Rights must be protected as technology changes

Rep. Sal Esquivel

Rep. Sal Esquivel

It’s no secret that technology has advanced rapidly in recent years. Because of it, new conveniences like cell phones and Internet technology are making the world a smaller place.

But against this backdrop, the global War on Terror that we’ve waged since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has given the federal government unprecedented powers. That, combined with this new technology, creates the potential for those powers to be abused.

Recent revelations regarding the National Security Agency’s collection of Americans’ cell phone data demonstrate the perils that we face in this new era. The reasonable expectation of privacy guaranteed by our founding fathers has been compromised by all of this.

Despite that, we are taking steps at the state level to reign in the potential abuses of power that technology is enabling.

House Bill 2710 is making its way through the legislative process, and has passed both the House and the Senate. That bill restricts the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, otherwise known as drones, by public bodies.

While drones have arguably been a useful tool in the War on Terror, many Americans are legitimately concerned about their possible domestic use. In anticipation of these issues, I and many of my colleagues are trying to ensure that the freedoms we cherish as a civilization and a nation are preserved.

The erosion of those rights is non-productive to any of us. We need to get our liberties back in check and reign in the government’s use and possible abuse of these new technologies.

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