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Bill Would Limit Police Use Of Drones, Surveillance

Rep. Eric Koch, R-Bedford, wants to limit the use of police drones and electronic surveillance.

drone

Photo: Jordan Cooper (Flickr)

A RCMP Dragonfly quadcopter drone is displayed at the SGI Distracted Driving event in Regina.

An Indiana House committee is examining a bill that would limit the use of police drones and electronic surveillance.

The bill, introduced by State Rep. Eric Koch, R-Bedford, would regulate police use of unmanned aircraft and would prohibit the use of surveillance without a court order.

The bill would also regulate the placement of cameras on private property.

As the IndyStar reports, several lawmakers had been seeking ways to create greater privacy protections.

Koch’s bill comes after an Indianapolis Star story revealed that Indiana State Police had acquired “Stingray” technology that potentially can be used to collect cellphone data from hundreds of people at a time.

“Because technology has moved so much faster than the law, we need to define new lines of Fourth Amendment protections,” Koch, R-Bedford, said. “Requiring a warrant to be issued by a judge upon sworn probable cause before a search and seizure is a bedrock of our freedoms. These constitutional protections are not waived by use of a cell phone or email.”

The bill also comes on the heals of companies pledging to invest more heavily in drone research in the state.

The Federal Aviation Administration last month passed over Indiana as a federally-designated drone testing site, but officials with the National Center for Complex Operations said they still plan to pursue the development of drone technology.

Network Indiana contributed to this report.

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

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