Illinois Senate Oks bill to regulate use of drones


Share
Originally Posted Online: April 19, 2013, 12:37 am
Last Updated: April 19, 2013, 12:37 am
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) Law enforcement agencies would need a warrant to use aerial drones to gather information in investigations, under a bill the Illinois Senate overwhelmingly backed Thursday.

The unmanned aircraft, which have become a staple of the U.S. military's arsenal over the past decade, are being viewed as a useful new crime-fighting tool by domestic law enforcement agencies, raising civil liberties concerns.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Daniel Biss, would require authorities to obtain a search warrant before using a drone to collect information. Lawmakers voted 52-1 to send the measure to the House. Biss, an Evanston Democrat, said his proposal will help maintain people's reasonable expectation of privacy.

The legislative measure also prohibits law enforcement agencies from using armed drones.

The Champaign County sheriff has already experimented with using a drone and the Cook County sheriff has expressed enthusiasm about the technology. But civil rights groups and lawmakers worry that the technology could be used to subject people to unwarranted intrusion.

'It's all about this new technology that if it's not restricted in some way, enables government and law enforcement to have a completely unprecedented level of knowledge of what people do, where they go, and frankly therefore, what they think,' Biss said following the debate.

Drones are already flying in America's skies. But more widespread use is expected to begin in 2015 because of federal regulations.

Biss' measure lists a few instances in which law enforcement agencies wouldn't be required to obtain a search warrant, such as when the Department of Homeland Security determines that such surveillance is needed to prevent a terrorist attack.

Sen. Bill Cunningham cast the only no vote. The Chicago Democrat said he opposed the measure because he would like law enforcement agencies to be able to deploy drones without warrants, just as they use helicopters.

Biss said he is optimistic that the House will look 'favorably' on his measure.

__

The bill is SB1587.

Online: http://www.ilga.gov














 



Local events heading








  Today is Thursday, July 31, the 212th day of 2014. There are 153 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: A corps of surgeons now occupies the new hospital quarters at the Garrison Hospital on the Rock Island Arsenal. A fence has been installed to enclose the prison hospital.
1889 -- 125 years ago: B. Winter has let a contract to Christ Schreiner for a two story brick building with a double store front on the south side of 3rd Avenue just west of 17th Street. The estimated cost was $4,500.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Germany sent simultaneous ultimatums to Russia and France, demanding that Russia suspend mobilization within 12 hours and demanding that France inform Germany within 18 hours. In the case of war between Germany and Russia, France would remain neutral.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Civil service offices at the post office and the Rock Island Arsenal were swamped as more than 700 youths sought 15 machinist apprenticeships at the Arsenal.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Last night, American Legion Post 246 in Moline figuratively handed over the trousers to a female ex-Marine and petticoat rule began. Olga Swanson, of Moline, was installed as the first woman commander of the post .
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Illinois Quad City Civic Center captured the excitement and interest of a convention of auditorium managers this weekend in Reno, Nev. Bill Adams, civic center authority chairman, said the 10,000-seat arena planned for downtown Moline has caught the eye of construction firms, suppliers, management teams and concession groups.








(More History)