpose.
 
       Sec. 423.006.  CIVIL ACTION.  (a)  An owner or tenant of
 
privately owned real property located in this state may bring
 
against a person who, in violation of Section 423.003, captured an
 
image of the property or the owner or tenant while on the property
 
an action to:
 
             (1)  enjoin a violation or imminent violation of
 
Section 423.003 or 423.004;
 
             (2)  recover a civil penalty of:
 
                   (a)  $5,000 for all images captured in a single
 
episode in violation of Section 423.003; or
 
                   (B)  $10,000 for disclosure, display,
 
distribution, or other use of any images captured in a single
 
episode in violation of Section 423.004; or
 
             (3)  recover actual damages if the person who captured
 
the image in violation of Section 423.003 discloses, displays, or
 
distributes the image with malice.
 
       (b)  For purposes of recovering the civil penalty or actual
 
damages under Subsection (a), all owners of a parcel of real
 
property are considered to be a single owner and all tenants of a
 
parcel of real property are considered to be a single tenant.
 
       (c)  In this section, "malice" has the meaning assigned by
 
Section 41.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.
 
       (d)  In addition to any civil penalties authorized under this
 
section, the court shall award court costs and reasonable
 
attorney's fees to the prevailing party.
 
       (e)  Venue for an action under this section is governed by
 
Chapter 15, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.
 
       (f)  An action brought under this section must be commenced
 
within two years from the date the image was:
 
             (1)  captured in violation of Section 423.003; or
 
             (2)  initially disclosed, displayed, distributed, or
 
otherwise used in violation of Section 423.004.
 
       Sec. 423.007.  RULES FOR USE BY LAW ENFORCEMENT.  The
 
Department of Public Safety shall adopt rules and guidelines for
 
use of an unmanned aircraft by a law enforcement authority in this
 
state.
 
       Sec. 423.008.  REPORTING BY LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY. (a) Not
 
earlier than January 1 and not later than January 15 of each
 
odd-numbered year, each state law enforcement agency and each
 
county or municipal law enforcement agency located in a county or
 
municipality, as applicable, with a population greater than
 
150,000, that used or operated an unmanned aircraft during the
 
preceding 24 months shall issue a written report to the governor,
 
the lieutenant governor, and each member of the legislature and
 
shall:
 
             (1)  retain the report for public viewing; and
 
             (2)  post the report on the law enforcement agency's
 
publicly accessible website, if one exists.
 
       (b)  The report must include:
 
             (1)  the number of times an unmanned aircraft was used,
 
organized by date, time, location, and the types of incidents and
 
types of justification for the use;
 
             (2)  the number of criminal investigations aided by the
 
use of an unmanned aircraft and a description of how the unmanned
 
aircraft aided each investigation;
 
             (3)  the number of times an unmanned aircraft was used
 
for a law enforcement operation other than a criminal
 
investigation, the dates and locations of those operations, and a
 
description of how the unmanned aircraft aided each operation;
 
             (4)  the type of information collected on an
 
individual, residence, property, or area that was not the subject
 
of a law enforcement operation and the frequency of the collection
 
of this information; and
 
             (5)  the total cost of acquiring, maintaining,
 
repairing, and operating or otherwise using each unmanned aircraft
 
for the preceding 24 months.
 
       SECTION 3.  The change in law made by this Act applies only
 
to the capture, possession, disclosure, display, distribution, or
 
other use of an image that occurs on or after the effective date of
 
this Act.
 
       SECTION 4.  The provisions of this Act or the applications of
 
those provisions are severable as provided by Section 311.032(c),
 
Government Code.
 
       SECTION 5.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2013.
 
 
 
______________________________
______________________________
 
   President of the Senate
Speaker of the House     
 
 
 
       I certify that H.B. No. 912 was passed by the House on May 10,
 
2013, by the following vote:  Yeas 128, Nays 11, 2 present, not
 
voting; that the House refused to concur in Senate amendments to
 
H.B. No. 912 on May 21, 2013, and requested the appointment of a
 
conference committee to consider the differences between the two
 
houses; that the House adopted the conference committee report on
 
H.B. No. 912 on May 26, 2013, by the following vote:  Yeas 140, Nays
 
4, 2 present, not voting; and that the House adopted H.C.R. No. 217
 
authorizing certain corrections in H.B. No. 912 on May 27, 2013, by
 
the following vote: Yeas 145, Nays 3, 2 present, not voting.
 
______________________________
 
Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
       I certify that H.B. No. 912 was passed by the Senate, with
 
amendments, on May 17, 2013, by the following vote:  Yeas 29, Nays
 
1; at the request of the House, the Senate appointed a conference
 
committee to consider the differences between the two houses; that
 
the Senate adopted the conference committee report on H.B. No. 912
 
on May 26, 2013, by the following vote:  Yeas 26, Nays 5; and that
 
the Senate adopted H.C.R. No. 217 authorizing certain corrections
 
in H.B. No. 912 on May 27, 2013, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
______________________________
 
Secretary of the Senate   
 
APPROVED: __________________
 
                Date       
   
         __________________
 
              Governor       

NOTE: Homeland Surveillance & Electronics LLC Mission is also to protect the privacy rights of the individuals and to work with government agencies, organizations and businesses to help insure that those rights are not infringed. At HSE, the Constitutional Rights of the People come first. Maintaining an individual's privacy and protecting the civil liberties of all persons is of paramount importance to HSE! Together, we can help provide a great public service and keeping our Country safe while at the same time protecting "Our Rights". It's as simple as that!!!


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