Charlottesville First City to Take Stand Against Drones

Virginia lawmakers make mostly symbolic gesture
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2013 5:46 PM CST
Charlottesville First City to Take Stand Against Drones
File photo of a drone.   (AP Photo/Lian Pin Koh,

The city council in Charlottesville, Virginia, has approved what is thought to be the first anti-drone legislation in the country, reports US News & World Report. The measure asks the state and the US Congress to make it illegal to use "information obtained from the domestic use of drones" in federal or state court, and it "pledges to abstain from similar uses with city-owned, leased, or borrowed drones." All of which amounts to a mostly symbolic gesture, says one lawmaker who backed the measure.

It wouldn't keep any federal or state drones from flying over the city, and the city police department had no plans to fire up a local one. But "with a lot of these resolutions, although they don't have a lot of teeth to them, they can inspire other governments to pass similar measures," says the lawmaker. "You can get a critical mass and then it does have influence. One doesn't do much, but a thousand of them might." The AP notes that several municipalities around the country have similar bills in the works. The news comes as the US Justice Department laid out its justification for the use of drone strikes to kill US citizens. (Read more Charlottesville, Va. stories.)

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