The days of unwarranted snooping by the Maryland State Police may be over.
Democratic state legislators on Jan. 22 introduced a bill to protect the First Amendment rights of dissenters.
Entitled the Freedom of Association and Assembly Protection Act of 2009, the bill would require the police to have at least “reasonable suspicion” before they could start collecting dossiers on individuals.
The bill is an outgrowth of the controversy that erupted last year when it was revealed that Maryland state troopers had been gathering intelligence on—and infiltrating groups of—nonviolent anti-war and anti-death penalty groups. Dozens of individuals and groups were surveilled, and the state police accused some of being suspected terrorists.
Nice to know my state is living up to its nickname once again.