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Groups praise NC legislation on drone use

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

A civil rights group is praising legislation to limit the use of unmanned aircraft by North Carolina people and police and criminalize conduct involving drones that crosses that line.

Two Democrats and two Republicans filed a bill at the General Assembly this week to prevent anyone - including government agencies - from using powered unmanned aerial vehicles to gather criminal evidence and other data.

There are exceptions when police have search warrants or reasonable suspicion someone's life is in immediate danger. Violations of the law would be misdemeanors.

The American Civil Liberties Union in North Carolina said Thursday the bill would protect privacy rights before drone use expands greatly. The city of Monroe agreed this month for its police department get a drone for crime scenes, searches and natural disasters.

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