Yep, UF has been authorized for drone research. It’s for the wildlife, though.
From the article:
“The drones capture images of about one pixel per inch, a higher resolution compared to the one-pixel-per-foot images found on Google Earth, said Peter Ifju, a mechanical and aerospace engineering professor at UF.”
But it also says:
“The drones are being used for research, not for surveillance or as weaponry.”
I guess they don’t consider taking photos of wildlife as surveillance, but this is just the beginning. UF’s research is constantly expanding.