Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Drones in Maine?

The topic of drones has been in the national news lately. Most of the discussion revolves around the use of armed drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and a few other trouble places around the world. Most critics are concerned about the targeted killing of U.S. citizens by armed drones. Another related issue is the use of drones by law enforcement agencies here in the United States. Several communities and states are looking hard at this issue and many are proposing rules, regulations, and legislation to limit the use of drones by law enforcement agencies. Maine is one of those states. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maine is one of those organizations (along with pro-marijuana and anti-war groups) proposing limits on domestic drone surveillance which will provide privacy protection to Maine citizens yet hamper effects by police organizations to conduct surveillance on criminals, conduct search and rescue of lost children and elderly people, and provide information during disaster assistance events. In addition, the legislation could restrict the lawful use of drones for other than law enforcement purposes such as mapping, surveying, aerial photography, weather monitoring, news gathering, traffic reports, and more. Read a recent news article on the topic in "Maine bill seeks to regulate police use of drones", Portland Press Herald, February 26, 2013.

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