May 192014
 
 May 19, 2014  Surveillance

The Erie County, New York Sheriff Timothy B. Howard doesn’t think residents need legislative oversight of his use of surveillance technology.

Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard told legislators Thursday that it is solely up to the courts – not them – to determine how he may use cellphone surveillance equipment to track persons of interest.

Howard told the Legislature’s Public Safety Committee that the Stingray surveillance device the office has owned since 2008 is used only for tracking a person’s movements, not for snooping into the content of phone communications.

But beyond that, he was polite but defiant in refusing to answer questions about the equipment, telling legislators, in essence, that it’s not their business.

“With no disrespect to this honorable body … the specific use of the device should be left to the monitoring of the courts and not to the Legislature or to the media,” he said.

Dressed in an olive green suit instead of his usual sheriff’s uniform, Howard said, “Anything we do with the device is subject to review by the federal or state courts, including by our own County Court, and that’s where it should be reviewed.”

Read more on The Buffalo News.

Thanks to Joe Cadillic for this link.

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