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FBI starts flying drones, but won’t say if they’re hovering over Boston

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Even beyond Howie Carr, Boston’s a hotbed for drone activity: Scott Kirsner has profiled a few manufacturers, and the Marathon Bombings prompted interest from the Boston Police Department in unmanned aerial surveillance.

The FBI recently disclosed it flies some drones of it own — but refuses to release whether they keep an aerial eye on Boston.

A few details emerged as a result of a Freedom of Information Act release by the Federal Aviation Administration and Senate testimony by FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, as the Washington Post reported.

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But when I submitted a FOIA request of my own after reports of FBI aerial surveillance, I was told records were related to a pending “law enforcement proceeding” and were exempt from disclosure.

So whether manned or not, it seems some footage was being made high above the harbor, likely in relation to the Boston Marathon manhunt and ensuing investigation. More details may come out at the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Full disclosure: The Boston Globe has a drone of its own, though its used strictly indoors and for non-commercial purposes, in case the FAA asks.

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