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In a move intended to curb what we can only suspect is a perceived outbreak of drone chicanery, the state of Pennsylvania in the United States is levying fines on drones used for spying in what is perhaps one of the first laws specifically targeting drones as vehicles for domestic surveillance outside of authorized channels.
Though it was just signed recently there still is some time before the new legislation comes into effect.
Basically it says that any drone pilot caught in the act of domestic surveillance with their drone could face fines of $USD 300. This fine also includes piloting a drone in a menacing way which we can only imagine what that might be. In other illicit drone activity, if you plan on using your drone in Pennsylvania to deliver contraband to prison then you could face a fine of up to $USD 25k and 10 years in prison.
One interesting side clause in the bill is that it strips away the right of municipalities to regulate drone use within their respective areas. This means you can’t have customized drone laws depending on your location. Of course the central authority on all of this, the Federal Aviation Administration, has been quite active itself in bringing a uniform approach to drone flaws in the United States. The Pennsylvania bill, sponsored by Representative Jeff Pyle, was crafted in coordination with the FAA according to the Armstrong Country politician.
Drones are a popular subject here on Light Stalking. In just the past week we brought you a story about how authorities in Maryland used a drone to help an alleged rape victim and before that we discussed how the US government passed legislation granting authorities the right to take down errant drones. One of the fastest growing and most dynamic segments of the optical industry, drones aren’t going anywhere anytime soon though the rules governing their use could change radically from these Wild West days here in the beginning.