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Do We Need To Put Drones On A Tighter Leash?

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Drones are showing up at airports, on federal land and on the Internet, and they are starting to make some lawmakers, and some members of the public very nervous.

A commercial passenger plane flies overhead as a multirotor quadcopter drone is used for aerial photography.

Between showing up in places they are not supposed to be, interfering with activities such as firefighting and being turned into casual weapons, the concerns have caused regulators at the Federal Aviation Administration to launch investigations, and led some lawmakers to call for tougher rules.

But observers inside and outside the industry are divided as to which rules can be practically implemented and whether they will prove to be needlessly onerous to legitimate users of the growing technology. Some also say that there is too little clarity over what is permitted now, and what may be allowed in the near future, which is itself deterring some would-be drone users from adopting the technology.

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