Virginia city passes legislation banning drones

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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Charlottesville, Virginia has become the first city in the U.S. to put a two-year ban on drone flights within city limits, reported NBC29 Wednesday.

The decision comes two days after a Justice Department memo on the Obama administration’s criteria for determining the targeting and drone assassination of foreign enemies — including American citizens — was leaked to the public. (RELATED: White paper authorizes targeted killing of U.S. citizens)

“In a 3-2 vote, members of the Charlottesville City Council adopted a resolution drafted by The Rutherford Institute which urges the Virginia General Assembly to prevent police agencies from utilizing drones outfitted with anti-personnel devices such as tasers and tear gas and prohibit the government from using data recorded via police spy drones in criminal prosecutions,” reported NBC29 Wednesday.

The city does not have the authority to prevent overhead drone flights by the federal government, but the measure does affect city officials. In Berkeley County, California, county officials recently postponed a hearing on a request by a local sheriff to purchase a drone to enhance the county’s law enforcement capabilities. (RELATED: Hearing on drone use delayed)

Privacy advocates across the country have expressed deep concern over the use of drones by law enforcement and the federal government within domestic airspace.

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