WA bill would restrict buying, deploying drones

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Associated Press

Posted on February 8, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 8 at 6:03 PM

SEATTLE (AP) — A new bill introduced by a Republican lawmaker in Olympia would put strict restrictions on how law enforcement agencies statewide could buy and deploy drones.

Introduction of Rep. David Taylor's bill on Friday comes a day after Seattle mayor Mike McGinn ordered the police department to abandon its nascent drone program.

The bill from Taylor, R-Moxee, would require legislative approval from local or state lawmakers before a police agency obtains a drone. It also limits how long data is collected during deployments as well as requiring a warrant for operations unless it is of exigent circumstances, such as a search and rescue.

Lawmakers in at least 11 states are looking at plans to restrict the use of drones over their skies amid concerns the vehicles could be exploited to spy on Americans.

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