I thought it was outrageous that law enforcement claimed they couldn’t tell a defendant that they had obtained evidence against him using Stingray because of a nondisclosure agreement with Harris, but it turns out that’s not the only police department citing a nondisclosure agreement with Harris as the basis for withholding information.
Jamie Ross reports:
A reporter sued the Tucson Police Department for records on the surveillance equipment it uses to collect data from cellphones.
Beau Hodai sued Tucson and its Police Department Tucson in Pima County Court, seeking an order to show cause why the Tucson PD should not have to comply with the public records act.
Hodai submitted his first records request to Tucson police on Oct. 11, 2013, “concerning TPD’s purchase and use of Stingray and Stingray II cell phone tracking equipment from Harris Corporation.”
In response to Hodai’s request, TPD provided him with four documents, but redacted them, citing exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act and a nondisclosure agreement with Harris Corp. and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The Tucson PD, however, failed to provide Hodai with “work product resulting from the use of Stingray or Stingray II,” requests or authorizations of Harris Corp. products in any police operations, training materials, and internal policies. The agency also failed to produce TPD memos describing when to use Stingray and external correspondence concerning the program.
The nondisclosure agreement between Harris Corp. and Tucson states: “The City of Tucson shall not discuss, publish, release or disclose any information pertaining to the Products covered under this NDA to any third party individual, corporation, or other entity, including any affiliated or unaffiliated State, County, City, Town or Village, or other governmental entity without the prior written consent of Harris … The City of Tucson is subject to the Arizona Public Records Law. A.R.S. sec 39-121, et seq. While the City will not voluntarily disclose any Protected Product, in the event that the city receives a Public Records request from a third party relating to any Protected Product, or other information Harris deems confidential, the City will notify Harris of such a request and allow Harris to challenge any such request in court. The City will not take a position with respect to the release of such material, beyond its contractual duties, but will assist Harris in any such challenge.”
Read more on Courthouse News.
Wow. So the city will assist business in trying to keep information from the public that the public has a right to know? Impressive.