After the mass riots because of the police shooting of black persons there has been a lot of criticism of the police and specifically their military style gear.
Many criticized this use of military gear that many police forces had bought after 9/11.
I’m sort of on the fence about this because the police are tasked with dealing with potential terrorists both domestic and from abroad that can be pretty aggressive.
But this morning I read about a new radar device that are being deployed to and used by over 50 police agencies right now.
These invasive radar devices can see into our homes. This technology raises a lot of legal and privacy issues because no less that the U.S. Supreme Court has said officers generally cannot use high-tech sensors such as these to tell them about the inside of a person’s house without first obtaining a search warrant.
The way that these devices work is like finely tuned motion sensors.They use radio waves that can detect even the most minute movements like a person breathing from as far away as 50 feet.
A lot of officials have said that the information is critical for keeping officers safe if they need to storm buildings or rescue hostages.
But on the flip side there are a lot of privacy advocates and judges that have expressed concerns about the situations where law enforcement agencies are using these high tech radars — and even more concerning the fact that they have used these devices without any public scrutiny.
This is one of those areas where the device is supposed to be used for catching bad guys and protecting the police by helping them scope out the location of everyone before they attempt to storm it.
But the use also can push a little past what it is intended for. I mean, how bad does the situation have to be before this device is used and who is it that decides when it can be used.
Invasive police radars like this are a good example of how technology can some times move faster than the correct oversight can be established.
More concerning is that the police have been buying these invasive police radars since at least 2012 – and using them with no oversight – what a judge in Denver said was “the government’s warrantless use of such a powerful tool to search inside homes poses grave Fourth Amendment questions.”
One of the reasons that we have walls and drapes on our windows is to maintain our privacy. The use of these invasive police radars is something the will help protect police officers but needs better oversight on its use!