Regulations Urged for Police Surveillance in Md.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland public defenders and the ACLU of Maryland are calling for laws to regulate police surveillance techniques out of privacy concerns, but authorities say the technology is needed to better fight crime.

The Maryland House Judiciary Committee held a hearing Tuesday on the use of techniques such as clandestine cellphone-surveillance devices, known as stingrays.

Daniel Kobrin, an assistant public defender in the appellate division, says comprehensive legislation is needed to define when such technology can and can’t be used.

T.J. Smith, a Baltimore police spokesman, says technologies such as aerial surveillance are important crime-fighting tools. He says they aren’t used for spying on innocent people.

Lawmakers considered legislation last year to limit how police use tracking devices like stingrays, but the bill died in the committee.

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