I think a couple of you guys have a misconception of what a drone is.
Drones are more accurately called an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). They are not automatons that fly around independent of human input. There are many types, and many sizes. The ones that you see on the news most often are the very large predator type vehicles that are actually the size of a civilian aircraft. Those are flown via satellite uplink and can be flown from the other side of the world.
The vehicles in question here, are more about the size of a remote-controlled aircraft that a teenager would fly. There is also the restriction that the pilot must maintain visual line of sight with the aircraft at all times.
This change in the regulation also has no effect whatsoever on the law regarding surveillance. This basically allows your local radio station to do a remote camera instead of a helicopter traffic report during rush hour. It allows the police to follow a vehicle with a remote instead of a helicopter or aircraft. To do that they still have to have the same search warrants or causal factor that they had with the helicopter.
I am a dedicated opponent of the patriot act. This however, has no effect whatsoever on your personal liberties.