New England Town Councilor Proposes Drones Watch For Crime; ACLU Objects

A city councilor wants to deploy drones to monitor high-crime neighborhoods and provide an extra measure of security at major community events – an idea that raises privacy concerns with the ACLU of Massachusetts. Brian K. Gomes’ proposal, which is not expected to be heard until next month or possibly January, calls for a meeting between the City Council’s Committee on Public Safety and Neighborhoods and Police Chief Joseph C. Cordeiro to discuss the use of drones. “I think it can be a crime fighter, undercover surveillance in neighborhoods across the city where we have problems,” Gomes said. “It’s another tool for the Police Department to fight crime.”

Maryland State Lawmakers, ACLU Consider Legislation To Regulate Police Surveillance

Maryland state lawmakers and civil liberties advocates are considering legislation that would regulate police surveillance programs —and require public disclosure— after the Baltimore Police Department ran a secret aerial surveillance program over the city for months. The head of the city’s delegation to the Maryland House of Delegates said the public should know where such technology is used, how the information is kept and the costs involved. The lawmaker, Del. Curt Anderson, is looking at proposing regulations in the next General Assembly session that all Maryland police departments would have to follow to do any kind of surveillance.

ACLU Urges More Public Debate on Surveillance Technologies

The ACLU recently released a report regarding how security and surveillance cameras and recordings are beginning to erode at civil liberties. The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California recently launched a statewide campaign to ensure that public debate, oversight, and accountability precede the acquisition of surveillance technologies by law enforcement agencies. Counties and cities across California have spent in excess of $60 million on invasive surveillance technology, and only five of 90 communities studied held a public debate each time they introduced a new element, according to the ACLU report released Nov. 12.

Should ‘Cop Cams’ Be Worn At All Times?

At the heart of the violence and chaos in Ferguson is one question: What actually happened in the moments leading up to the death of Michael Brown. The public has heard from people who say they saw the incident. Authorities have spoken to the officer accused, but there’s still something missing. "If body worn cameras […]

LPR Companies Going Too Far?

Editorial Opinion By John Chigos, Founder, Chairman & CEO at PlateSmart Technologies, Inc. Digital Recognition Network (DRN) of Texas and their partner company, Vigilant Solutions of California, have filed a new lawsuit in Arkansas District Court. The suit contends that Arkansas’s recently passed Anti-LPR law (Arkansas Automatic License Plate Reader System Act 1491) banning the […]

How To Get More From Police Self-Surveillance: Don’t Turn It Off

Who watches the watchers when they aren’t wearing their lapel cameras? That’s the tech-centric question at the heart of a scandal that’s been raging in New Mexico since federal investigators accused Albuquerque police officers of routinely using excessive force and violating suspects’ civil rights. Cops in the city are supposed to wear small video cameras […]

License Plate Scanners Suspended In Boston Over Privacy Concerns

B4INREMOTE-aHR0cDovLzIuYnAuYmxvZ3Nwb3QuY29tLy1QMkFGLVpoeVFGUS9VcTNySnk0aVJjSS9BQUFBQUFBQVhHNC9QTW9XMlNLNXk5ay9zMjAwL2Rvd25sb2FkKygzKS5qcGc= (Before It’s News) Kevin Samson Activist Post Even as revelations of nearly ubiquitous NSA surveillance have been detailed, and databases of every stripe seem to be on the rise, we cannot ignore our victories. Little by little, we are beginning to see a roll-back of some of the surveillance state. From highways to small towns, the high-tech surveillance grid is being exposed and is provoking outrage among fully informed citizens. Recently, we saw Seattle police deactivate a Wi-Fi surveillance network , after it was exposed that the little white boxes identified across the city were really a mesh network that could surveil any member of the public possessing an Internet-ready device. The same is beginning to happen with license plate readers, where we can offer a couple of notable victories that are setting a precedent for eliminating this intrusive technology across the board. The Big Brother Police State has sought to convince citizens that any time they leave their house, they are entering the public domain; a place where there can be no expectation of privacy. The fact that the government should photo document your every movement and store it for later retrieval is anathema to a free society. Nevertheless, police departments everywhere have expanded these programs with little to no public discussion. This mentality took shape in locations that have fallen under the 100-mile deep perimeter around the U.S. defined as the border – also called the “Constitution-Free Zone.” However, much in the same way that the […]