skip to main content

H.R. 972 (113th): Preserving Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act of 2013

The text of the bill below is as of Mar 5, 2013 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.



1st Session

H. R. 972


March 5, 2013

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


To protect individual privacy against unwarranted governmental intrusion through the use of the unmanned aerial vehicles commonly called drones, and for other purposes.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Preserving Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act of 2013 .


Prohibited use of drones

Except as provided in section 3, a person or entity acting under the authority of the United States shall not use a drone to gather evidence or other information pertaining to criminal conduct or conduct in violation of a regulation except to the extent authorized in a warrant issued under the procedures described in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.



This Act does not prohibit any of the following:


Patrol of borders

The use of a drone to patrol national borders to prevent or deter illegal entry of any immigrants or illegal substances.


Exigent circumstances

The use of a drone by a law enforcement party when exigent circumstances exist. For the purposes of this paragraph, exigent circumstances exist when the law enforcement party possesses reasonable suspicion that under particular circumstances, swift action to prevent imminent danger to life or serious damage to property, or to forestall the imminent escape of a suspect, or destruction of evidence.


High risk

The use of a drone to counter a high risk of a terrorist attack by a specific individual or organization, when the Secretary of Homeland Security determines credible intelligence indicates there is such a risk.


Remedies for violation

Any aggrieved party may in a civil action obtain all appropriate relief to prevent or remedy a violation of this Act.



In this Act:


The term drone means any powered, aerial vehicle that does not carry a human operator, uses aerodynamic forces to provide vehicle lift, can fly autonomously or be piloted remotely, can be expendable or recoverable, and can carry a lethal or nonlethal payload.


The term law enforcement party means a person or entity authorized by law to investigate or prosecute offenses against the United States.