The Hoosierist: Cameras, Drones, And The Law

Someone is flying a drone around my neighborhood, and it looks like it has a camera. Is this legal in Indiana? Can anybody fly over my backyard and take pictures?

It depends whom you ask. The Federal Aviation Administration says that licensed drones don’t need permission to travel above your property, any more than a 747 does. They can even linger if they like, provided it’s not at obnoxiously low altitude. However, Indiana law is more sympathetic to your desire to prevent strangers from posting footage of you sunbathing on YouTube. According to a state statute, conducting electronic surveillance of someone’s property without their permission is a Class A misdemeanor. And if you live on Indy’s west side, drones are out of the picture entirely. Federal law prohibits their use within 5 miles of the airport.

Have questions? Send them to