He says private drone use is more worrisome. That's because he's never adequately understood the need to restrain the state.
As a Bush Administration lawyer, John Yoo employed flawed legal reasoning to facilitate torture and a view of executive power that would make the U.S. Constitution worthless if it were widely adopted. Despite his history of caring more about checks and balances when a Democrat is in the White House, he's been mostly comfortable with the excesses of the Obama era. And a recent item he published at Ricochet is yet another example of why he can't be trusted on questions concerning the federal government and the importance of restraining it to protect liberty.
His remarks are about the rules that should govern domestic use of drones. Says Yoo, speaking of government operated drones:
I predict that private drones will prove a bigger invasion of privacy. I met an inventor a few months ago who showed me a drone that could be made for a few hundred dollars and controlled by an iPhone.The Constitution only limits what the state can do, not what private parties can do. And it is private parties who will be the principle users of domestic drones. I predict that these drones will be used mostly by suspicious spouses and parents, not to mention celebrity gawkers. So more important than worrying about whether the NYPD or DHS uses drones, are what rules our society will choose to govern and constrain the private use of drones. It may ultimately be difficult to control; as drone technology allows for smaller and cheaper drones, the government will have less and less ability to regulate them.
There is the illusion of reasonableness here. Private use of drones really may pose significant privacy concerns, just as the proliferation of cameras in cell phones or the prospect of Google Glasses might one day affect privacy rights even more than municipally owned surveillance cameras.