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AB417 Summary:

MLTSPNSRCook, Englebright
Add 52-d, Civ Rts L
Imposes limitations on the use of drones within the state.
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AB417 Actions:

01/06/2021referred to governmental operations
01/05/2022referred to governmental operations
04/05/2022enacting clause stricken
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AB417 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                     January 6, 2021
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A. PERRY -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. COOK,
          ENGLEBRIGHT -- read once and referred to the Committee on Governmental
        AN ACT to amend the civil rights law, in relation  to  imposing  limita-
          tions on the use of drones within the state

          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. This act shall be known and may be  cited  as  the  "Empire
     2  State citizens' protection from unwarranted surveillance act".
     3    §  2.  The civil rights law is amended by adding a new section 52-d to
     4  read as follows:
     5    § 52-d. Limitations on the use of drones. 1. No law enforcement agency
     6  or a state, county or municipal  agency  shall  use  a  drone  or  other
     7  unmanned  aircraft  to  gather,  store  or collect evidence of any type,
     8  including audio or video  recordings,  or  both,  or  other  information
     9  pertaining  to  criminal conduct or conduct in violation of a statute or
    10  regulation except to the  extent  specifically  authorized  in  a  valid
    11  search  warrant;  provided,  however,  that  the use of a drone by a law
    12  enforcement agency or a state, county or municipal agency is not prohib-
    13  ited when exigent  circumstances  exist.    For  the  purposes  of  this
    14  section,  exigent  circumstances  exist  if  a  law  enforcement  agency
    15  possesses reasonable suspicion that swift action is necessary to prevent
    16  imminent danger to life.
    17    2. No person, entity, or state agency  shall  use  a  drone  or  other
    18  unmanned  aircraft to conduct surveillance of or to monitor any individ-
    19  ual inside his or her home or place of  worship  or  within  the  closed
    20  confines  of their property or other locations where a person would have
    21  an expectation of privacy.
    22    3. This section does not prohibit the use of a drone:
    23    a. by a law enforcement agency:
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 417                              2
     1    (1) if the law enforcement agency first obtains a valid search warrant
     2  that authorizes the use of a drone and the use of the drone is used only
     3  to obtain evidence on the person named in the warrant; and
     4    (2) that is actively engaged in the enforcement of article two hundred
     5  twenty of the penal law;
     6    (3)  to  patrol  national borders to prevent or deter illegal entry of
     7  any persons or illegal substances; or
     8    (4) to counter a high risk of a terrorist attack by a  specific  indi-
     9  vidual  or organization based on credible intelligence determined by the
    10  commissioner of homeland security and emergency services; or
    11    b. by a person for lawful purposes, including  recreational  or  hobby
    12  purposes.
    13    4.  a.  A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty
    14  of a class B misdemeanor; provided, however, that if  the  violation  of
    15  the  provisions  of  this  section  is  committed in the course of or in
    16  conjunction with the commission of a felony, a person who  violates  the
    17  provisions of this section is guilty of a class C felony.
    18    b.  Any  evidence or information obtained or collected in violation of
    19  the provisions of this section,  and  all  evidence  derived  from  such
    20  evidence  or  information,  shall be inadmissible in a criminal or civil
    21  proceeding in any court of law in the  state  or  in  an  administrative
    22  hearing.
    23    c.  An  aggrieved  party  may  initiate  a  civil action against a law
    24  enforcement agency to obtain all appropriate relief in order to prevent,
    25  restrain or remedy a violation of this section.
    26    5. As used in this section:
    27    a. "Drone" means a powered  or  an  un-powered  aerial  vehicle  or  a
    28  balloon float or other device that:
    29    (1) does not carry a human operator;
    30    (2) uses aerodynamic forces or gases to provide lift;
    31    (3) can fly autonomously or be piloted remotely;
    32    (4) can be expendable or recoverable;
    33    (5) captures images of objects of people on the ground and in the air;
    34    (6) intercepts communications on the ground and in the air; and/or
    35    (7) can carry a lethal or non-lethal payload.
    36    b. "Exigent circumstances" means conditions requiring the preservation
    37  of secrecy, and whereby there is a reasonable likelihood that a continu-
    38  ing  investigation  would  be  thwarted  by  alerting any of the persons
    39  subject to surveillance to the fact that such surveillance had occurred.
    40    c.  "Law enforcement agency" means a  lawfully  established  state  or
    41  local public agency that is responsible for the prevention and detection
    42  of  crime, the enforcement of local government codes and the enforcement
    43  of penal, traffic, regulatory, game or  controlled  substance  laws  and
    44  includes an agent of the law enforcement agency.
    45    d.  "Search  warrant"  means  a  search  warrant as defined in section
    46  690.05 of the criminal procedure law.
    47    e. "Unmanned aircraft" means an aircraft that is operated without  the
    48  possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft.
    49    §  3. Severability. If any provision of this act or its application to
    50  any person or circumstance is held  invalid,  the  invalidity  does  not
    51  affect  other  provisions  or  applications of the act that can be given
    52  effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the
    53  provisions of this act are severable.
    54    § 4. This act shall take effect immediately.
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