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Updated Feb 20, 2013 - 1:45 pm

Arizona House OKs bill requiring warrants for drones

PHOENIX — An Arizona House panel has given initial approval Wednesday to a bill
requiring state and local law enforcement agencies to get search warrants before
using unmanned aircraft to gather evidence in a civil or criminal case.

The bill, sponsored by Republican Rep. Tom Forese of Chandler, was prompted by
civil liberties concerns raised by the possible use of drones by law enforcement
agencies.

The bill contains exemptions allowing drone use without a warrant. One comes
into play if the federal Department of Homeland Security determines drones are
needed to prevent a terrorist attack. The other kicks in when swift action is
needed to prevent an escape, evidence destruction or imminent danger.

The bill passed the House Commerce Committee and now goes to the full
House after a routine review.

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