Monday, December 09, 2013

Lawmakers Plan To Introduce Legislation To Block Illegal Spying By Indiana Law Enforcement Agencies

Fortunately, there are reasonable members of our state legislature who take defending Hoosier citizens' constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and searches more seriously than the people in charge of the Indiana State Police and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. Several lawmakers are promising a quick legislative response after an Indianapolis Star report on software purchased by the respective police agencies that allows them to spy on people's cell phone calls and text messages without first obtaining a court-issued warrant based on probable cause. Several state senators tell the Star's Ryan Sabalow of their plans for legislation to curtail the surveillance the latest technology permits, including Brent Steele, Mike Delph, Brent Waltz and Jim Smith.
Steele said the secrecy from the State Police is concerning given recent revelations that the federal National Security Agency had been spying on American citizens' cell phone data. Initially, he said, the federal agency insisted it wasn't spying as deeply into citizens' communications as was later revealed.
He said he's worried Stingrays or other devices might be used the same way here in Indiana.
"If the agency is not forthcoming and disclosing what they can and can't do, then reasonable legislators have a right to suppose that they have the power to do a lot more than they're saying," Steele said. "I think also the fact the Stingray is bought with taxpayer dollars, the citizens have a right to know what's going on." .
Steele said he would cosponser a bill that Waltz, R-Greenwood, had introduced the past two legislative sessions. The bill at one point passed the Senate, but didn't get a hearing in the Indiana House . . .
Waltz said "there's absolutely zero safeguards in place in Indiana beyond the conscience of the person operating the machine to make sure Hoosier rights are protected."
"We are having an infringement on our civil liberties when these are used without a warrant," he said. "But now they don't want to own up and be honest about if they even have these devices. There's clearly something wrong with this picture.
Smith, R-Charlestown, said he would also introduce legislation requiring police obtain warrants before using Stingrays.
He said that after reading The Star's story, he added language to a proposed bill that would put similar checks on devices Indiana police have that allow them to collect license plate numbers on local roadways. His bill also sets limits for how long such data can be held by a department and creates rules for how it's destroyed . . .
"We need to manage or our government's power," Smith said.
Delph, R-Carmel, had similar thoughts. He said he's going to introduce a bill that would forbid any agency from spying on American citizens in Indiana.
"We can't keep hiding behind national security as an excuse to violate the privacy of law abiding citizens," Delph said.
Gov. Pence had no comment when asked by the Star regarding the purchase of the Stingray software by the state police on his watch. His silence speaks volumes.


Flogger said...

This could be a battle between Lawmakers who feel the Law/Constitution should prevail vs those who view the Organs of State Security as reigning Supreme in all matters. Add to mix the Lawmakers and Parasite Crony-Capitalists for who Security/Terrorism has become a blank check.

Snowden may not have blown the lid on this spying, but he deserves the credit helping to reveal the totality of the surveillance State we now live in.

Anonymous said...

I guess my question is, why do we need legislation to enforce a law that already is on the books? Making it a law to enforce a law? Wouldn't it be more prudent and faster to go to a Judge with the disclosure demands. If the local Judge balks, go the Federal court and present it there.

Anonymous said...

IC 5-2-4-5 prohibits collection of private information, however local government does not respond to complaints for violation of the law. There must be a procedure for those who are violated to have a remedy and stop local governments from hiding unlawful intrusions.

Anonymous said...

IC 5-2-4-5

Sec. 5. No criminal justice agency shall collect or maintain information about the political, religious or social views, associations or activities of any individual, group, association, corporation, limited liability company, business, or partnership unless such information directly relates to an investigation of past or threatened criminal acts or activities and there are reasonable grounds to suspect the subject of the information is or may be involved in criminal acts or activities.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Legislation is needed because of the lack of remedy under the current statutory procedure. The Indiana State Police and IMPD have a long history of deep-seated corruption and law-breaking that makes it necessary to have hammers in the law that create consequences for engaging in these unlawful activities. It's happening on a wide-scale right now beyond what people can begin to comprehend. It must be stopped.

Anonymous said...

Can you find out if this is the same technology that has been used to spy on certain City-County Council members?

Anonymous said...

cops can use the conversations intercepted to blackmail anyone,
for activities that aren't illegal. Any political figure, or even a judge, who is having a illicit affair, could be blackmailed by a cop who pulled up near the driver's vehicle who was using the cellphone to conduct his/her "private" conversations.

Anonymous said...

They have the technology to literally follow your every physical move within five feet and your every keystroke. They know everything about your vices and pressure points including your children. Everyone has secrets. This may explain some of the votes by otherwise honorable politicians. Public officials and those that stand between these elements and something they want, beware.

Marycatherine Barton said...

Welcome to the parasitical New World Order, thanks to men like Governor Pence.