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Bill Would Establish Strict Rules For Drone Use In California

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Sean Dreilinger / Flickr

The flight team from 3-D Robotics demonstrates a do-it-yourself drone, Dec. 14, 2013.

The California Assembly has approved legislation that would restrict the way government agencies can use drones.

Supporters of the bill say it would establish some of the nation's strictest standards. Those would include a requirement for law enforcement agencies to get warrants except in certain emergencies.

Agencies would also be required to notify the public when they intended to use drones and the data collected by unmanned aircraft would be destroyed within six months. It would also be illegal for public entities to arm their drones.

The bill has bipartisan support, though it is opposed by several California law enforcement organizations, who prefer the same rules that currently apply to manned aircraft.

They object to destroying the data after six months, noting that investigations often take longer than that. The measure moves next to the state Senate.

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