Seattle is displaying and answering public questions tonight about drone aircraft it hopes to deploy, the Seattle Times reports. The intended use of drones came to light when the Federal Aviation Administration gave approval for Seattle police to use unmanned aerial vehicles, more commonly known as drones. The Electronic Frontier Foundation said Seattle was among only a handful of law-enforcement agencies to win approval to use drones, with the majority going to academic, military and government organizations.
The drones are operated with a handheld controller and joysticks and each carries cameras that can take still pictures, videos, and infrared shots. Police envision using them in search-and-rescue operations, natural disasters and traffic collisions, and during the investigation of unusual crime scenes. They are limited by a battery life of less than 10 minutes and an inability to carry more than 35 ounces. The potential use of drones by law enforcement prompted the American Civil Liberties Union to say that current laws are inadequate to safeguard citizen privacy.