Just Say NO: Seattle Residents Kill the City’s Drone Program

Tyler Durden's picture

Via Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

The anti-surveillance state movement is gaining traction and following Charlottesville, Virginia becoming the first city to pass anti-drone legislation, the engaged citizenry of Seattle have now succeeded in killing their city’s own drone program earlier this month.  On the state level, while legislation has been introduced in several places, it appears Florida is closest to enacting domestic surveillance drone regulations into law.  The title of the bill is the “Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act.”  From Forbes:

After a Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee hearing in Seattle (held the night of Feb 7), where residents raised concern over the Seattle Police Departments attempt to use surveillance drones, the program was successfully killed.


In a written response, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn wrote: “Today I spoke with Seattle Police Chief John Diaz and we agreed that it was time to end the unmanned aerial vehicle program so that SPD can focus its resources on public safety and the community building work that is the department’s priority. The vehicles will be returned to the vendor.”


On the legislative side of things, multiple states are already moving to enact laws to strongly regulate the use of surveillance drones.  According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Maine has a bill introduced to regulate drones, as do Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Texas. In Virginia a hearing has already been held on a bill, while Montana has three bills, and hearings have already been held there as well.


Of all states, however, Florida is the closest to enacting domestic surveillance drone regulations into law.


The Florida bill was introduced by state Senator Joe Negron—a very powerful Republican who chairs the budget committee. The actual title of the bill is the “Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act,” and according to the ACLU it has strong bipartisan support, along with support from public defenders, the Florida Sheriff’s Association, and Florida Police Chiefs.

While these guys will try to get away with anything they think they can, this demonstrates that when the citizenry is involved and active we can control our own destiny.  Great job Seattle!

Full article here.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
JuicedGamma's picture

Drones should be regulated out of all skies. They are the epitome of lazy thinking and a very poorly conceived foreign policy.

Maybe John Kerry will do better, one can hope? Oh forgot hope and change was just a slogan.

ali-ali-al-qomfri's picture

Drone unto others, as others Drone unto to you.

espirit's picture

You mean like an anti drone - drone?

I think I could probably market that idea.

Pure Evil's picture

It's all meaningless. State and local laws may stop state and local governments from using drones, but the Feds own the airspace over the US.

From Wikipedia:

In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has the sole authority to control all airspace, exclusively determining the rules and requirements for its use. Typically, in the "Uncontrolled" category of airspace, any pilot can fly any aircraft as low as he or she wants, subject to the requirement of maintaining a 500-foot (150 m) distance from people and man-made structures except for purposes of takeoff and landing, and not causing any hazard. Therefore, it appears to trump any individually claimed air rights, near airports especially.

Specifically, the Federal Aviation Act provides that: "The United States Government has exclusive sovereignty of airspace of the United States."[1] The act defines navigable airspace as "airspace above the minimum altitudes of flight…including airspace needed to ensure the safety in the takeoff and landing of aircraft."[2]

MillionDollarBoner_'s picture

Come on Texas...secede already. Once one state tells the fuckers where to get off, others will follow and soon it will be an avalanche.

Oh, and when you do it, remember to repudiate "your share" of the federal debt. "You didn't make that" so why should you honour it?

NoWayJose's picture

I can see it now, 'green' grants from Obama to use drones to study global warming and to spy on the evil corporations polluting the planet.

Herkimer Jerkimer's picture





If we aren't careful, you will be remembering, 20 years from now, how you watched the unfolding of a civil war, as more and more states and places, start waking up and banning this and other activities, in a tit-for-tat rebutal to what is seen as the over-stepping of the federal mandate.

The feds need to be very, very careful.

This is some serious shit.



yogibear's picture

Would have made good skeet/drone shooting.  

They should put a bullseye underneath it as a challenge.

Oldwood's picture

I'm not so sure about drones but there are manned airplanes flying over my house every few minutes and have been doing it for years. I know I'm in the flight path for the airport but I just know they are watching me. I can feel their eyes like wet peaches staring down at me!

sitenine's picture

Just to be cynical - Are we erecting freedom zones? Maybe they can use it as an advertising slogan too, "live in _______, we wont spy on you with drones." Or even more far fetched, 'the administration' recognizes that we don't want their fucking drones flying over us and they give up on the idea.

I thought Charlottesville was a fluke, and this is one occasion where I am extremely happy to be wrong. Go Seattle. Someone needs to stand up to the tyranny, because it sure as hell ain't going away on its own.

Biggieshort's picture

Wow. a whole city populated by "terrorists"....SEND IN THE DRONES!

Oldwood's picture

Like gun control, i fear ultimately all they will end up doing is making sure citizens will never own one.

Yes_Questions's picture



"...so that SPD can focus its resources on public safety and the community building work that is the department’s priority. The vehicles will be returned to the vendor"


Oh snap.  I hope that vendor doesn't employ one of those mean Paul Sorvino looking guys like in Bullworth.



conspicio's picture

So I wonder at what point the drone activity becomes an interference with the enjoyment and use of my property? Because, takings law, bitchez. Federal airspace starts (class E) at 1,200 feet AGL. Helos can use airspace below that if not causing a hazard to persons or property on the ground. So what will civilian drones be subject to follow? No one knows, just yet. But I will bet that it will allow a height so low it can sniff a rat fart on a windy night.

ISEEIT's picture

Seattle is interesting. Kinda like North Korea but just a bit different. The natives are full political retard and yet seem to have a certain adversity to subjecting themselves to the same moronic lunacy that they deem entirely appropriate for all the 'other' people. This might be yet another sign of an impending choke point for more than a few of the useful idiots.

Once they come for YOU......Shit begins to get real.

Boxed Merlot's picture

 multiple states are already moving to enact laws to strongly regulate the use of surveillance drones...


Reminds me of the joke Berkeley Ca pulled on the residents there...


"The City of Berkeley has posted signs at city limits proclaiming its nuclear free status. The ordinance specifies possible fines for such activities within its borders. At the time of the passage of the act, the University operated a nuclear reactor for research purposes, the Etcheverry Reactor, which it continued to operate after the act went into effect. The University of California, as a state institution, is not subject to Berkeley's municipal regulations, including the ban."...


Give me a break, someone evidently needed some headlines imo.  Like criminals are gonna start registering their guns.  More likely the armed forces are striking more medals of valor for the hotshots playing with their joysticks.

bigrooster's picture

Fuck You Drone Brother!

Kiwi Pete's picture

I wonder if Yeman will follow suit?

ebworthen's picture

I was kind of looking forward to trying to shoot one of those damn things down, but better this way (I suppose).

They Tried to Steal My Gold's picture

This is a political ruse - the Mayor is grandstanding - the vendor informed them in advance that they would not accept a return, 


So the Drones stay in Seattle .....but the sheep and the rest of the country think they have been returned. 


Don't believe the hype - the vender has already said all sales are final! NO REFUND FOR YOU!


PS: the WA ST. Department of Transportation still thinks they will use them.....they have great ideas for future surveillance under the ruse of Avalanche control....

jonjon831983's picture

In other news: "Ohio Plans Drones to Hunt Lost Kids as They Bring Jobs"

Now, they need to give medals for flying civie drones


AnAnonymous's picture

Freedom from... Cant wait for 'americans' to jump on that one, or maybe not, for they are 'americans'

More posturing from 'americans' as expected.

Keeping the face, keeping the face, freedom above all for the empire of Liberty.

Drones can fly high and who decides air space sovereignty? Funny huh? Trouble is that you cant bamboozle 'americans' about 'americanism'.
Incroaching of sovereign territory. And who does that? certainly not 'americans' working for the Federal government flying drones in the US air space...

'Americans' facing 'americanism'. How helpless they are. And they depict themselves as the last line to hold. JKC.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

AnAnonymous said:


Still spamming your fastfood franchise Just Killed Cat? Pathetic.

AnAnonymous's picture

And one could guess that franchise sells tons in your fantasy world.

In the mean time, in the real world, 'american' corporations do the selling job to please the 'american' middle class.

Fantasy, the last shelter for an 'american'.

Atlas Crapped's picture

Isn't it rich?
Are we a pair?
Me here at last on the ground
You in mid-air
Send in the drones ... where are the drones ... ther ought to be ... drones.

Mi Naem's picture

I think it's great that Seattle, Charlottesville, and other local and state governments may restrict drone surveillance.  But they will not stop the Feds who claim all airspace under their control. 

Maybe these local governments shouldn't be so hasty to disarm what may be the closest thing to a non-federal air force they'll likely have access to for the foreseeable future.  Otherwise, who will stop the Fed's drones? 

roadhazard's picture

Kudos to Charlottesville Va. Power to the People.