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Obama Admin Intervening to Muzzle Police Departments on Surveillance

New AP report exposes 'unusual' federal attempts to block public records requests at local level

Sarah Lazare, staff writer

(Photo: Mark Nozell / Creative Commons)

new reporting from the Associated Press.

Interviews, court records and public-records requests show that the Obama administration has repeatedly taken the "unusual step" of getting directly involved in "routine state public records cases and criminal trials regarding use of the technology," resulting in police departments censoring or completely withholding the information from the public, according to journalists Jack Gillum and Eileen Sullivan.

The Obama administration's intervention "comes at a time when President Barack Obama has said he welcomes a debate on government surveillance and called for more transparency about spying in the wake of disclosures about classified federal surveillance programs," AP notes.

The withholding of information from the public is making it difficult for the public to gain information about surveillance technology like Stingray, which tricks cell phones into providing tracking and identification information.


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