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Drones and Privacy

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Document pages: 43 pages

Abstract: The Los Angeles Times recently reported the first instance where military “drone” aircraft participated in the arrest of United States citizens on United States soil. A Customs and Border Patrol Predator B drone played a key role in the criminal arrest of Rodney Brossart and his three sons at their North Dakota ranch. With the conclusion of the Second Gulf War, pressures mount to utilize surplus drones and other quasi-military drone technology on the home front. This monograph summarizes the known facts of the Brossart case, describes the capabilities of military surveillance “drone” aircraft, and discusses if the Brossart case (or a similar case) may serve as a catalyst for Supreme Court action. If a case like Brossart were appealed, the Supreme Court could issue a judgment articulating a new standard governing how the Fourth Amendment controls robotic surveillance.

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