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Ill. Law Would Restrict Police Use of Drones

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A U.S. Senate committee called on drone industry experts to testify about the future use of drones in law enforcement. (AFP/Getty/Brendan Smialowski)

A U.S. Senate committee called on drone industry experts to testify about the future use of drones in law enforcement. (AFP/Getty/Brendan Smialowski)

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CHICAGO (AP)- An Illinois legislator is trying to prepare the state for what could be a new era in police surveillance.

Democratic Sen. Daniel Biss is proposing a measure that would limit how law enforcement agencies can use drones. Drones are highly sophisticated, unmanned aircraft that police and others are eying for aerial surveillance.

Drones are already flying in American airspace. But widespread use is expected to begin in 2015 because of federal regulations.

The Champaign County sheriff has already experimented with one, and the Cook County sheriff has expressed enthusiasm about the technology.

Biss’ measure would require authorities to obtain a search warrant before using a drone to collect information. The bill includes exceptions, including when such surveillance is immediately needed to prevent a terrorist attack.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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