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Eyes in the sky: Oklahoma panel explores use of drones

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OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma legislative panel is exploring the rules and regulations governing the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly called drones.

The Senate Public Safety Committee had nine speakers scheduled to testify Wednesday about the emerging technology and its implications in Oklahoma.

Republican Sen. Frank Simpson of Ardmore requested the study to consider the balance between property rights and privacy versus the potential for economic development.

Among those to speak is the head of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma, which has sought legislation to prevent law enforcement agencies from using the drones to spy on citizens without a warrant. That bill was shelved at the request of Gov. Mary Fallin, who said at the time it might hinder the state’s application to become a federal test site for drones.