Ban drones? Iowa City may be one of the first cities to do so - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Ban drones? Iowa City may be one of the first cities to do so

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Iowa City may soon be one of the first cities in the nation to restrict the use of surveillance devices. Iowa City may soon be one of the first cities in the nation to restrict the use of surveillance devices.
IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Iowa City may soon be one of the first cities in the nation to restrict the use of surveillance devices.

It comes after a petition from area residents to stop surveillance devices like red-light cameras and drones.

Caroline Dieterle and Martha Hampel are two of the founding members of Stop Big Brother. The organization is against surveillance technology.

The group believes that a growing number of law enforcement agencies are beginning to use drones to monitor citizens.

After the city council in Iowa City passed an ordinance to allow red light cameras, the group collected signatures on a petition hoping to prevent any type of surveillance technology in the city.

"Red light cameras, speed cameras, license plate recognition systems and now recently drones are something law enforcement are using for traffic law enforcement," said Hampel.

"You have something that's mechanized with no person involved," said Dieterle. "Your rights to due process are violated. A machine makes the decision rather than a real person."

City officials say there had been no discussion of using drones in Iowa City. The restriction of their use is only being considered because of the petition.

The city council unanimously approved a first reading of the ordinance Tuesday and is expected to pass it later this month.

Because this ordinance comes by way of public petition, at least two years have to pass before the council can consider changing its position again.

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