Senate Passes Bill Requiring Warrants For Tech Surveillance

Legislators are also considering a bill to block police from using scanners to download information from cell phones.

surveillance

Photo: Flickr (faheemhdk)

The House will have to reapprove the bill because of a change made in the Senate to make clear it doesn‘t apply to ankle bracelets worn by released inmates on probation.

The Senate has approved a bill setting boundaries on high-tech surveillance by police.

Legislators are also considering a bill to block police from using scanners to download information from your cell phone. But a second bill goes further, requiring police to get a warrant to use tracking devices, plant hidden cameras on private property, or use surveillance drones.

Sen. Brent Steele (R-Bedford) says state police are already seeking warrants, but future departments might not.

“We’re putting into statute those things which our current state police are doing,” Steele says. ”But there’s no guarantee that any police department in the future would maybe act differently.”

Steele also says as those technologies become more affordable for local police departments, it increases the possibility that some agencies might try to cut corners.

The House will have to reapprove the bill because of a change made in the Senate to make clear it doesn’t apply to ankle bracelets worn by released inmates on probation.

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