98TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
State of Illinois
2013 and 2014
Introduced 2/13/2013, by Sen. Daniel Biss
SYNOPSIS AS INTRODUCED:
Creates the Freedom from Drone Surveillance Act. Provides that a law
enforcement agency may not use a drone to gather information. Permits the
use of a drone by a law enforcement agency: (1) to counter a high risk of a
terrorist attack by a specific individual or organization if the United
States Secretary of Homeland Security determines that credible
intelligence indicates that there is that risk; (2) if a law enforcement
agency first obtains a search warrant signed by a judge authorizing the use
of a drone; or (3) if a law enforcement agency possesses reasonable
suspicion that, under particular circumstances, swift action is needed to
prevent imminent harm to life or serious damage to property, or to
forestall the imminent escape of a suspect or the destruction of evidence.
Provides that a law enforcement agency may not own or use a drone that is
equipped with any kind of lethal or non-lethal weapon. Provides that
information obtained or collected in violation of the Act is not admissible
as evidence in any criminal, civil, administrative, or other proceeding.
Establishes certain information retention and reporting requirements
concerning drone ownership and use.
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A BILL FOR
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AN ACT concerning criminal law.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
This Act may be cited as the
Freedom from Drone Surveillance Act.
As used in this Act:
"Authority" means the Illinois Criminal Justice
"Drone" means any aerial vehicle that does not carry a
"Information" means any evidence, images, sounds, data, or
other information gathered by a drone.
"Law enforcement agency" means any agency of this State or
a political subdivision of this State which is vested by law
with the duty to maintain public order and to enforce criminal
Prohibited use of drones.
Except as provided
in Section 15, a law enforcement agency may not use a drone to
This Act does not prohibit the use
of a drone by a law enforcement agency:
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(1) To counter a high risk of a terrorist attack by a
specific individual or organization if the United States
Secretary of Homeland Security determines that credible
intelligence indicates that there is that risk.
(2) If a law enforcement agency first obtains a search
warrant signed by a judge authorizing the use of a drone. The
warrant must be based on probable cause of criminal activity
supported by a sworn written submission of facts from a law
enforcement agency. The warrant must be limited to a particular
person or location, and limited to a particular investigation.
The warrant must be limited to a period of 45 days, renewable
by the judge upon a showing of good cause for subsequent
periods of 45 days. Within 10 days after the warrant expires,
the law enforcement agency must serve a copy of the drone
warrant on the person subject to drone surveillance, except
that a judge may delay notice upon the law enforcement agency's
showing of reason to believe that the notice would jeopardize
an ongoing investigation.
(3) If a law enforcement agency possesses reasonable
suspicion that, under particular circumstances, swift action
is needed to prevent imminent harm to life or serious damage to
property, or to forestall the imminent escape of a suspect or
the destruction of evidence. The use of a drone under this
paragraph (3) is limited to a period of 48 hours. Within 24
hours of the initiation of the use of a drone under this
paragraph (3), the chief executive officer of the law
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enforcement agency must report in writing the use of a drone to
the Illinois Attorney General and to the local State's
If a law enforcement
agency uses a drone under Section 15 of this Act, the agency
within 24 hours shall destroy all information gathered by the
drone, except that a supervisor at that agency may retain
particular information if (1) there is reasonable suspicion
that the information contains evidence of criminal activity, or
(2) the information is relevant to an ongoing investigation or
pending criminal trial.
Information obtained or collected
in violation of this Act is not admissible as evidence in any
criminal, civil, administrative, or other proceeding.
A law enforcement agency
may not own or use a drone that is equipped with any kind of
lethal or non-lethal weapon.
(a) If a law enforcement agency owns one or more drones,
then subsequent to the effective date of this Act, it shall
report in writing annually by April 1 to the Authority the
number of drones that it owns.
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(b) If during any calendar year a law enforcement agency
uses a drone, then on the following April 1 it shall report in
writing to the Authority the number of times that it used a
(c) On July 1 of each year, the Authority shall publish on
its publicly available website a concise report that lists:
(1) every law enforcement agency that owns a drone, and
for each of those agencies, the number of drones that it
(2) every law enforcement agency that used a drone in
the prior calendar year, and for each of those agencies,
the number of times that it used a drone.