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Surveillance

NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | August 7, 2010
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- The Berkeley County Sheriff's Department's "toy hauler" does not tote fun and games. Purchased for $33,400 from Falling Waters, W.Va.,-based Outdoor Express RV Inc. about a year ago, the 2008 Wildwood RV, known for its recreational equipment-hauling capacity, is the department's new mobile command center. About $5,000 in surveillance video camera equipment recently installed in the vehicle monitored activities simultaneously in multiple areas of the Berkeley County Youth Fair grounds last week.
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NEWS
March 27, 2009
ANNAPOLIS (AP) -- Maryland lawmakers have approved legislation designed to prevent authorities from violating First Amendment rights with covert police surveillance. The House of Delegates and Senate approved similar bills on Friday. Delegate Sandy Rosenberg, D-Baltimore, says the minor differences between the measures should be easily resolvable. The legislation was put forward in response to Maryland State Police surveillance that resulted in dozens of people wrongly being described as terrorists in a police database.
NEWS
November 22, 2008
HAGERSTOWN -- The Hagerstown Police Department is hoping to learn more about a Nov. 13 shooting and subsequent traffic accident on Jonathan Street through a series of pictures taken by surveillance cameras. On Nov. 13 at 8:21 p.m., officers from the police department responded to the area of Jonathan Street and Murph Avenue to find a red Jeep that had crashed into a light pole at the intersection, Sgt. Paul J. Kifer said. It then was learned that shots were fired to the rear of residences in the 300 block of North Jonathan Street near Blooms Avenue, Kifer said.
NEWS
September 30, 2008
BALTIMORE (AP) -- The Maryland chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says it will file public information requests to determine if state police surveilled activist groups other than those it has already admitted to tracking. ACLU attorney David Rocah said Tuesday that the requests cover groups that advocate for a variety of issues, including two that have learned that they were under police surveillance. Rocah says the other groups may have been surveilled based on the reasons state police gave for the surveillance of the anti-war and death penalty opposition groups.
NEWS
August 26, 2008
BALTIMORE (AP) -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland claims in a court filing that Maryland State Police officials have not released all documents related to the 14-month infiltration or monitoring of anti-death penalty and peace activist groups. The ACLU filed a Public Information Act lawsuit against the state police in June that first detailed the surveillance operation. The state police's attorney, Sharon Benzil, says the suit is moot because all documents have been released and the plaintiffs waited too long to sue. However, ACLU attorney David Rocah says only summaries of the surveillance logs were released, not actual reports.
NEWS
August 4, 2008
Last week's question: An American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit revealed that a unit of the Maryland State Police spent 14 months in 2005 and 2006 doing surveillance on people who opposed the death penalty and the Iraq war. Is there any good reason for this? o People who get passionate about causes sometimes get violent. - 7 votes (6 percent) o You never know who's doing something wrong unless you watch them for a while. - 9 votes (8 percent) o No, it violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantee that the people may peacefully protest government activities.
NEWS
July 31, 2008
ANNAPOLIS (AP) -- A group headed by a former Maryland attorney general will examine state trooper surveillance of anti-war and death-penalty opposition groups to try to prevent such actions in the future, the governor said Thursday. Gov. Martin O'Malley called for the review, naming former Maryland Attorney General Stephen Sachs to lead it. It will take 30 to 60 days and will examine state police practices over 14 months in 2005 and 2006, before O'Malley was governor. Sachs, who served as attorney general in the late 1970s and the 1980s, said the purpose of the review is "to discover the unvarnished truth about what happened and what didn't happen.
NEWS
By ANDREW SCHOTZ | July 25, 2008
WASHINGTON COUNTY -- If they're investigating possible crimes, state police can monitor advocacy groups, some members of Washington County's Maryland General Assembly delegation said Thursday. But the distinction needs to be clear, elected officials said; tracking and infiltrating groups because of their opinions isn't acceptable. "There's no question that has a chilling effect on democratic principles," said Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington. He added, though, "if in fact they're terrorist groups, I have no problem with it. " The actions of the Maryland State Police are being scrutinized now because of information that recently came out about their surveillance in 2005 and 2006.
NEWS
July 24, 2008
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The congressman who heads the committee overseeing the Department of Homeland Security is asking for a review of the agency's involvement in Maryland State Police surveillance of anti-war and death penalty opposition groups. "The politically motivated surveillance of dissident domestic groups that have neither a link to terrorism nor promote violence is ... a deplorable use of taxpayer funds," Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi, wrote in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.
NEWS
By KATE S. ALEXANDER | July 11, 2008
GREENCASTLE, Pa. -The Borough of Greencastle will soon have a few eyes in the sky. In a unanimous vote Monday, the Borough Council accepted a bid to purchase a $5,742 video surveillance system from Bowers Home Security in Greencastle to monitor activity at Borough Hall, the police station and, perhaps in the future, the streets of the borough. Purchasing an expandable system large enough to support additional cameras was important to members of council. Councilman Craig Myers said the council would pay for the convenience of an expandable system, but that the initial expense could save the borough money down the road.
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