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April 9, 2020 05:26 pm

Lawsuit fights new Baltimore aerial surveillance program

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The American Civil Liberties Union has sued to stop Baltimore police from launching a sweeping “eye in the sky” surveillance program. The initiative, operated by a company called Persistent Surveillance Systems (PSS), would send planes flying over Baltimore at least 40 hours a week as they almost continuously collect wide-angle photos of the city. If not blocked, a pilot program is expected to begin later this year.

The ACLU complaint, filed on behalf of Baltimore activists, describes the “Aerial Investigation Research” plan as “the most wide-reaching surveillance dragnet ever employed in an American city.” It follows an earlier, secret aerial surveillance program that was revealed in 2016. While that operation (also run by PSS) was shut...

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