Small planes outfitted with video cameras have been flying over Baltimore since January, capturing activity on the streets below and relaying the footage to police to help them catch criminals.
The public knew nothing about it until this week — when Bloomberg Businessweek ran a cover story about the trial program.
Airplane used to conduct wide area surveillance. Persistent Surveillance Systems
The revelations triggered outrage from elected officials, defense lawyers and the American Civil Liberties Union, who said the program raised privacy concerns and could aggravate public distrust in a city that exploded in riots last year after the death of a man in police custody.
"Widespread surveillance violates every citizens' right to privacy; the lack of disclosure about this practice and the video that has been captured further violates the rights of our clients who may have evidence supporting their innocence that is kept secret," Paul DeWolfe, the Public Defender for Maryland said in a statement earlier this week.