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Pennsylvania House bans using drones in private surveillance

The Associated Press

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania House is voting to criminalize the use of drones to put people under surveillance in private places.

FILE - This Aug. 24, 2015, file photo shows a Yuneec Typhoon drone and controller in Jessup, Md.

State representatives voted unanimously Tuesday for the bill, which calls for up to three months in jail and a $300 fine for first offenders.

The bill bans surveillance while trespassing in a private place and is aimed largely at unmanned aircraft.

The sponsor, Armstrong County Republican Rep. Jeff Pyle, says his goal is to preserve private property rights.

Pyle says it provides exceptions for police in the performance of their duties, but normal search warrant requirements would still apply.

The proposal now goes to the Senate for its consideration. A similar bill died in the Senate during the last legislative session.