The final version of a bill regulating unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) will go to Governor Chris Christie with a provision that will ensure police can use soon the vehicles, sometimes referred to as “drones,” even without a warrant. Under A1039, the bill passed by both houses authorities will only need to have “probable cause” that a crime was committed, or is being committed, before the unleash drone-assisted surveillance on New Jersey residents. Surveillance for law enforcement purposes would also be allowed if authorities obtain a warrant from a Judge, permission from a property owner, or if the case involves a missing person. Governor Chris Christie still has the option of vetoing the bill. There are no current regulations on law-enforcement use of UAV’s.
The stakes could not be higher for the future of police transparency