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‘Awesome’: Iowa City bans drones, red light cameras and license plate readers

- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 6, 2013

An Iowa town could be one of the first municipalities in the nation to ban drones — a bold move in an era of increasing concerns over constitutional privacy rights.

Residents of Iowa City successfully petitioned the city council to ban the local use of drones, license plate readers and red-light cameras.

Iowa City permits local petitions to become ordinances to be brought before the council — the only municipality in the state that allows such, according to Ars Technica.

The website reports that the ordinance was passed unanimously by the council Tuesday evening.

The bill currently reads:

"The ordinance is the result of a local petition brought forward by a citizen group (and represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa) that originally began as a referendum on red light cameras. Iowa City is the only municipality in the state that allows for local petitions to turn into ordinances that will be brought before the city council. Some states have similar lawmaking procedures at the state-level, but Iowa does not."

Lee Tien, a staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital-rights group, called the ordinance "pretty awesome to see."

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