Baltimore’s spy planes will fly no more

Baltimore’s spy planes will fly no more


Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Baltimore, Maryland city officials have unanimously voted to end the city police department’s spy plane surveillance program, according to TheBaltimore Sun (via Vice). Sorry, wait, the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) had a spy plane program?

Yes, and it was called AIR, which stands for Aerial Investigation Research. The program was run by a company called Persistent Surveillance Systems (super friendly name), and it used airplanes and high-resolution cameras to capture what was happening in a 32-mile square mile area of the city. It also started out as a secret, with the police department paying for it not with city funds, which would be subject to public scrutiny, but with funding from two Texas billionaires.

The BPD admitted to…

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