The surveillance state continues to expand at breakneck speed with more and more local law enforcement agencies obtaining high-tech spy gear such as stingray devices, automatic license plate readers (ALPRs), sophisticated cameras and drones.
Lexington is no exception.
Law enforcement agencies use surveillance for many legitimate law enforcement purposes. But the intrusive nature of surveillance technology opens the door for abuse, including gross violations of basic privacy rights.
We want to ensure all surveillance programs in Lexington are transparent, and that government agencies remain accountable to the public and elected officials.
At this point, this is not the case in Lexington
A First Step
To this end, we propose a local ordinance that will take the first step toward limiting the unchecked use of surveillance technologies that violate basic privacy rights and feed into a broader national surveillance state.
This proposed legislation would require the LPD and other government agencies to get approval from the city council before obtaining any type of surveillance technology.
The process outlined by the ordinance requires government agencies to develop a detailed surveillance impact report and use policy for every technology before they acquired or use it. It mandates full public disclosure with an opportunity for the community to weigh in before the council makes its decision. This would create an environment of transparency and accountability, and would enable the community to weigh in on the decision.
The ordinance also includes provisions requiring approval for the continued use of existing technology. Additionally, it features reporting requirements for any approved surveillance gear and a publicly available analysis of the full cost of the technology.
For more details about the ordinance and our plan, CLICK HERE.