Lawmaker Wants State To Discuss Future of Drones

Mar 29, 2013

An Illinois lawmaker says the state should prepare for how to regulate unmanned drones. Senator Daniel Biss, D-Evanston, sponsored the measure. It would require police to obtain a search warrant before they could use a drone:

Senator Daniel Biss

"It sounds almost silly when people first hear about it, but it's real.  The technology is coming." -Senator Daniel Biss

But Limey Nargelenas, with the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, says the plan's too restrictive.

"Like looking for marijuana fields. We can't get a warrant and say we're going to fly over the state of Illinois, give us a warrant for the whole state."

The American Civil Liberties Union's Adam Schwartz says the relatively low cost of a drone could make them ubiquitous:

"And they're going to massively proliferate and be much more common.  And where those airplanes and helicopters are large and loud and obvious, the drones are going to be small, and quiet and secretive."

The ACLU is also encouraging other states to adopt restrictions on drones.

Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky contributed to this report.