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This picture, from Google Earth, would have been illegal under a proposed bill, but the bill has been rewritten ... now it just outlaws drones.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Update: Bill would regulate, largely outlaw, drones  

UPDATE III: The committee sent it to the House for an eventual floor vote. Expect more discussion.

UPDATE II: Here's the story in today's Telegraph.

UPDATE: Oops, I'm wrong. It turns out that the bill was rewritten just before a recebt hearing, although the new version hasn't replaced the old version online.

The new version says this:

This bill prohibits, with limited exceptions, the use of drones by state agencies and individuals. It establishes criminal penalties and civil remedies for violations of the law.

Nothing about aerial photos any more, or satellites, or Google Earth! That's what I get for jumping into the complicated morass that is legislation.

A decision about whether to send the bill to the House floor for a vote will come later this week.

OLD VERSION:

Here's a sentence to make your head spin, describing HB619, one of many bills being pondered in Concord: "This bill prohibits images of a person’s residence to be taken from the air by a satellite, drone, or any device not supported by the ground."

Yes, that's right, one state legislator (Neal Kurk, R-Weare) wants to make Google Earth illegal in New Hampshire. Enforcement would be ... interesting.

The bill is in the Criminal Justice and Public Safety committee. It has no cosponsors, which is often a sign that a bill won't go anywhere, but you never know, do you?

Here's the text of the bill (HB619). Violations would be a misdemeanor, not a felony, for what it's worth. It also exempts law enforcement, so police and military and the government can snap away.