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Monday, February 03, 2014

Ind. Law - "How much snooping is too much?"

The ILB had three posts in December headed "Indiana State Police tracking cellphones — but won’t say how or why." Here is the most recent, from Dec. 19th. The Dec. 10th entry reported that "At least three state senators plan to introduce legislation that would ban police from gathering cell phone data without first acquiring a warrant."

Barb Berggoetz wrote Sunday in (what used to be) the Indianapolis Star's "Behind Closed Doors" column:

His anti-surveillance bill stalled in an Indiana Senate committee last week on a 5-5 vote, but [Mike Delph, R-Carmel] pledged to try to amend the language into another bill this week.

Senate Bill 231 would impose felony penalties for illegal searches and seizures of electronic communication without court-ordered warrants or under exigent circumstances.

The bill is one of three anti-surveillance measures being considered by the legislature now, one of which has passed the House. * * *

Most senators on the committee expressed support for the bill's concept of protecting citizens from an invasion of privacy. But several said they are concerned about too many unanswered questions in the bill and that Delph doesn't yet have the support of the Indiana State Police. * * *

The Indiana State Police acknowledged in December it had acquired the Stingray technology, a surveillance device which acquires cell phone data potentially from hundreds of people at once. Gov. Mike Pence has said he supports limited use of the technology, as long as it is overseen by a judge.

Delph said he was motivated to introduce the bill, primarily after reports of widespread electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency.

"If you're a bad guy, we're going to go after you," he said. "If you're a good guy we're going to respect you and not go after you."

Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford, who voted to approve the bill, said he's still not comfortable with it and wants Delph to be able to work out any differences with the State Police before voting for it on the floor.

"I don't want to impede the work of the State Police," he said.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 3, 2014 09:32 AM
Posted to Indiana Law