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“I don’t want the state spying on our citizens,” Oklahoma lawmaker aims to prevent spying with drones

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OKLAHOMA CITY - While drones are rising in popularity, one Oklahoma lawmaker fears your privacy could be at stake.

"We need some ground rules for this technology especially when it comes to spying on people," Rep. Wesselhoft said.

Representative Paul Wesselhoft says that is why he has written the Unmanned Aerial Surveillance Act.

"It protects individuals and organizations against being targeted for surveillance unless there is a search warrant to do so," Rep. Wesselhoft said.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma is backing the bill.

"Right now there's really nothing in place to tell a particular law enforcement agency where they have to stop," ACLU Legal Director Brady Henderson said. “If I'm a city running a police department, If I'm a county running a sheriff's department, I need to know how far my officers can go without breaking the law.”

Rep. Wesselhoft says there are some exceptions with his law. For example, he says authorities would not have to get a search warrant during an emergency.

"It could be a child goes missing and you need to get a drone out to a certain area where you think that person has been taken," Rep. Wesselhoft said

In a situation like that he says the agency would have to show proof of the emergency within 48 hours.

Rep. Wesselhoft adds his bill would also prevent law enforcement agencies from equipping drones with weapons.

Click here to read the full text of the bill.

 

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