SB 299 - defines unmanned aerial vehicle and creates a number of new criminal offenses. One offense, a “sex offender unmanned aerial vehicle offense,” occurs when a sex offender uses a UAV to follow, contact, or capture images or recordings of someone and the sex offender is subject to conditions that prohibit them from doing so. The offense of “public safety remote aerial interference” occurs when someone operated a UAV in a way that is intended to obstruct of interfere with a public safety official in the course of their duties. The law also creates the offense of “remote aerial harassment.” All of these offenses are class A misdemeanors. However, if the person has a prior conviction under the same section, it becomes a level 6 felony. It is also a class A misdemeanor to commit “remote aerial voyeurism.” It becomes a level 6 felony if the person publishes the images, makes them available on the internet or shares them with another person.
HB 1013 - allows the use of UAS to photograph or take video of a traffic crash site.
HB 1246 - prohibits the use of UAS to scout game during hunting season.
Indiana adopted Senate Resolution (SR) 27 (download below) on February 22, 2013. SR 27 was a senate resolution urging the legislative council to establish the interim study committee on the use of aircraft to study the use of unmanned aerial vehicles.
On March 26, 2014 the Governor of Indiana signed House Bill (HB) 1009 (download below) into Public Law 170. Public Law 170 is an act to amend the Indiana Code concerning criminal law and procedure. It requires law enforcement to obtain a search warrant before using UAS, and provides exemptions. Also, it protects electronic data from search without a warrant.
HB 1009 created warrant requirements and exceptions for the police use of unmanned aircraft and real time geo-location tracking devices. It also prohibits law enforcement from compelling individuals to reveal passwords for electronic devices without a warrant. If law enforcement obtains information from an electronic service provider pursuant to a warrant, the provider is immune from criminal or civil liability. The law provides that if police seek a warrant to compel information from media entities and personnel, then those individuals must be notified and given the opportunity to be heard by the court concerning issuance of the warrant. The new law also creates the crime of "Unlawful Photography and Surveillance on Private Property," making it a Class A misdemeanor. This crime is committed by a person who knowingly and intentionally electronically surveys the private property of another without permission. The law also requests that the state's legislative council study digital privacy during the 2014 interim.
Sarah Nilsson, JD, PhD, MAS
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