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Sen. Paul looks to bar warrantless drone spying

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Sen. Rand Paul introduced a bill Wednesday that would require the federal government to obtain a warrant before they can use drones to collect evidence against or do surveillance on American citizens.

Mr. Paul, a likely 2016 presidential contender, said the proposal — dubbed the Preserving Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act of 2013 — would protect citizen’s right to personal privacy and prevent any evidence collected by an unmanned aerial vehicle from being used as evidence in a criminal, civil, or regulatory action.

“The use of drone surveillance may work on the battlefields overseas, but it isn’t well-suited for unrestrained use on the streets in the United States,” Mr. Paul, Kentucky Republican, said in the press release. “Congress must be vigilant in providing oversight to the use of this technology and protection for rights of the American people. I will continue the fight to protect and uphold our Fourth Amendment.”

The proposal carves out exceptions for patrolling the nation’s borders, tracking people who pose an imminent threat, and when there is deemed a high risk of a terrorist attack.

Mr. Paul has made drones a pet issue.

In March, he led a 13-hour filibuster against the nomination of John O. Brennan as CIA director, while calling on the Obama administration to clarify whether it believed it had the legal right to use drones to kill U.S. citizens accused of being linked to terrorist without due process of the law.

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