iTeam: More restricted airspace for drones?

Documents obtained by USA TODAY through a Freedom of Information Act request uncovered more than a dozen attempts to transport contraband into federal prisons in the past five years. (Photo: Getty Images)
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KENTUCKY (WHAS11) —When you’re sitting out in your backyard and you heard buzzing, used to be that was probably a bumble bee.

Today, if that buzzing is louder, chances are a recreational drone is hovering nearby.

As drones are exploding in popularity, that’s also propelling people’s concerns about privacy.

Back in July of 2017, William Merideth, of Hillview, made international headlines by taking matters into his own hands and blew a drone out of the sky, claiming it was spying on his sunbathing daughters.

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Merideth became known as the “Drone Slayer,” and a 1st degree Criminal Mischief charge against him was later dismissed by a Bullitt County Circuit Court Judge, ruling he had every right to shoot down the drone.

“Like, why would you do that?” David Boggs, who Merideth accused of being a peeping tom, said.

“The time we crossed Mr. Merideth’s house, we was over 200 feet,” Boggs claimed, saying aerial data even proved it.

It was Boggs’ first drone which Merideth permanently grounded, and now Boggs has several high-end drones, including ones he uses for inspections through his roofing company.

Even though many are worried about their privacy, Boggs argues drones hovering high are useless tools for peeping toms.

“Quite frankly the camera just doesn’t have the capability to zoom in on you to spy,” Boggs said.

Boggs points out that a drone would have to be right outside someone’s window to peak in, and that would be just too noisy.

“It’s the biggest bee or wasp you’ve ever heard, it’s zzzzz,” Boggs pointed out.  “It’s buzzing baby!”

Still, there is a proposed law buzzing around the State Capitol.

“One that balances the public rights, public privacy rights that we have, and law enforcement,” State Rep. Diane St. Onge (R-63rd District) said.

St. Onge authors the bill which will layout rules for police use of drones, as well as for policing privacy.

“They cannot just hover around your property,” St. Onge said.

And although most recreational drone cameras can’t zoom, St. Onge believes they will all one day soon, and therefore the need for her bill now.

“[Technology] changes so quickly that you need a baseline.”