Unmanned areal vehicles (also known as drones) are aircraft that have no human pilot on board. They are more commonly known by their acronym UAV.s. UAVs can be flown remotely by a pilot at a ground control station or the can fly autonomously in a pre-programmed flight path for patrols or they can be programmed for more complex mission flights. UAVs are mostly used in military applications, but are increasingly being utilized by policing organizations and commercial businesses. Drones have many benefits in their use. Drones have the capability to save taxpayers millions of dollars by being less costly to refuel than traditional aircraft and also by not placing a human pilot at risk Drones have an almost limitless potential of use in domestic operations., but carry with it the potential power of abuse.
In America there is a fear that drone usage will infringe upon an individuals right to privacy and an individuals protection from unreasonable searches according to the 4th amendment. Recently President Barack Obama has made it a point that he wants drone use in America to be a priority. He signed the FAA Modernization Act of 2012, which stated that by 2015 drones should be integrated in the national airspace system. Americans need to be informed on their constitutional rights when it comes to new emerging technology such as drones entering the airspace of America. I must first explain what the 4th amendment rights are to individuals when new technology emerges.
Let’s take cell phones for example. Many people use their cell phones for work and for personal use as well. Criminals also use cell phones to conduct their business and for personal use. So the question becomes does a person have a right informational privacy and protection of their cell phone from being searched after having been lawfully arrested well that is what will be decided in the United States Supreme Court in a case called US v. Wurie. The case has not been decided yet. I think that if this case is decided in favor of protection of informational privacy then my 4th amendment rights to unreasonable searches will have been protected by the court system. Since cell phones are a fairly new technology the court system has taken years to address the privacy and search rights citizens have when it comes to new technology such as cell phones. I feel the same thing will happen to drones in the United States. If the courts have taken almost 20 years to decided on cell phone searches then I fear we will wait years on the courts to decide if drone usage infringes upon a person’s right to be protected from unreasonable searches. Fourth Amendment protections are not a new fight in the United States Court System.
In the court case California v. Ciraolo, police officers identified marijuana plants in a suspect’s backyard from a plane at an altitude of 1000 feet did not violate the Fourth Amendment. In 1989 in the case of Florida v. Riley, the United States Supreme Court reached the same...