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Lawmakers move to regulate drones in Wisconsin

CREATED May 10, 2013

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MADISON - You can spend less than 40 bucks and get a remote control helicopter that comes equipped with a camera.  Now state lawmakers want to make sure you don't use that to spy on your neighbors.

A bill introduced in the state legislature would make it illegal to use an unmanned aerial vehicle to look somewhere where someone would have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

"The technology both for the helicopter and the size of the camera has just exploded in the last couple of years.  Because of that, these things are so cheep and so prolific.  That's why we see it as a problem on the horizon that we want to address," said Town of Vernon State Representative Dave Craig.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are supporting the bill.  You could still use the drones, just not to look somewhere you couldn't see from your property or from public land.

In addition, the bill would require law enforcement to get a warrant to use unmanned drones in most cases.

So what can you get on the private market?  For less than 40 dollars, you can get a helicopter with a camera.  Those just record, they don't feed live video.  For $300 you can something called the Parrot A.R. Drone Quadricopter.  That feeds live video to your iPhone or iPad, which you can use to control it.