Ore. House OKs law-enforcement-drone bill

Drone screen, as seen on KOIN 6 News
This undated file image shows the viewfinder screen of a civilian drone -- approved by the FAA as of May 1, 2013. (KOIN 6 News)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon House has overwhelmingly approved a bill allowing law-enforcement agencies to use drones for surveillance — with a warrant or, in emergency circumstances, even without a warrant.

Law enforcement agencies helped to develop the bill, which was approved 52-7 after negotiations among interest groups.

Civil liberty advocates raised concerns that the unregulated use of drones could infringe on citizens’ privacy rights.

Representatives from the unmanned aerial vehicle industry said strict regulations could hurt a promising industry.

The bill would require photos taken from a drone to be erased within 30 days, unless the information is a part of a criminal prosecution. The drones could not be fitted with weapons.

The bill now goes to the Senate.

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