California Assembly approves bills limiting use of drones by police, public agencies

An octocopter drone hovers in front of vapor trails left by aircrafts during a demonstration. REUTERS/Srdjan Zivulovic

In California, state assembly lawmakers approved a number of bills today, including a measure to limit how law enforcement and public agencies can use drones:

The bill, by Assemblymembers Jeff Gorell (R-Camarillo), Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) and Bill Quirk (D-Hayward), would require public agencies to destroy data collected by drones within six months and would ban the weaponization of drones in California.

It also would require law enforcement to obtain a warrant to use a drone, except in certain emergency situations.

More: California Assembly approves limits on drones, paparazzi -

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  1. I realize the relevant copy comes from Reuters, and not Boing Boing, but: an "octocopter" drone? I count six rotors.

  2. I'd just like to say I think in general the concerns about civil rights being put at risk by blanket surveilance are probably worthwhile to consider.

    That being said, I think drones can be used effectively in a number of situations especially in a state like California. Monitoring emergency situations such as forest fires, earthquakes and other natural disasters. Search and Rescue. And even monitoring of game hunting and public lands for poaching / pot farming ( this is usually done by ultralight flights and can be risky to the personell on board ).

    I think in general a healthy skepticism is a good thing, but I also think drones can serve to better the general welfare of the populace if limited in their application. So I am glad that this is a route people are choosing to take. As always though, the devil is in the details.

  3. Begun the Drone War has....

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