Legislation

SIA-Led Coalition Urges Congress To Include Business Expensing Reforms In Tax Overhaul

The Security Industry Association (SIA) recently led a group of eight industry associations in urging the House and Senate tax writing committees to strengthen business expensing provisions in the final version of tax overhaul legislation under consideration in Congress. Under current IRS regulations, customers must capitalize the cost of security and life safety systems over the 39-year depreciation life for buildings.

NY Bill Would Enable Lawsuit For Nonconsensual Backyard Surveillance

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently signed a bill into law that allows homeowners to sue a neighbor for invasion of privacy if the neighbor secretly records recreational activities in the homeowner’s backyard. The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Cathy Young, R-Cattaraugus County, and Assemblyman Ed Braunstein, D-Queens, builds on a 2003 law that made it a felony to videotape someone without their permission in an intimate setting where there would be a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as a bedroom or bathroom.

NYC Bill Would Force NYPD To Tell Details Of Surveillance Tools

Legislation debated Wednesday before the New York City Council would force the NYPD to disclose some details about surveillance technology such as cellphone-tower replicators, X-ray vans, and license-plate readers. The NYPD also would need to adopt what lawmakers say are privacy disclosures similar to those of the Department of Homeland Security and other municipalities. Under the POST Act —short for Public Oversight of Police Technology— the NYPD would need to publicly disclose each item’s current and future “impact and use policies,” seek public feedback, and explain whether court permission is needed for deployment.

PA Senate OKs Bill For More Police Body Cameras

Legislation approved by the Pennsylvania state Senate on Wednesday seeks to clear legal hurdles for police departments to expand their officers’ use of body cameras, and it gives departments the discretion to refuse public requests for copies of audio or video recordings by officers. The bill, which passed 47-1 after brief comments on the Senate floor, would add Pennsylvania to a growing list of states that are setting statewide policy over the collection of audio and video by officers, including from dashboard and body cameras.

Iowa Legislature Approves Bill Banning Public Bathroom Video Surveillance

A bill that would block government entities from putting up surveillance cameras inside the bathrooms of public buildings has passed both the Iowa House and Senate and is expected to be signed by Gov. Terry Branstad. The ACLU of Iowa had been pushing for the bill after complaints from an Iowa City woman who noticed that a camera was focused on the sink area inside the Iowa City Public Library.

ASIS Lends Support To MAIN STREET Cybersecurity Act

ASIS International (ASIS), the leading association for security management professionals worldwide, today sent a letter of support to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation for the Making Available Information Now to Strengthen Trust and Resilience and Enhance Enterprise Technology (MAIN STREET) Cybersecurity Act. The proposed legislation calls on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and other agencies to provide a consistent set of resources for small businesses to best protect their digital assets from cybersecurity threats.

Geolocation Privacy And Surveillance Act Introduced In US Congress

On February 15, the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act (GPS Act) was introduced by a bipartisan group of US Congress members. Designed to enact comprehensive rules for both government agencies and commercial service providers, the GPS Act would require law enforcement to obtain a warrant before using GPS data to track an individual’s location and would require service providers to obtain customer consent before sharing geolocation data with outside entities.

Four More States Propose Biometrics Legislation

In recent years, the plaintiffs’ class action bar has focused its efforts on pursuing claims under legislative schemes that provide for statutory damages. The litigation explosion under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is a textbook example of how enterprising lawyers exploit laws that provide for such uncapped damages in an attempt to extract large settlements for technical violations that, in many cases, have caused no cognizable harm. As plaintiffs begin to explore new claims under these legislative schemes, we seek to help our clients minimize their risk through heightened awareness of the technical requirements of new and existing laws, vigilant compliance programs, and aggressive defense against litigation. Biometrics is one such area.

Germany Approves Regulation To Allow Expansion Of Video Surveillance Network

Germany’s strict privacy laws prevent the widespread usage of surveillance cameras, but the coalition government on Wednesday approved regulation that could change things. Germany would allow more video surveillance in public places, under a draft law passed by the cabinet on Wednesday, reflecting growing security fears in a country that has for decades been wary of police intrusion. The bill was agreed in principle by the parties in Angela Merkel’s coalition last month, well before Monday’s deadly truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin that was claimed by Islamic State.

SIA Hails Passage Of Power And Security Systems Act

SIA has led a coalition in support of extending the current exemption for security and life safety products, which is set to expire on July 1, 2017. Without an extension, manufacturers must redesign EPS products to meet the “no-load” standard, more than doubling their cost unnecessarily. H.R. 6375 is supported by SIA, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, and the Electronic Security Association, which have also worked with energy efficiency community on the common-sense provision.

PA State Senate Bill Allows Police To Deny Requests For Officer Video

Legislation approved by the Pennsylvania state Senate on Wednesday would let police departments across the state refuse public requests for copies of video recordings by officers, unless a court orders the release. The bill sets a sweeping policy to exempt recordings from body cameras and dashboard cameras from public records requests in Pennsylvania.

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.

Tennessee And Georgia Governors Differ On ‘Campus Carry’ Legislation

Within days of each other, two southern American states went in opposite directions on whether to allow guns on college campuses. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said on Monday he is allowing the guns-on-campus bill to become law without his signature. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal vetoed legislation Tuesday that would allow college students to carry concealed guns onto campuses after lawmakers defied his personal request for changes that would make exceptions to the gun rights expansion.

Oregon Lawmakers Propose Bill Allowing Body Cameras, Citizens Recording Police

Oregon lawmakers are working on a bill that would require the state’s police officers to wear small body cameras like the one modeled on a New York City police officer at a news conference, above. Recent high-profile police killings and the double murder of two New York City policemen have made body cameras for officers a popular idea that Oregon legislators are already moving on.

NZ Terrorism Surveillance Laws Complete Second Reading

Terrorism surveillance laws in New Zealand have completed their second reading and are set to pass into law later tonight under Urgency rules. This may be a tiny island nation in the South Pacific, but New Zealand could be a bell weather item for other countries to adopt similar laws dealing with video surveillance capabilities.

NJ Bill Calling for Police Registry of Security Cameras Coming Into Focus

When a bad guy abducted a woman off the street in Philadelphia a few weeks ago and she was rescued when his car was located in Maryland, I marveled at the black box technology that found the vehicle. Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, D-Essex, NJ, was even more impressed with a nearby store’s video camera that recorded the entire incident and identified the car. So he crafted bill A-3843 permitting a municipality to enact an ordinance establishing a private outdoor video surveillance camera registry, requiring owners of such cameras to register them with police.

Michigan House Commerce Committee Members: NO on H.B. 5189

[EDITOR’S NOTE: It appears that many are still uneducated as to the realities of the value and preventive realities of video surveillance installations.] The Michigan House Commerce Committee will be hearing testimony this morning regarding HB 5189, the Jessica Heeringa law, which requires 24-hour gas stations to install costly surveillance equipment and maintain a minimum of two employees during overnight hours.

Could Police Drones Be an Unexpected Guest in Your Yard?

Legislation passed by the N.C. General Assembly would allow drones to take pictures of an open-invitation gathering, even if it’s on private property, without a warrant. North Carolina is figuring out the boundary between expectations of privacy and the use of surveillance drones by law enforcement agencies.

VA Private Schools Continue Active Shooter Training After New Legislation

While it’s not uncommon for some educators to voice concerns about unfunded state mandates, private school administrators are saying the requirements of the latest one won’t be too different from what they’re already doing. Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation on June 21 that requires the state’s 1,800 private schools to conduct annual drills to prepare […]