Last year, a North Dakota man, Rodney Brossart, was arrested on his ranch over a cattle dispute. Prior to that arrest, the federal government used an unmanned surveillance aircraft to spy and monitor the accused. This surveillance was done due to an agreement reached by the local police and the Department of Homeland Security. No warrant was issued or served.
Besides the fact that the military was used for domestic policing and surveillance, the most important aspect of this case has to do with the recent ruling by District Judge Joel Medd. He ruled that “there was no improper use of an unmanned aerial vehicle” and that the drone “appears to have had no bearing on these charges being contested here.” This ruling was in light of Brossart’s attorney asking that charges be dropped due to the illegal intervention by the feds, ”warrant-less use of [an] unmanned military-like surveillance aircraft” and “outrageous governmental conduct.” These are all valid complaints, but were not respected by the court.
This ruling is very important because it paves the way for the federal and state “authorities” to do pretty much anything they choose to do considering warrant-less surveillance of American citizens. All this with the assistance of the military; that a direct violation of the Posse Comitatus Act. The ruling is in complete conflict with current law, but apparently, the state does not have to abide by its own rules.
With 30,000 drones being added to our skies over the next few years, none will retain privacy, and all of us will be under a constant threat of unwarranted surveillance. That is an untenable situation, and with legal cover for the state available through state courts, unlimited spying on American citizens will become the norm.
To hell with due process and habeas corpus. To hell with freedom. That is what this court’s decision tells us about the State’s position! Prepare for unlimited invasions of privacy; prepare for total tyranny!