New bill would regulate drones in RI - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

New bill would regulate drones in RI

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A Rhode Island lawmaker islooking to regulate the use of drones, unmanned aircraft, by police.

Rep. Teresa Tanzi(D-Narragansett, South Kingstown) wants police to get court approval beforeusing drones for surveillance.

A bill she's introduced at thestatehouse would require police to follow the same rules that are now in placefor getting phone wiretaps.

She's worried about privacyrights.

"It's not so much that the policewould necessarily be going out and trying to use them for nefariouspurposes.  It's the more mundane pieces of law enforcement.  So howlong would they be able to keep that for.  Would they be able to fly itover my neighbor's place and invade their privacy," Tanzi told NBC10.

Leadership at Rhode Island State Police told NBC10 they don't haveany drones, and don't know of any other police forces in the state that hasthem.  State Police say they don't have any current plans to getthem.  But they also said they have been in talks with Tanzi, hoping therules aren't so restrictive that they can't use drones at all, because they dowant to leave that option open.

Tanzi told NBC10 her proposal would not affect the use of dronesby police or firefighters in emergencies, like search and rescue operations.

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