Charlottesville passes anti-drone measure

Feb. 6, 2013 at 8:57 AM   |   Comments

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Feb. 6 (UPI) -- The college community of Charlottesville, Va., became the first U.S. city to pass anti-drone legislation.

The resolution, passed Monday, calls on the U.S., state and local governments to adopt legislation that would prohibit information gathered by domestic drones from being introduced in court and endorses a proposed two-year moratorium on drones in Virginia, U.S. News and World Report reported Wednesday.

Council member Dede Smith, who voted in favor of the bill, said the unmanned aircraft are "pretty clearly a threat to our constitutional right to privacy."

"If we don't get out ahead of it to establish some guidelines for how drones are used," she said, "they will be used in a very invasive way and we'll be left to try and pick up the pieces."

The resolution, which passed 3-2, was brought to the council by activist David Swanson and the Rutherford Institute, a civil liberties organization based in the city.

The approved resolution was less restrictive than the draft Swanson offered, which sought to declare Charlottesville a "no drone zone," banned all drones over Charlottesville airspace "to the extent compatible with federal law," and barred municipal agencies from buying, leasing, borrowing or testing drones, the news magazine said.

Charlottesville is about 120 miles southwest of Washington and home to the University of Virginia, which hasn't tried to get a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration for drone testing.

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