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Concern about use of drones in Oklahoma prompts legislation

The measure would require law officers to first obtain a warrant before using drones for surveillance purposes and prohibits the state from outfitting the small aircraft with weapons.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: February 6, 2013
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Ryan Kiesel, executive director of the ACLU of Oklahoma, joined Wesselhoft at a state Capitol news conference to stress that laws must adapt to new technology.

“Those who would dismiss the need for increased privacy protections as speculative, should look no further than the growing industry in our own backyard,” Kiesel said. “These technologies may seem novel to some, but the use of RFID tracking technology is already commonplace, our cellphones are already sending detailed geolocation information to our cellphone providers, and the domestic use of drones by the public and private sector will be routine in under five years,” Kiesel said.

Companies are testing drones in restricted air space over Fort Sill near Elgin. The robotic aircraft being tested is to be used for purposes such as search-and-rescue efforts or responding to natural disasters such as tornadoes and fires.