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Two more states eye drone use limits

Jaikumar Vijayan | April 17, 2014
Louisiana and Pennsylvania could become the latest states to impose restrictions on the use of commercial drone aircraft over their airspace.

The move has set off alarm bells among privacy and civil rights advocates and lawmakers in numerous states who fear that unchecked use of drones will enable unprecedented privacy violations and persistent mass surveillance by the government.

Drone lobbyists like the powerful Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and others have insisted the privacy concerns are overblown. They have pointed to the numerous benefits that drones offer in areas like law enforcement, traffic regulation, crop monitoring and real estate.

The lobbying appears to have done little to stop states from trying to limit drone use in their states. In 2013 alone, as many as 43 states introduced a total of 130 bills and resolutions seeking drone limits, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

By year-end, 13 states had enacted 16 new drone laws, while another 11 had adopted resolutions limiting the use of drones in some circumstances, according to the NCSL.

 

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