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.