Icelandic Group Proposes Drone-Free Country

5 August 2014

A nongovernmental organization in Iceland has proposed that the country be a drone-free zone.

The International Modern Media Institute said Aug. 2 that plans by the policy to use drones by the police would lead to violations of personal privacy.

The plans for police use of drones were reported by the financial newspaper Viðskiptablaðið.

The police said the use of drones is common in other countries where they are used, among other things, to investigate accidents, the newspaper reported.

“IMMI unequivocally opposes the adoption of drone use in Iceland, whether it be for purposes of investigations or spying, whether it be conducted by the police, the general public or others,” the group said.

“This would be a monumental interference with everyone’s privacy and clearly in violation with principles of proportionality,” according to the group.

It said:

The risk of gross misuse is always present – for instance, law and regulations on phone-tapping and personal data access are sidestepped and bent. Drone use brings into the fold a danger of a much greater magnitude.

Though there are surely new opportunities brought with drone use – positive ones at that – their use brings with it a serious risk and would represent a major step towards a surveillance society.

The IMMI was formed in 2010 by free speech and digital rights activists, lawmakers, and civil society organizations convened in Reykjavík, Iceland “and within the space of ether pad,” with the goal of creating a collection of the world’s strongest media and free speech protection laws.

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