Local government officials not only refused to release the information, they sued Mike Maharrey…

surveillance camera photo

Surveillance camera/photo by zigazou76 (CC)

(Bob Unruh, WND) A Kentucky city is appealing a court order in an effort to keep secret the details of the 29 spy cameras it owns and operates.

The battle with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government began when Mike Maharrey, the national communications director for the Tenth Amendment Center, noticed the monitors in a skateboard park.

He launched an organization, “We See You Watching Lexington,” which asked the local government for information about the cameras and its program.

Officials refused, claiming they were exempted because of “homeland security” and “investigative reports.”

On appeal, the state attorney general’s office rejected both exemption claims, but local government officials then not only refused to release the information, they sued Maharrey.

Maharrey acknowledged in a web post that law enforcement agencies use surveillance for many legitimate law enforcement purposes.

“But the intrusive nature of surveillance technology opens the door for abuse, including gross violations of basic privacy rights,” he said. “We want to ensure all surveillance programs in Lexington are transparent, and that government agencies remain accountable to the public and elected officials.”

His organization proposed an ordinance that would restrict the “unchecked use” of spy programs. It would have required police and other agencies to get approval from the city council before obtaining such equipment.

However, the organization’s website explains, the police “want to keep their surveillance programs hidden.”

The latest move came from the Fayette Circuit Court, which ruled in favor of Maharrey’s request for summary judgment and ordered the police agency to release the documents…

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