Democrat Legislator Admits That Drone Bill Opponents Aren’t Concerned With Privacy

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On the Legislature Today radio program last night host Dale Wetzel had on Rep. Rick Becker – who is sponsoring legislation to require that law enforcement obtain a warrant before using surveillance drones in a criminal investigation – and state Senator Carolyn Nelson who opposes that legislation.

You can listen to the entire interview here, but during the discussion Senator Nelson said something I found pretty revealing about what the priorities of opponents to Rep. Becker’s bill really are.

“Were you fairly assured that the folks coming in to testify against the bill had civil liberties and personal privacy at the forefront of their mind,” asked Wetzel.

Senator Nelson’s blunt answer? “No.”

Wetzel followed up asking, “don’t you think that’s a little scary?” to which Senator Nelson dissembled for a bit, making some noises about how privacy was a part of the directives for proposed UAV research at UND, before finally admitting that parochial and economic interests trump civil liberties.

“After listening to this it is clear to me our rights are for sale for a little bit of economic development money,” a reader emailed me about the interview.

That seems to be the case.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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