Drone

Julia Hansen, 123rf Stock Photo

A measure that would prohibit the use of drones in Kentucky for harassment, voyeurism, or to facilitate a burglary won committee approval Wednesday.

Where Can Drones Fly? Legal Limits Are Up In the Air

Aug 10, 2014

It's getting easier for the average civilian to own drones.

The word may bring to mind million-dollar jets that carry bombs, but a drone is any aircraft that doesn't have passengers or a pilot onboard. Some look like sophisticated remote-control helicopters and model airplanes.

They're available online and in stores, some for less than $100. But whether and where owners are allowed to fly those drones falls in a legal gray area.

sevenspringsfarms.com

Seven Springs Farms consists of numerous farms located in Trigg, Christian, Cadlwell and Lyon Counties, and may be the first farm in the region to use drones, specifically the DJI drone that you can see in operation on YouTube. Bart Peters, the Finance Manager of Seven Springs Farms speaks with Kate Lochte on Sounds Good about the business decision to use drones.

Author: Dkroetsch, via Wikimedia Commons

A civil liberties group in Kentucky says there are currently no state laws on the books regulating the use of drones by law enforcement groups.

That’s why the Kentucky ACLU is supporting a bill in the General Assembly that would prohibit the police from using drones to collect evidence on an individual without first getting a warrant. 

NOAA

The Tennessee House has passed a bill banning most warrantless surveillance by unmanned drones, but added a last-minute exemption for events featuring large crowds.

The chamber voted 91-0 Thursday in favor of the bill sponsored by Republican Rep. James "Micah" Van Huss, who is a former Marine with experience piloting drones.

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., proposed legislation Tuesday that would forbid the federal government from using aerial drones to watch citizens without a warrant.

The bill is called the "Preserving Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act" and it is aimed at addressing growing privacy concerns over drone use in the country. Earlier this week, an unmanned Navy surveillance drone crashed into Chesapeake Bay and has raised several questions about its domestic usage.

Paul says the government should have restrictions to use drones on citizens, except to patrol national borders, when drones are needed to prevent "imminent danger to life," or when there are risks of a terrorist attack.

"Like other tools used to collect information in law enforcement, in order to use drones a warrant needs to be issued," he says. "Americans going about their everyday lives should not be treated like criminals or terrorists and have their rights infringed upon by military tactics."