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Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

2012

First Amendment

University of Colorado Law School

Air and Space Law

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Drone Federalism: Civilian Drones And The Things They Carry, Margot E. Kaminski Dec 2012

Drone Federalism: Civilian Drones And The Things They Carry, Margot E. Kaminski

Publications

Civilian drones are scheduled to be permitted in the national airspace as early as 2015. Many think Congress should establish the necessary nationwide regulations to govern both law enforcement and civilian drone use. That thinking, however, is wrong. This Essay suggests drone federalism instead: a state-based approach to privacy regulation that governs drone use by civilians, drawing on states’ experience regulating other forms of civilian-on-civilian surveillance. This approach will allow necessary experimentation in how to best balance privacy concerns against First Amendment rights in the imminent era of drone-use democratization. This Essay closes by providing some guidance to states as …