Interesting legislative activity in the Lone Star State:
A drone, no bigger than a toy airplane, hovered north of the Texas Capitol, floating over the heads of lawmakers who were momentarily distracted from their morning meetings. Several of them gathered beneath it, faces tilted skyward, marveling over a pair of goggles that allowed them to watch live video of the craft’s panoramic bird’s-eye view.
But when the conversation turned to the reason for the demonstration, the tone shifted. Representative Lance Gooden, Republican of Terrell, said he was sponsoring legislation to prevent this futuristic technology — increasingly used by everyone from aviation hobbyists to law enforcement authorities — from capturing “indiscriminate surveillance.”
Of particular interest to our community:
“It will be a greater burden on the hobbyists, but I think that’s O.K.,” Mr. Gooden said. “If you’re asking me to choose between my right to privacy and a hobbyist’s right to take pictures from the sky, my privacy comes first.”
and a counterpoint:
“If I’m using it to continuously monitor somebody, I think we could make a law that would forbid such a thing,” Dr. Humphreys said. “But if I’m up there doing some other benign research and happen to capture your picture inadvertently, I don’t think ought to be outlawed.”
And as an administrative note, Chris has created a forum for talking about government drone regulations.