‘Peeping Tom’ drone bill clears Indiana Senate

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Anyone using the advanced technology of an aerial drone to undertake the age-old crime of voyeurism could be charged with a new offense under a measure approved by the Indiana Senate.

State Sen. Eric Koch said Tuesday that his peeping drone bill “keeps the law ahead of technology.”

“When this bill becomes law they will pay a price. A first violation is a class a misdemeanor. A second violation is elevated to a level 6 felony,” Senator Koch said.

The measure by the Bedford Republican creates a “remote aerial voyeurism” crime and addresses penalties for sex offenders operating drones inappropriately. The charge could be elevated to a felony if a person has prior unrelated convictions for the same offense.

The bill also bars people from using drones to interfere with public safety officials or harass someone via drone.

But people who use the drones for business and recreational use are concerned about how the law would be enforced.

“It will be interesting to see how they define harassment because somebody might say a drone is above my house at 300 feet which is completely legal in the federal airspace system but somebody says I heard the noise it’s harassing me,” owner of Indiana Drone Photography, Jon Gore said.

The measure was overwhelmingly approved on a 50-0 vote and now moves to the House for consideration.

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