Rand Paul: FBI Answers to Questions about Drones "Insufficient"

Jul 26, 2013

A letter sent to Kentucky Senator Rand Paul from the FBI says the bureau has used domestic drones for surveillance in ten cases since 2006. The letter came in response to a series of questions Sen. Paul asked the FBI regarding its drone use.

Sen. Paul says he will maintain a hold on the nomination of James Comey to be the next FBI Director. Senators can place holds on Presidential nominations, something that is often done to draw attention to a specific issue.

Paul says the FBI’s answers to his questions about domestic drone use are “insufficient”. The Bowling Green Republican has sent the bureau a follow-up letter with more questions.

Politico reports that in its response to Paul, the FBI says the agency has used domestic drones for surveillance in the U.S. in eight criminal cases and two national security cases since 2006.

The FBI said that in order to use domestic drones, it must first obtain clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration and have surveillance requests reviewed by FBI attorneys in order to make sure there are no legal violations.

But Sen. Paul says the FBI needs to provide more information about how it's taking into account the privacy rights of Americans.

“I am concerned that an overbroad interpretation of this protection would enable more substantial information collection on an individual in a circumstance they might not have believed was subject to surveillance,” Paul wrote in his letter Thursday. “For that reason, I ask that you provide me the Bureau’s definition of when an individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy.”