US Pushing Local Cops to Stay Mum on Surveillance

US pushing local police departments to keep quiet on cell-phone surveillance technology
US Pushing Local Cops to Stay Mum on Surveillance

by Jack Gillum and Eileen Sullivan | Associated Press | June 12, 2014


The Obama administration has been quietly advising local police not to disclose details about surveillance technology they are using to sweep up basic cellphone data from entire neighborhoods, The Associated Press has learned.

Citing security reasons, the U.S. has intervened in routine state public records cases and criminal trials regarding use of the technology. This has resulted in police departments withholding materials or heavily censoring documents in rare instances when they disclose any about the purchase and use of such powerful surveillance equipment.

Federal involvement in local open records proceedings is unusual. It comes at a time when President Barack Obama has said he welcomes a debate on government surveillance and called for more transparency about spying in the wake of disclosures about classified federal surveillance programs.

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