A former ranking member of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee says it's time to regulate drone use.

Speaking Tuesday at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, former Congresswoman Jane Harman called for regulation of U.S. drones used in domestic surveillance and international strikes.

"Just think about life in some near future if we don't regulate this, with 30,000 drones looking around at everything in our country," said Harman, a California Democrat. "That is a much more serious intrusion of our privacy than anything else I can imagine."

Harman warned that using the remotely controlled aircraft to execute targets could serve as incentive for terrorist recruitment.

"Without a strategy and clear legal framework around our counterterrorism tactics, [drone strikes] can become inadvertent recruitment tools," she said. "Moreover, playing 'Whack-a-Mole' will not win the argument with the kid in rural Yemen thinking about whether to strap on a suicide vest."

Harman says Congress should step up now before the executive branch assumes power it shouldn't have.