Drone Debate Lands Before Minn. Lawmakers

Updated: 02/02/2014 4:52 PM KSTP.com By: Megan Stewart

A picture of a drone with a camera attached to it.
A picture of a drone with a camera attached to it.
Photo: Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Drone

Fears of prying from the sky have some Minnesota lawmakers seeking clamps on law enforcement's use of unmanned aerial drones to gather evidence.
Drones operated by Minnesota authorities aren't taking off just yet, but legislation that would curb potential uses is on the docket for the 2014 session. The drone debate is occurring in statehouses across the country given increased public sensitivity to government surveillance.
Minnesota's bill covers use of remote devices by law enforcement. It demands that agencies get warrants or meet tests of "imminent" danger to turn to camera-toting drones. If those conditions aren't met, government agencies could face lawsuits or suppression of criminal evidence.
Civil libertarians and privacy advocates cheer the scrutiny. Others, like model airplane hobbyists, are on alert for a possible intrusion on their pastime.

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