Republicans propose formal limits on use of drones in the US

"As we enter this uncharted world of drone technology, Congress must be proactive and establish boundaries for drone use that safeguard the Constitutional rights of Americans," Poe said this week. "Individuals are rightfully concerned that these new eyes in the sky may threaten their privacy. It is the obligation of Congress to ensure that this does not happen.

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"Just because Big Brother can look into someone's backyard doesn't mean it should. Technology may change, but the Constitution does not."

His bill would also prevent the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from issuing any permit allowing for domestic drone surveillance against anyone unless the person under surveillance agrees. And, it would prevent evidence obtained from the use of drones to be used in administrative court hearings.

Congress has ordered the FAA to move toward allowing drones to fly alongside commercial aircraft in U.S. airspace by 2015. The FAA is also planning a pilot program to test fly drones in six locations, but will not set the rules for what the unmanned aircraft can be used for.

Earlier this year, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.) proposed legislation that would impose similar warrant requirements before drones can be used in the United States. That House bill had several co-sponsors, including five Republicans who also sponsored Poe's bill.