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Anti-drone revolt prompts push for new federal, state laws

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Declan McCullagh
CNet
March 23, 2013

An unusual bipartisan revolt has erupted against law enforcement plans to fly more drones equipped with high-tech gear that can be used to conduct surveillance of Americans.

A combination of concerns about privacy, air traffic safety, facial recognition, cell phone tracking– and even the possibility that in the future drones could be armed — have suddenly placed police on the defensive.

A public outcry in Seattle last month prompted the mayor to ground the police department’s nascent drone program. Oregon held a hearing this week on curbing drones, following one in Idaho last week. And on Tuesday, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced a federal bill that would require law enforcement to obtain warrants before conducting drone-based aerial surveillance.

Benjamin Miller, who runs the drone program for the sheriff’s office in Mesa County, Ariz., and represents the Airborne Law Enforcement Association, encountered a less-than-welcoming Senate Judiciary committee during a hearing on Wednesday.

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This article was posted: Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 6:39 am





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