The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois praises the steps the Illinois State Police went through in setting up their Unmanned Aerial Systems, including working with the group to balance civil rights with the new law enforcement tools. Ed Yohnka from the ACLU of Illinois says they worked with ISP before the law enforcement agency got the green light from the FAA Friday.

It’s a different story when it comes to automatic license plate reading or cell phone intercepting technology being utilized by domestic law enforcement. The ACLU says there are no current laws specifically addressing those tools, but they’re currently being used in various capacities by law enforcement across the state. There is a law pending in the state Senate that would regulate ALPRs used by police. Meanwhile ISP says they plan to use the UAS for specific reasons like traffic accidents, missing persons searches, natural disasters and crime scenes. If they use it for surveillance, ISP says they will have to get a warrant.


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