August 13, 2017

Nebraska lawmaker's bill aims to hold drone operators accountable for their crimes

8-13-17 Nebraska:

LINCOLN — A drone zips through the sky, peering for a moment into a home’s front window. It’s a scenario that causes concern for State Sen. Carol Blood. The Bellevue lawmaker is eyeing legislation that would hold drone owners accountable if they commit crimes.

Most states have adopted some kind of drone-related legislation, but past efforts in Nebraska have not been successful. A group of stakeholders will convene at the State Capitol this week to discuss Blood’s proposal, which she said is more comprehensive than any other state’s law.

Blood said she aims to make a reasonable policy that protects the public by keeping state law up to date with technology. “My goal is not to make unnecessary restrictions and regulations that take away from being a drone owner,” she said. “My goal for this bill is public safety.”

The early proposal addresses a number of areas. Among them:
» Using a drone, also known as an unmanned aircraft, to enter or hide in a building without permission would be considered first-degree trespassing.

Operating a drone less than 300 feet above private property without permission would be considered second-degree trespassing.

» Using a drone to spy or peep on someone who has a “reasonable expectation of privacy” would be illegal.

» Sex offenders would be barred from using drones to commit “unmanned aircraft harassment.”

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