ACLU backing privacy legislation for Maryland

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland is among those backing the effort of two state lawmakers in their support of a package of privacy-related legislation that they believe would help ensure that Marylanders can be both safe and free.

As part of the ACLU's legislative priorities for 2014, the organization is backing bills  to establish sensible, constitutional limits to email surveillance, location tracking, drones and automatic license plate readers.

Here is a summary of what each bill would cover, according to an ACLU news release:

Email surveillance: Legislation to require that law enforcement go before a neutral arbiter and prove that the information they are obtaining is likely to turn up evidence of a crime before intercepting and accessing online data.

Location Tracking: Legislation to require law enforcement get a warrant based on probable cause prior to obtaining mobile phone tracking information.

Drones: Legislation to impose limits and regulations on aerial surveillance that would protect against police fishing expeditions, and abusive use of these tools. 

Automatic License Plate Recorders: Legislation that would keep law enforcement from storing records of license plates and locations that are not 'hits' against any database.

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