Drone-control bill sought in Vermont

The proliferation of technology that makes it easier to track the lives of ordinary residents prompted the Vermont chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday to call on the Legislature to ensure state and local law enforcement agencies don’t misuse information that may be available.

A drone is flown over the Statehouse in a demonstration by the Vermont chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013 in Montpelier, Vt. Executive director Allen Gilbert says the ACLU is going to ask the Legislature to regulate surveillance of private citizens by state, local and federal law enforcement agencies. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

“If you carry a cellphone, you are being tracked. If you’re driving a car, (automatic license plate readers) are picking up where you’re going. You’ve seen what a drone can do. We’re going to see hundreds of these things flying overhead in a couple of years,” said Allen Gilbert, executive director of the ACLU’s Vermont chapter.

In addition to drones and the electronic bread crumb trail left by most people today, Gilbert said Vermonters are more prone to be watched by the government than people in other parts of the country because of the state’s proximity to Canada. Within 100 miles of the border, Department of Homeland Security agencies have broad powers to stop motorists.

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