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Toll Free: 1-800-287-0614
 
Ford City
 Office
312 Ford St.
Ford City, PA 16226-1212
Tel: 724-763-3222
FAX: 724-763-9788
Staff: Abigail Major (Chief of Staff), Amajor@pahousegop.com
Marissa DeLorenzo, Mdelorenzo@pahousegop.com

Hours: Mon- Wed and Fri 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.  Thurs. 12 pm - 7 pm.

Sarver Office
612 South Pike Road #106
Sarver, PA 16055
Phone: (724) 295-2200
Fax: (724) 295-2322  

Staff: Zachary Reigh, Zreigh@pahousegop.com
Marcia Fox Mfox@pahousegop.com

Hours: Mon-Fri 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.    

Capitol Office
216 Ryan Office Building
PO Box 202060
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2060
Tel: 717-783-5327
Fax: 717-260-6511
Staff: Erica Godsey, egodsey@pahousegop.com 
 
Email:  
The Honorable Jeff Pyle, jpyle@pahousegop.com
Pyle Legislation Targeting High-Tech Peeping Toms Passes House
6/29/2016

 
HARRISBURG – The House on Tuesday voted to pass legislation authored by Rep. Jeff Pyle (R-Armstrong, Butler, Indiana) that would update state law regarding surveillance and trespassing to impose criminal penalties on invasions of privacy by remote control helicopters and aircraft (often referred to as “drones”) that are equipped with video cameras.

The measure, House Bill 1339, would amend Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Criminal Code by adding a new section making it illegal for a person to engage in surveillance while trespassing in a private place.

“This legislation is similar to previous common-sense measures I have authored and passed into law in that the idea for it came from my constituents,” Pyle said. “In the past, I received a rash of complaints from constituents about individuals who were surreptitiously and obviously trespassing on their property to ‘spy’ on them and their guests. “Specifically, I received complaints where some folks were using unmanned radio-controlled helicopters equipped with high-definition video equipment to intrude on their neighbors’ privacy.”

Pyle examined the state’s criminal provisions for “trespassing” and “invasion of privacy” and discovered that neither statute fit the circumstances described above. So, he drafted legislation that makes it a crime to “engage in surveillance while trespassing in a private place.” Pyle’s legislation also defines each term – “surveillance,” “trespassing” and “private place”– so that it only addresses the offending behavior. The legislation also makes specific exceptions for legitimate law enforcement activities and manned aircraft flying in navigable air space.

“Whether we’re talking about someone ‘peeping’ in a bedroom window or spying on a neighbor’s pool party, every Pennsylvanian should have an expectation of privacy in their homes and on their private property and invasive conduct like this should be prohibited,” Pyle said. “It’s up to us, as lawmakers, to ensure that the Crimes Code keeps up with today’s technology.”

House Bill 1339 provides stepped penalties for this offense, similar to what the Commonwealth already does for “invasion of privacy.” A single offense under the new section created by the measure would be graded as a summary offense. Multiple offenses (or instances where there are multiple victims) would be graded as a third-degree misdemeanor.

The measure now moves to the Senate for consideration.


Representative Jeff Pyle
60th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Charles Lardner
717.260.6443
clardner@pahousegop.com  
JeffPyle.net / Facebook.com/RepJeffPyle
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