Friday, May 4, 2012

The Wiretap Garrote

Courtesy Murray Associates - Click to Enlarge
Maryland's highest court has upheld a law allowing police to listen in on cell phone calls that suspects make outside the state, a tool that authorities say is key to fighting the drug trade.

The 5-2 Court of Appeals ruling is a victory for law enforcement, said Brian Kleinbord, chief of criminal appeals division for the Maryland Attorney General's Office. "It means that drug dealers can't evade a wiretap by driving their cars across the state line."

But dissenters argued that multi-state wiretaps are the latest example of police using advances in technology to chip away at privacy rights.

Randy E. McDonald, a Washington-based lawyer who argued the case for a man convicted on drug charges, said police have gone too far and he is considering an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. (more)